Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions: Five takeaways

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Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions takeaways that could make the LPGA’s season-opening lightening in a bottle even better!

The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions got the LPGA‘s 2019 season off to a very fine start. After that interminable eight-week break, the TOC looked and felt like a golf-feast, a small feast that was short-lived but nonetheless a feast.

LPGA Commish Mike Whan  and Diamond Resorts CEO Mike Flaskey caught a little lightening in a bottle with the TOC. From a celeb field that clearly enjoyed themselves to a pro field who for the most part played golf like they hadn’t been on an 8-week break, from the on-course music to the post-round night life, there was a little bit of something for just about everybody who loves the game of golf and a good party!

Tranquilo proved a delightful venue for staging this inaugural event. The Tranquilo track offered just enough tests and challenges to keep the field of LPGA champions and athlete-celebs on their toes. At the same time, with its open fairways and generous if tricky greens, the resort track made golf look fun. I’d like to take a run at Tranquilo myself!

It’s not insignificant that the celeb field attracted a media presence that will grow the women’s game by promoting it well beyond the usual broadcast coverage range. Ron Sirak captured this jammed-up media center scene!

I enjoyed some beautiful golf shots, and in the end Eun-Hee Ji and John Smoltz proved themselves to be worthy champions!

The 2009 U.S. Women’s Open champion proved she has staying power. Ji battled wind and cold and fought off Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson to claim her fifth Tour victory on Sunday. And Smoltz showed us that a baseball pitcher’s arm and eye can be deadly on the golf course.

In short, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions was a delightful, innovative start to the LPGA’s 2019 season. These are my takeaways from an event that left me wanting more!

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