Ji is champion of champions as celebrities take centre stageJanuary 20, 2019 News & Tour
A star-studded event lived up to its billing in Orlando. Joe Hughes wraps up the action from the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
What happened at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
In a week that consisted of fun, famous faces, and fantastic golf, Eun-Hee Ji became an LPGA Tour winner for the third consecutive season.
The South Korean ace, who played the final round alongside her 54-hole co-leader Lydia Ko and former Major League Baseball star John Smoltz, ended the event on 14-under-par.
Testing conditions on Sunday made it a tough scoring day and a 1-under round of 70 was enough to hand Ji the victory.
Eun-Hee Ji wins the 2019 @diamondresorts Tournament of Champions!! 🏆
Ji finishes 14-under par! pic.twitter.com/ssU91zRfSv
— LPGA (@LPGA) January 20, 2019
Her front-nine was far from textbook though, with her card featuring three bogeys and two birdies. Thankfully for the World No. 32, she was able to steady her game on the closing nine and close out the win.
Ko, who played some impressive golf throughout the tournament all but ended her challenge for the title with an agonising double-bogey at the 13th followed by a three-putt bogey at 14.
Many of the world’s best got their season’s off to a good start with the likes of British Open champion, Georgia Hall, Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson all claiming their first top-10 finishes of the year.
Of course, this tournament would not be the spectacle that it is without the brilliant contest that comes from the celebrity portion of the field.
Personalities such as former tennis star Mardy Fish, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, and Alfonso Ribeiro of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fame gave everything to entertain spectators in their stableford format competition.
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) January 20, 2019
But of course, even in celebrity events, there must be a winner and that was Smoltz who finished with 149 points.
Eun-Hee Ji battled the weather conditions and a slow start to earn a victory at the @diamondresorts Tournament of Champions.
Watch her final round highlights below! ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/IUuYHnvcUk
— LPGA (@LPGA) January 20, 2019
Stacy Lewis returned to the LPGA Tour having given birth to her first daughter little more than two months ago.
The American would be excused for some rusty play but this was not the case, at all. It was as if she had been playing just as regularly as the rest of the field and not had a truly life changing moment in the recent past.
— Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) January 17, 2019
The superb putt included in her tweet was just one of many great shots that fired her to a remarkable top-10 finish.
Another story worth talking about…
Earlier this month, LPGA tour star Brittany Lincicombe held her 10th annual charity fundraiser in which a number of her fellow professionals turn out to participate in a Pro-Am.
The two-time major champion has always been keen to share the wealth amongst the community and this event supports her local First Tee programme which helps the development of young golfers.
If Christina Kim’s Instagram post is anything to go by, it looks like everybody had a brilliant time supporting a worthwhile cause…
View this post on Instagram
Amazing day playing @brittany1golf Brittany and Friends Proam today. Saw so many friends I hadn’t seen in months, nearly lost my voice laughing so much, played a supremely fun golf course for an amazing cause and met some incredible people along the way! What a great way to spend the day! Thank you again Bam Bam! ❤️
It’s great to see pros going above and beyond the call of duty and we hope that even more of the game’s biggest names take note and get involved with similar events.
The Vic Open, which was meant to be a co-sanctioned LET-European Tour event before Golf Australia pulled the plug in favour of the LPGA, is next up. That starts on February 7.