Thursday, May 26, 2016

Professional Golf Returns to Southeastern Michigan in the form of the LPGA Tour and Volvik Championship

Ann Arbor- Professional golf once again returns to Southeastern Michigan with the Volvik Championship May 23 – 29. This would be the first time since the 2009 Buick Open at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

All eyes will be on the stars of the LPGA Tour as they battle for points in one of the last tournaments to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de janiero, Brazil. Many of the biggest names on the LPGA Tour will compete at Travis Pointe Country Club such as Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Michelle Wie and Christie Kerr.

One of the two sponsor exemptions went to a local Saline native Sara Hoffman. Hoffman is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she got her degree in nursing. She was originally recruited to play basketball at Grand Valley State.

Hoffman stated “I put myself out there for basketball. I didn’t try for golf, I didn’t try and be recruited for golf.”

The state golf championships were at Grand Valley her senior year and the coach recruited her to play golf at Grand Valley and she was the only coach that recruited her for golf. Hoffman played four years at Grand Valley but pursued her nursing career. She would stay home and save up the money while also playing in amateur events.

“In February I quit my job and moved down to Florida to start preparing for Q school in August.” Hoffman stated.

Hoffman grew up playing the game since she was five years old and Travis Pointe Country Club is her home course and where she owns the course record. One of the most interesting and difficult greens on the course is the thirteenth green. Sarah was asked about the 13th Green

“The 13th green? I had a Volkswagen Beetle while in college and I totaled it and I think they buried it under that green. I’ve played it for so long I know it really well so it doesn’t even bother me, it’s not a huge thing for me. I just know where to put myself on that green or where to miss the so you have a better chip than putt. I don’t think the girls are going to like it, though.”

Hoffman will tee off at 1:43 PM EST with Cheyanne Woods and Laetita Beck off of #1.

A name that should be considered to win the Volvik Championship is Lexi Thompson who is number 10 in the Rolex World Rankings. Thompson is one of the longer hitters on tour who currently ranks first in average driving distance with 283.07 yards.

Thompson will have to use her length this week at Travis Pointe Country Club as it will be the 5th longest on tour this year at 6,709 yards on tour. Thompson was asked about does her length off the tee help or hinder her?

“Well, it doesn’t hurt (laughs for a second). Yeah, I hit a good amount of drivers and some 3-woods out there, and there’s some holes  that you’re better off laying back on a few. I think it’s all a matter of getting the targets down on the tee and then leaving yourself on the right side of the hole because there’s some hills on the greens that you don’t want to be behind and then putting over.”

Lexi Thompson will be teeing off at 1:21 PM EST with Charlie Hull and Shanshan Feng off of #1.
One of the main tests that will be the greens. They can be very tricky and some greens have very subtle breaks in them. Since Travis Pointe Country Club is new to the LPGA, not many of the players have gotten the chance to play here before and gain an advantage over the others.

All four rounds of the tournament will be shown on the Golf Channel. Thursday and Friday’s will be shown from 7-9 PM EST and 3-6 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.

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