LPGA Volvik Championship – Thursday

At the end of the first day, Christina Kim lead the Volvik Championship at eight under.
At the end of the first day, Christina Kim lead the Volvik Championship at eight under.

Christina Kim leads the inaugural Volvik Championship following a stellar round of 64 (-8) at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. Ariya Jutanugarn, who is going for her third win in a row, is just one shot back after a bogey free round.

Kim has not been scoring as of late. Today is her first sub par round in the last 21. Still, Kim said, in spite of the numbers:

“Well, to be honest, I’ve been playing really well. It’s just the scores haven’t reflected how I’ve been playing. But I’ve been working really, really hard on my game. … I know it’s a very challenging golf course and I’m very thankful to have played as well as I did.”

Kim’s 64 was nearly ten shots better than the field average on Thursday.

Lexi Thompson
Lexi Thompson

Kim’s round was over well before I arrived (after work) and the afternoon rounds were not nearly as low as the morning’s. After wandering around the course for a while, I decided to follow the group of Lexi Thompson, Charley Hull and Shanshan Feng.

Thompson has the kind of length that I thought might feast on this course, but she struggled to a two over. Jutanugarn, who is just one off the lead is one of the tour’s longer hitters, averaging 268 off the tee.

I did see Thompson make an eagle on the fourteenth. Following a drive that drifted shortly off line to the right and under a small tree, Thompson hit a four iron out of the rough onto the green. That was followed by a one-putt.

On the eighteenth, Thompson uncorked a 314 yard drive, and just missed the green with her second shot.

The group I was following was one of the ones covered by The Golf Channel, and when I watching the delayed coverage, I noticed that I had been caught in the coverage.

On Tv-5261266

While wandering the course, I ran into a nice couple that I often play with at my home course of Green Oaks in Ypsilanti. Later, I ran into two acquaintances who were working as volunteers.

Those chance encounters reminded me that an event like an LPGA Tournament can really bring a community together. In addition to being a place where you are likely to run into your golf-loving friends, the tournament has reached out to a lot of recognizable area institutions. Motawi Tileworks — the creator of the Volvik Championship trophy — had a tent there, as did Zingerman’s and the M-Den. DTE Energy is sponsoring a Military Appreciation Skybox.

More photos below:

 

 

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