Volunteers of America Classic
Old American Golf Club | The Colony, Texas | Oct. 3-6, 2019
Thursday Night Media Advisory
Oct. 3, 2019
MEDIA ALERT: October 3, 2019
CONTACT: Colton Scott, Marketing & Communications, Octagon
Colton.Scott@octagon.com, (325) 242-6232
- Online Media Center (Statistics, hole locations, yardages, etc.)
- Monday Box (Updated statistics and the Volunteers of America Classic purse breakdown)
First Round, Second Round Groupings
MEADOW LEADS AFTER 18 HOLES IN TEXAS
Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday and holds a two-stroke lead heading into the second round of the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic at Old American Golf Club. Meadow’s bogey-free round, which featured five straight birdies at holes 2 through 6, tied the tournament’s 18-hole scoring record and shattered Meadow’s previous career-best mark of 66.
“A little bit of putting and a little bit of really good ball-striking,” said Meadow, who won the 2012 NCAA National Championship with the University of Alabama. “It’s been a while since I’ve put five in a row, which is fun. You know, you don’t want to stop after three, you want to keep going.”
Americans Amy Olson and Dori Carter are tied for second at -6. Three players are tied for fourth at -5 – LPGA Tour winner Moriya Jutanugarn and 2019 rookies Cheyenne Knight and Ruixin Liu. Defending Sung Hyun Park shot a first-round 69 and is tied for 34th at -2.
Brittany Lang, who is playing in her final event before going on maternity leave, opened with a 1-under 70 and is tied for 50th. The Texas native is expecting her first child in January 2020.
MEADOW PERSISTING THOUGH PAIN
Stephanie Meadow’s career-low 63 at the Volunteers of America Classic was a bright spot in a tough year on the LPGA Tour. Meadow, who regained full LPGA Tour status for 2019 by finishing in the top-10 on the Symetra Tour’s Volvik Race to the Card, has only made nine of 20 cuts this year. She currently sits at No. 112 on the Official Money List but could avoid a trip to Q-Series with a high finish at Old American Golf Club this week.
“Honestly, I know I need a big week this week, so whatever I score today didn’t really matter, I’m just trying to get to the end goal,” said Meadow. “I just told myself it doesn’t really matter if I’m 7 under, 8 under, I’m going to have to shoot lower than that for a big week. So I think that made me kind of plow on more and not kind of forget about the fact that I was, you know, 8 under par.”
Meadow’s journey on the LPGA Tour is not one for the faint of heart. Meadow won the Heather Farr Perseverance Award for her fight after the death of her father, Robert, during her rookie season in 2015. She has battled through back injuries through her professional career in her attempts to maintain her Tour card. Tomorrow, it will take all her might to perform well again.
“I’m just going to go out there, make smart choices. I’m not going to be stupid aggressive, but give myself some opportunities and I believe in myself and we’ll see what happens,” said Meadow.
OLSON ENJOYS SMOOTH TEXAS MORNING
Under blazing skies and with the usual Texas breezes not a factor, Amy Olson made easy work of her round on Thursday morning. The sixth-year LPGA Tour player, still looking for that elusive first win, carded seven birdies on Thursday, with a three-putt bogey at No. 15 the only blemish on an otherwise smooth round of 6-under 65.
“I didn’t get myself really in much trouble and the putter was working,” said Olson, who is playing in her fifth Volunteers of America Classic but first since it moved to Old American Golf Club in 2018. “These greens can be a little tough because sometimes the grain doesn’t match the slope perfectly, so trying to read them can be a bit of a challenge, but it was fun to see some putts go in the hole.”
Olson’s 65 was the best round of her 2019 season. She had previously shot 66 four times, most recently in the first round of last week’s Indy Women in Tech Championship. If Olson can earn a top-10 finish this week, she would have four top-10s and tie 2018 for the most top-10s in a season in her career.
MONDAY QUALIFIER CARTER BALANCING COACHING AND TOUR LIFE
Dori Carter said her round may have felt like a roller coaster, but she had a ball being able to play the Volunteers of America Classic. Carter, who reached the tournament via the Monday qualifier, recorded nine birdies, a bogey, and a double-bogey to sit in a tie for second after the first round at -6.
“It was fun. I had a couple of big putts that hit the pin and thank goodness it hit the pin. Kind of on a day like that the way things are falling, they’re always kind of falling in your favor kind of,” said Carter. “You just have to enjoy it. I think I learned late on in my career that those days don’t happen very often. I kind of laughed some off and then I kind of really fought back after a bad hole. So it was kind of a really emotional round, up and down, but still, it was a blast.”
Carter’s emotion? Balancing a Tour life and transitioning into her new job as an assistant coach for the University of Louisville women’s golf team. She said this week’s motivation stems from proving to her new students they can do anything.
“I also can think of the nine girls on our Louisville team who are watching every minute of my score, so I’m playing for them,” said Carter. I want them to see that it’s possible and that if you work hard, you can come out here and you can play well.”
TEXAS NATIVE CHEYENNE KNIGHT RIDING HOMETOWN ADVANTAGE
After shooting a first-round 66 at the Volunteers of America Classic, Cheyenne Knight said she has been waiting for this tournament since becoming a 2019 LPGA Tour rookie. “I played a practice round here like two weeks ago and [I’m] just super excited because I think the community really embraces it,” said Knight.
In 2016, the Aledo, Texas, native claimed one of two collegiate spots in the Volunteers of America Classic when the event’s sponsor exemptions included four winners from an amateur play-in competition. Knight, then a freshman at the University of Alabama, made her LPGA debut in front of throngs of friends and family, making the cut and finishing T29.
Knight said she felt the hometown support, joking that the reason for an early-round eagle was because her high school golf coach finally made it to the course. “A lot of my friends and family came out today and watched and it was really special. I always play well in the heat close to home. It was special,” said Knight. “This week I really have nothing to lose, so that’s what I keep telling myself. I have everything to gain, nothing to lose, that’s my mentality. Definitely having my family and friends and getting to stay at home is an extra treat.”
Knight said she knows this week is crucial for her career. She is currently No. 120 on the Official Money List; players ranked No. 101-150 and any ties go to Q-Series, the two-week, eight-round tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., to better their LPGA status. Even with the pressure to maintain her full LPGA Tour card, the former SEC Player of the Year said she feels a strong finish on the horizon this week.
“Something really clicked last week in my ball-striking and that’s kind of been like my detriment all year,” said Knight. “Even though I finished like 60th last week, I’m like really trending in the right direction. So I’m just trying to get some momentum. If I go back to Q Series or I’m putting my foot on the pedal, I have nothing to lose, so that’s the game plan.”
Rolex Rankings No. 12 Stephanie Meadow (63)
- Meadow’s first-round 63 is the lowest round of her LPGA Tour career; her previous best was 66, which she shot three times, most recently in the second round of the 2019 Marathon Classic
- She hit 13 of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- This is the first time in Meadow’s career that she has held the lead following any round
- This is Meadow’s fourth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is solo third at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, in her professional debut and as a non-Member
- Meadow was an LPGA Tour rookie in 2015; after a stress fracture in her back derailed her career in mid-2017, she returned to the Symetra Tour for 2018, where she had one victory and regained her LPGA Tour card via the Volvik Race for the Card
- This is Meadow’s 21st event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is 11th at the Marathon Classic presented by Dana and the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, where she teamed with Giulia Molinaro
- She is competing in her second Volunteers of America Classic; she missed the cut in 2017
- Meadow won the LPGA Tour’s 2015 Heather Farr Perseverance Award in 2015; her father Robert was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer at the beginning of the season and Meadow left the Tour for three months to help care for him before his death in May 2015
- Meadow represented Ireland at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where she tied for 31st
Rolex Rankings No. 47 Amy Olson (65)
- Olson’s 65 is the lowest round of her 2019 season; her previous best was 66 which she shot four times, most recently in the opening round of last week’s Indy Women in Tech Championship
- Her 65 is also tied for the second-lowest round of her LPGA Tour career, behind a first-round 63 at the 2018 CME Group Tour Championship
- She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 28 putts
- Olson is in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is a tie for second at the 2018 Evian Championship
- This is Olson’s 21st event of the 2019 season; she has three top-10 finishes, with a best result of T5 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship
- She is competing in her fifth Volunteers of America Classic; her best finish is 14th in 2014
Rolex Rankings No. 772 Dori Carter (65)
- Carter’s 65 is the lowest round of her 2019 season; her previous best was 66, which she shot in the second round of the Marathon Classic
- She hit 12 of 13 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Carter is in her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is sixth at the 2014 Volunteers of America Classic, where she shot her career-best round of 63 in the second round
- This is Carter’s 22nd event of the 2019 season; her best finish is a tie for 23rd at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
- She is competing in her seventh Volunteers of America Classic; her best finish is sixth in 2014
$15 – Daily Grounds Tickets valid any one day: Tuesday – Sunday (October 1 – 6)
$25 – Weekly Grounds Tickets valid through the week: Tuesday – Sunday (October 1 – 6)
*Gates open to the public starting Tuesday, October 1*
*Kids 17 and under admitted free all week with a ticketed adult*
*Military personnel and veterans admitted free all week with valid military ID*
TV TIMES (all times Eastern on Golf Channel)
Thursday, Oct. 3 – 1-4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4 – 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5 – 1:30-5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct 6 – 1:30-5 p.m.
COMMUNITY AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Tailgate on the Green
Thursday, October 3- Sunday, October 6 | 9th Fairway
The Tailgate on the Green will feature local partners and a fun atmosphere for fans to watch football and lounge while cheering on the world’s best female golfers in action. The Tailgate on the Green is open to all ticketed spectators.
Open 8:00 a.m. on Saturday 10/5, and Sun 10/6
Open 7:00 a.m. on Thursday 10/3, and Friday 10/4
The Kids Zone presented by the Dallas Mavericks
Friday – Sunday | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 9th Fairway
The Kids Zone presented by the Dallas Mavericks is located within Tribute Live! and is open to all ticketed spectators.
Inaugural Tribute Trail 5K presented by AT&T
Saturday, October 5th | Old American Golf Club
The Tribute Trail 5K presented by AT&T is open for runners and walkers of all ages and will include views of Lake Lewisville while incorporating the natural beauty of the trails throughout the golf course at Old American Golf Club. The 5K trail will end at the Tailgate on the Green event area, located just off the 9 fairway where runners can enjoy on-site activations while cheering on the World’s best LPGA golfers.
Stay Connected with the #VOAClassic and #FindtheFeather
For the latest tournament information, exclusive behind-the-scenes access and tournament contests, follow us on Facebook, on Instagram and on Twitter using @VOAClassic. For more information, visit ascendantlpga.com. Follow the LPGA and #DriveOn @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
MEDIA CENTER CONTACT INFORMATION