LPGA VOA Texas Shootout this weekend

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, April 29th, 2017

texastoprankedTOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Volunteers of America Texas Shootout
Los Colinas Country Club
Purse – $1,300,000
Winner – $195,000
Defending Champion – Jenny Shin

The shootout format of the tournament will consist of two cuts;
the first will be made after the second round to the top-70 and ties,
and the second cut will be made to the top-50 and ties after the third
round on Saturday.
The tournament also provides a unique opportunity for High
School and College amateur female players to tee it up against the
best players in the world through two qualifying Shootouts. The top
two finishers from each shootout qualify for a spot in the Volunteers
of America Texas Shootout. In 2016, on the college side, Texas A&M’s
Maddie Szeryk and Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight made it through the
qualifying with scores of 73. While for the high school players,
Kristen Gillman and Karah Sanford each carded rounds of 72 to earn
their way into the field.
~lpgatexasshootout.com

The LPGA returns to north Texas this weekend for the 5th edition
of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC at Las
Colinas Country Club in Irving. The 144-player field includes the top
20 players in the Rolex Rankings, 91 of the top 100 players on the 2017 LPGA Tour money list
and all eight of the tournament winners from this season competing for
a $1.3 million purse. That list includes Brittany Lincicome (Pure
Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic), Ha Na Jang(ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open), Amy Yang (Honda LPGA Thailand),
Inbee Park (HSBC Women’s Champions), Anna Nordqvist (Bank of Hope
Founders Cup), Mirim Lee (Kia Classic), So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration),
and Cristie Kerr (LOTTE Championship).
There are 15 rookies this year in the field who would love
nothing more to make the VOA Texas Shootout their first big win. The
list includes: Peiyun Chien, Karen Chung, Regan De Guzman,
Dana Finkelstein, Laura Gonzalez Escallon, Jennifer Ha, Nasa Hataoka,
Nelly Korda, Olafia Kristindottir, Sung Hyun Park, Maria Parra,
Katherine Perry, Mel Reid, Madelene Sagstrom, and Angel Yin.
Also included in the field are 11 LPGA players who have Lone Star
State connections. Watch out for these ladies this weekend which
include: Mi Jung Hur (lives in McKinney) – Two-time LPGA Tour winner
has five top-25 finishes in six starts this season with a season-best T4 at the Kia Classic.Kim Kaufman (lives in
Fort Worth) – Was a two-time All American (2012, 2013) while studying
Political Science at Texas Tech. In-Kyung Kim (lives in Dallas) –
Four-time LPGA Tour winner, career-best finish at the Volunteers of
America Texas Shootout was solo-sixth in 2013. Sei Young Kim (lives in
Dallas) – Five-time LPGA Tour winner and 2015 Louise Suggs Rolex
Rookie of the Year. Candie Kung (lives in Allen). In 2016, the
four-time LPGA Tour winner crossed the $7 million mark in career
earnings after at T14 finish at the Evian Championship. Brittany Lang
(from/lives in McKinney) – In 2016, captured her first career major
championship and crossed the $6 million mark in career  earnings at
the U.S. Women’s Open. Ilhee Lee (lives in Irving) – The LPGA Tour
winner’s career-best finish at Las Colinas is 10th (2013). Stacy Lewis
(from The Woodlands, lives in Houston) – 11-time LPGA Tour winner, has never finished outside the top-20 at the
Volunteers of America Texas Shootout (T19, T7, Win, T7). Gerina Piller
(lives in Flower Mound) – The UTEP graduate was inducted into their
Hall of Fame in 2016, she’s still searching for her first career win while she her T2 finish last
year at this tournament tied her career-best finish. So Yeon Ryu
(lives in Dallas) – Broke a three-year win drought and won her second
career major championship at the 2017 ANA Inspiration, has yet to
finish outside the top-7 this season. Angela Stanford (from Saginaw,
lives in Fort Worth) – In a bid to make her seventh Solheim Cup
appearance the TCU graduate has three top-20 finishes this season
Defending champion Jenny Shin will have her hands full trying to
recapture the prestigious title. Last year Shin shot the low round on
the final day, a bogey-free 67, to capture her first-career LPGA
victory in her 135th start on Tour. Shin defeated Gerina Piller, Amy
Yang and Mi Jung Hur by two-strokes. Since her win last season Shin
has made all 7 cuts this season with a season-best T11 at her last
outing at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii. Her putting average of
28.18 ranks second among LPGA players this season . She finished 27th
on the LPGA Money List last year earning $630,740 while leading the
LPGA in sand saves (66.67%).
Some interesting facts about the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout:
– Only one American has won the event: Stacy Lewis (2014)
– Only Inbee Park has won multiple Volunteers of America Texas
Shootout titles (2013, 2015)
– Amateurs in the field (Anne Chen, Gina Kim, Maddie McCrary,
Eun Jeong Seong)   – This is the fifth year of the Volunteers of
America Texas Shootout 60s
– Only one champion (Inbee Park, 2015) has scored all four rounds in
the 60s 64
– Tournament-low score, most recently shot by Karrie Webb in the
third round in 2015 268
– Tournament record 16-under par 72-hole score set by Stacy Lewis in 2014.
My favorites this week are Ha Na Jang from South Korea. She’s got
a bubbly personality with a mega watt smile and the game to back it
up. Currently she’s ranked 6th in the Rolex Rankings. Sentimentally
I’m pulling for Lexi Thompson who got robbed of her first major title
a few  weeks ago at the ANA Inspiration tournament where she was
assessed a staggering 4 shot penalty while playing her final round.
Thompson speaking for the first time since the incident at the
Wednesday press conference broke down in tears while discussing the controversial
penalty that upended her title bid at the year’s first major three
weeks ago and has since led to an expedited rule change. Thompson,
choked up when asked about the toughest part of the last few weeks.
“The hardest part was just going through it,” the 22-year-old
American said before pausing for about 45 seconds as she struggled to
regain her composure. “I don’t think I’ve ever played any better, and
just for that to happen it was just a nightmare.”
In my opinion and to her credit I think she handled the
situation with class.
Also, I will be pulling for Gerina Piller as I hope she gets
another shot this weekend as she had it in her grasp last year. It
would be a popular win for the woman that calls DFW home along with
her husband PGA Tour player Martin Piller.
So It your looking for a fun activity to do this weekend I highly
recommend you check out these amazingly talented ladies of the LPGA in
action. Go to www.lpgatexasshootout.com to learn more and to purchase
tickets.
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimwithtom.com

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