Once again, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions kept everyone on their toes with riveting competition between LPGA champions and a celebrity field of more than 50 competitors.
Hosted under strict safety protocols, including mandatory COVID-19 testing of all players, caddies and tournament staff, the Tournament of Champions kicked off the 2021 LPGA Tour with a bang at Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
For the second consecutive year, it took extra holes to decide a winner. On Sunday morning, Jessica Korda started the day just 2 strokes behind week-long leader Danielle Kang. Korda had been hot on Kang’s trail on Saturday afternoon, working to close in on Kang’s lead and put herself in contention for the win.
And she didn’t disappoint – tying it up on Hole 16 when Kang drove far right into the trees, making par and leaving just enough room for Korda to swoop in with a birdie to even the playing field.
“At the end of the day, the level of talent, the level of golf is incredible on the LPGA Tour – it’s harder and harder to win each year,” Korda told Golf Channel. “I mean, who shoots 24 under and then has to birdie their playoff hole to have a chance to win? This is what it’s like, week in, week out.”
In the celebrity field, familiar face Mardy Fish had a strong lead by Sunday morning and continued to solidify his place at the top of the pack. Playing a modified Stableford format, Fish finished with 158 points, putting him 11 points above the nearest competitor. U.S. Army wounded veteran and professional golfer Chad Pfeifer finished second with 147 points, and two-time MLB All-Star pitcher Mark Mulder finished third with 145 points.
This year, two young female amateurs also qualified to play alongside the LPGA pros and celebrities when they both scored even par at the Insurance Office of America Pro-Am on January 20. Katherine Schaefer, 14, and Ariana Urrea, 13, made a splash on the course, and we caught up with them to talk about their experience playing alongside some of their LPGA idols on Tournament of Champions – Press Pass.
Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of all the action at the 2021 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. We’re already looking forward to making more unforgettable memories in 2022!