Courtesy of Volunteers of America

Jin Young Ko, a North Texas resident, won the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic last weekend in The Colony.

The Colony has enjoyed four years in the spotlight thanks to the LPGA, and city leaders hope this year’s tournament popularity leads to an even longer partnership.

The Volunteers of America Classic wrapped up July 4 at Old American Golf Club at Golf Clubs at The Tribute with North Texan Jin Young Ko winning the championship and taking home a $1.5 million prize.

The tournament capped off a week of community events, giving The Colony another chance to shine in front of the golf world.

“We love hosting this tournament,” said City Manager Troy Powell. “It's definitely an important component of our overall efforts to build this city into a destination. The VOA Classic brings in visitors from around the world and provides an opportunity to showcase not only our top-rated golf courses but all the great restaurants, attractions, and local businesses here in our city. The Golf Channel coverage puts a huge spotlight on The Colony, Texas, too.

“We are also very thankful of everyone in the community for their continued support,” Powell said, “especially all of the first-responders and city staff, as well as our partners at Matthews Southwest and the Volunteers of America, all of whom work a lot of hours to help pull off an event of this size and scope.”

While this was the fourth year the tournament has taken place in The Colony, it was the third year of a three-year deal to host the event.

It’s unclear if the tournament will return to The Colony in 2022, but organizers said they were pleased with how this year’s event went.

“We have a lot of momentum from this year,” said Emily Podzielinski, tournament director. “We’re going to lean into what went well and get the dates for 2022. Then we’ll start planning for a bigger and better event.”

Podzielinski said one of the things that went well was the community engagement the week of the tournament.

This came despite a rain event July 3 that impacted the tee times for the rest of the tournament

“In general people were eager to get out and go to live events,” Podzielinski said. “We had a handful of community programming, so those centered on the golf event it was great to see the participation.”

Some of the live events included a junior golf clinic, female veterans recognition, a 5K, a concert and a yoga event on the 18th green.

“That was a unique way to get people to come out and have it around a golf environment,” Podzielinski said.

Then there was the tournament itself.

“When Jin Young Ko shot her final putt on the 18th hole the crowd was pretty electric,” Podzielinski said.

Podzielinski said the fact that the winner is from the DFW area made the tournament even more special.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have a champion who is ranked No. 2 in the world and who lives in Dallas-Fort Worth,” Podzielinski said. “You couldn’t ask for a better champion.

“This event is huge for the city,” Podzielinski said. “We know how much this means to the city, as well as the sponsors and the tour.”

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