The Symetra Tour’s Rachel Rohanna Plays Into LPGA Volvik At Great Lakes Shootout
Playing for a chance to tee it up in the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship, a field of twelve faced off in Tuesday’s Great Lakes Shootout. Players included top Big Ten representatives on the 2017 Symetra Tour money list along with college players from Detroit Mercy, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Michigan and Michigan State. The winner would receive Volvik’s sponsor’s exemption into the LPGA Volvik Championship, to be held May 22 – 28 at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor.
The Great Lakes Shootout began with nine holes of stroke play at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. Immediately following, the top four moved on to the “shootout.” Taking place over holes 16, 17 and 18, the shootout eliminated the player on each hole with the lowest score. The surviving player, Rohanna, received the Volvik sponsor’s exemption.
Rohanna, a former Ohio State player, barely squeezed into the playoff after shooting a 38 (+2) during the nine-hole portion of the contest. She would face another former Buckeye, Emma Jandel, who had the low 9-hole score of 2-under; Allyssa Ferrell, a Symetra Tour player out of Michigan State and; current Michigan State player Sarah Burnham.
Burnham was eliminated during a skills competition on hole 16. After all four had made par, they went to the green side bunker for a closest to the pin competition and Burnham left her bunker shot short. Jandel was eliminated on hole 17 when she hit her drive into the hazard and had to punch out. Rohanna then hit a great approach on the par five 18th to two feet and rolled in a birdie to defeat Ferrell, who made par.
Volvik LPGA Tournament Director Ken Karbo explained that the unusual format for determining the sponsor’s exemption was a way to bond Michigan’s fervent golfing community with the tournament: “There are just thirty-four LPGA tournaments in the world and one of them is here in Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan and we felt it was very important to embrace our own.”
“My game has been feeling good all year, and it is trending in the right direction,” said Rohanna. “I’ve learned that even when I’m having a setback, I have to keep grinding away. I switched putters last week, and everything has been going great, so I love it.”
Rohanna, who played at Ohio State from 2009-2013, surprisingly said that everyone in Ann Arbor has been treating her well and she’s ready for another crack at the LPGA Volvik Championship.
“Ann Arbor is not too bad of a place so far,” said Rohanna. “Everyone seems to be very nice, which is very unusual because people in Columbus don’t treat the Wolverines very nice. In all seriousness, I’m really excited to play next week, and Volvik is putting on a great show. I’m really happy to be in Big Ten country.”
Rohanna, who finished tenth on the Symetra Tour money list in 2015, played at Travis Pointe last year and missed the cut.
The Great Lakes Shootout field included:
SYMETRA TOUR PLAYERS
– Lindsey McPherson, Liz Nagel, Allyssa Ferrell, Christine Meier (Michigan State)
– Rachel Rohanna, Emma Jandel (Ohio State)
– Brooke Sharpe (Detroit Mercy)
– Chloe L. Guschewski (Wayne State)
– Kelsey Murphy (Eastern Michigan)
– Sarah Burnham (Michigan State)
– Emily White (Michigan)
-Sarah Hoffman (Grand Valley State)
Hoffman, who received an exemption last year from the tournament sponsor Volvik for the LPGA Volvik Championship, is a Saline (Mich.) native and familiar face at Travis Pointe.
The 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship will be played May 22-28 at Travis Pointe.
For more information, go to www.volviklpga.com
Photos by Bret Lasky