LPGA Volvik Championship Preview
LPGA Volvik Championship
Travis Pointe Country Club, Ann Arbor, Michigan
May 24 – 27, 2018
Defending Champion: Shanshan Feng
FENG RETURNS TO DEFEND IN ANN ARBOR
World No. 2 Shanshan Feng hasn’t yet won on the LPGA Tour in 2018; however, the same thing happened in 2017 before coming to the LPGA Volvik Championship.
Feng, who held the No.1 spot in the Rolex Rankings for nearly six months before being toppled by Inbee Park, won last year’s event by one stroke over Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park. That was her first of three wins on the LPGA Tour a year ago, and she set the 54-hole (15-under 201) and 72-hole (19-under 269) scoring records.
Feng comes back into the LPGA Volvik Championship with four top-five finishes in 2018, including a tie for third at her last event in April, the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. And despite no wins yet in 2018, Feng is certainly not worried about the state of her game.
“I’m not a person that likes to change a lot. I mean, including like my clubs,” said Feng. “My last putter, I used it for like 10 years, and this one like three years for now maybe. Yeah, so and then my caddie, we’ve been working together for six years, and my coach, we’ve been working together for 11 years. So I’m a player that once I find the balance, then I’ll just keep doing it, keep it. So I think what I’ve been doing pretty well so far, I just need to get everything together on the same week, so hopefully this is going to be the week.”
For more of Adam Stanley’s field breakdown, visit: http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-field-breakdown-lpga-volvik-championship
FENG JOINS AMY ROGERS FOR THE 2018 EMOJI CHALLENGE
Shanshan Feng, last year’s LPGA Volvik Championship winner, recently sat down with LPGA.com’s Amy Rogers for the Emoji Challenge.
To watch Feng’s Emoji Challenge, visit: http://www.lpga.com/videos/shanshan-feng-joins-amy-rogers-for-the-2018-emoji-challenge
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEFENDING CHAMPION SHANSHAN FENG
- In eight starts in 2018, Feng has posted four top-five finishes
- Currently No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, and the world’s top-ranked player from the People’s Republic of China
- On Nov. 13, 2017, she became the first player from China, male or female, to become No. 1 in the world and held the position for 23 consecutive weeks
- Recorded her first three-win season in 2017, including a title defense at the TOTO Japan Clasic and a win the following week at the Blue Bay LPGA
- Feng has nine career wins, including one major (2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship)
- Olympic bronze medalist, representing China at the 2016 Rio Olympics
SONG RETURNS TO BIRTHPLACE OF HER GOLF CAREER
This week, Jennifer Song returns to Ann Arbor, her birthplace and the city where she started her golf career, for the LPGA Volvik Championship.
“It’s definitely a special location for me because obviously I was born here. I was born at the University of Michigan hospital,” Song reminisced. “When I came back here around third grade, that’s when I picked up golf, and I played golf for about a year and a half and that’s how I really got into it.”
Song got a little taste of a major win at this year’s ANA Inspiration when she found herself in a three-way playoff with major champion Inbee Park and Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg.
“I’m really desperate to have a first win on LPGA Tour. I haven’t had one and this is my eighth year on tour, and I’m working really hard for that first win,” said Song, a graduate of the University of Southern California.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LPGA VOLVIK CHAMPIONSHIP
- This is the third year of the LPGA Volvik Championship
- This is the first of two LPGA stops in Michigan in 2018, along with the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids; in 2019, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, conducted in Midland, will join the LPGA schedule
- Christina Kim holds the tournament’s 18-hole record, shooting -8 in the first round in 2016
- Six different countries were represented among the top-10 finishers last year: China, Australia, Republic of Korea, Norway, United States and Thailand
- Eight of the top-10 finishers last year return to the field this year, including defending champion Shanshan Feng and runner-ups Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park
- Five of the eight players who have reached No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings since 2011 are in the field: Shanshan Feng, Sung Hyun Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis and Yani Tseng
NOTABLE FIRST-ROUND GROUPINGS
Highlighting the morning groupings is Volunteers of America Texas Classic champion Sung Hyun Park, Honda Thailand champion Jessica Korda and Megan Khang teeing off at 8:32 a.m. on the 10th tee.
In the afternoon, Charley Hull and Nelly Korda will tee off alongside last week’s winner Ariya Jutanugarn off the first tee at 1:21 p.m.
Defending champion Shanshan Feng, Brittany Lincicome and Sei Young Kim will tee off the first tee at 1:32 p.m.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: VOLVIK
Volvik is a huge supporter and sponsor of the LPGA Tour and growing women’s golf across the globe. Apart from being the title sponsor of the LPGA Volvik Championship, they are the sponsor of the Volvik Race for the Card which is the year-long race for players to finish in the top-10 of the Volvik Race for the Card Official Money List and earn their LPGA Tour card. In addition, Volvik has partnered with LPGA’s LessonZone, Girls Golf, and a national sponsor of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. Volvik has been the title sponsor for three Symetra Tour events leading up to the LPGA Volvik Championship.
PLAYERS PUTT WITH YOUNG PATIENTS
LPGA stars Katherine Kirk, Cheyenne Woods and Chella Choi took time out of their practice schedule to visit the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital and spent the afternoon with some of its young patients and their families. The hospital is a tournament partner and hosted a private Pro-Am on Monday to benefit the hospital’s Congenital Heart Center, one of the largest and best pediatric heart programs in the country.
Tournament: @VolvikLPGA, #VolvikLPGA
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia
TV TIMES – SHOWTIME IN PRIMETIME (all times EST on Golf Channel)
Thursday, May 24: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, May 25: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 26: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 27: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 64 (-8) Christina Kim, first round, 2016
36 holes: 132 (-12), Sung Hyun Park, 2017
54 holes: 201 (-15), Shanshan Feng, 2017
72 holes: 269 (-19), Shanshan Feng, 2017