THE COLONY – For the first time in the tour’s history, the Ladies Professional Golf Association made its annual Texas tour stop in The Colony at Old American Golf Club.
This was only the LPGA’s fifth time to visit Texas after playing the tournament at the Las Colinas Country Club in Irving the previous four stops. Not even spring showers, which canceled play on Thursday and Friday, could squash all the excitement surrounding the new venue, which hosted some of best female golfers in the world.
With talented players from all over the world competing in the tournament, it’s only fitting that the Metroplex was well-represented. Count McKinney resident and McKinney High alum Brittany Lang among the golfers excited to be home.
Though the 2016 U.S. Open champion has struggled some on tour this season, having the opportunity to play an LPGA event in front of family and friends right up the road from her home golf courses the TPC Craig Ranch Country Club and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club was very exciting.
“I think it was a really good move to have the tournament here because the course is great and I think it was a good change for a lot of the girls who make this stop every year,” Lang said. “I’ve been struggling a bit and have been looking for something positive and trying to play a good round.
“Despite putting up big numbers early in the round which put me out of contention, I’m glad I had a solid back nine in front of family and friends and will definitely be back here next year.”
With rain cutting the tournament to just 36 holes, Lang missed the cut by a stroke after shooting a 72 on both May 5-6.
Lang wasn’t the only pro from the Dallas area to compete in the tournament. Allen resident Candie Kung, a 17-year LPGA tour veteran, was also playing near home. After shooting a 73 on Saturday, Kung rebounded Sunday by shooting three-under on the front and back nine to shoot a blazing 66 on the day to finish three-under for the tournament.
For Kung, who mentors a lot of young golfers in the area, playing in front of friendly faces and a full gallery was music to her ears.
“I love being here and this is the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of in a while and this experience has been very fun and I’m glad to be back home,” Kung said. “Overall, minus the rain, I think this has been a good experience for everyone on tour and I love how the course plays, and once I started reading the greens correctly I started playing well. Seeing all the kids here is exciting because they learn a lot from the professionals and hopefully we can keep the tournament here.”
Plano East freshman Megan Winans was also competing instead of watching after playing her way through a field of 50 in the high school/college qualifier to claim an exemption into the tournament a couple of weeks ago. Though Winans finished her 36 holes 11-over on the scoreboard, the memories and wisdom she gained from the once-in-a-lifetime experience only moved her closer to becoming the dominant golfer she wants to be.
“Playing in this tournament was like nothing I have ever done before because the surroundings and atmosphere was totally different, which was awesome,” Winans said. “It really wasn’t that big of a difference than big tournaments I play in other than you have to have the right attitude and make the most of things. This experience only motivates me to get better and showed me just how much more I want to do this in the future.”