Sunday, February 07, 2016

Wow! Our First LPGA Tournament - Watching Live, In Person!

We planned about a month ago to definitely take Alyzabeth to her first LPGA tournament; it was being held so close to us, about a two hour drive to Ocala. We have spoken about going to one for a couple of years. We did take her to the PGA TPC Sawgrass and the tour card qualifier also at Sawgrass. It is fun to walk around the beautiful courses and watch so many good players. The only problem we have is that unless AA is right up to the rope she can't see the players through the crowds; we are dependent on a few good spectators who see her and make a little room up by them so she can see. At the Ocala course, several couples were gracious and let her stand in front of them, as they can see over her.
Friday 02/05/16: We arrived around noon-ish and bundled up as it was chilly and all was wet due to a heavy rain storm the afternoon before. With play suspended, most golfers had to finish Round 2 this morning. We were able to watch many of them coming into Hole 18.

Photo below is from the LPGA web site - we are in the crowd (lower right side, in front of the guy who looks a little like Ford!):
We wandered over to the putting/driving range and saw many players warming up for the beginning of Round 3.
Visited with the (Bella) Dovhey's and (Maggie) Potash families:
Ha Na Jang was very nice with the fans and allowed many of us to take photos too.
Saturday - Final day with the finishing of Round 3 and all of Round 4. Unfortunately, the rain came back with chilly weather and clouds, then light showers to pouring rain after lunch. We left as it began to pour (about 3:30 p.m.), the leaders were on Hole #14.
Walking with the Chao's to find Lexi T. and Lydia K.!
AA, Sammy and Kaitlin:
Lexi at the 10th Tee (her drive went to the left into a long gully along the fairway):
We did leave a little early due to the weather and AA's nose running, catching a cold, didn't want to get her anymore chilled than she was. The Chao's had Corporate tickets (bought through a charity auction) and invited us to their protected seating but we decided to walk a bit more and then left when the rain was more than a drizzle. The Chao's are always gracious and friendly, they shared their free food and drinks; love being with them.

I won't say too much about the Girls Golf Clinic hosted by the LPGA Foundation as we found out that it is not for girls who already know how to golf. We mistakenly thought it was going to be a true learning clinic as the application had on it several groups of skill levels and we had to select which one AA was in. These clinics seem more for the curious or beginner as a couple of the skill stations that had nothing to do with golf and only about girls socializing and doing funny things. Thank goodness the Chao family had signed up (on our misinformation) and we left early with them to watch the lady golfers. One photo showing them warming up before the clinic began, it was good they kept them  busy while waiting for the clinic to begin.
We are not huge autograph seekers, usually only get a few, those golfers we follow, so getting Ha Na's autograph was fun to get and double sweet as she won the tournament, her first on the LPGA tour!

OCALA, Fla. -- Ha Na Jang had to go the final 36 holes with the best player in women's golf to capture her first LPGA Tour title Saturday (Coates at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Course).
Lydia Ko turned out to be more of a cheerleader than a challenge.
Jang was 15th on the LPGA money list as a rookie last year, when she was a runner-up four times. The player of the year on the Korean LPGA in 2013, Jang is projected to move into the top 10 in the Rolex Women's World Ranking. She was a runner-up last year at the Coates Golf Championship.
Here's the link to the entire article on ESPN Golf.
She is also amazing due to her first hole in one, just one week before on a Par 4:
A hole-in-one is always special, but some are more special than others. Ha Na Jang's tee shot Saturday on the 218-yard, par-4 eighth hole at the Ocean Club Golf Course in the Bahamas found the bottom of the cup for an ace. According to the LPGA Tour, it was the first hole-in-one on a par-4 in the tour's history.

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