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.
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.
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: