Chella Choi Wins 1st Ever LPGA Tour Event at Marathon Classic!
Chella Choi Wins 1st Ever LPGA Tour Event at Marathon Classic with Signature Orange Volvik Golf Ball
After seven years and 157 LPGA Tour events, Volvik staff player Chella Choi fulfilled her lifelong dream Sunday when she won her first LPGA Tour victory at the Marathon Classic near Toledo, Ohio.
The 24-year-old Choi held off the #2 ranked player in the world and defending Marathon Classic champion to win the event in a 1-hole playoff with her signature Orange Volvik S3 golf ball. It was the third LPGA Tour win in as many years for a player playing a Volvik golf ball and the second in LPGA Tour history with an Orange golf ball.
Choi has been one of the most consistent professionals on the LPGA Tour over the last few years. Last season, she finished 8th in the final LPGA Tour money list rankings. Before the victory, she had collected three runner-up finishes and had been within two strokes of the leader in the final round seven times without securing a win.
“You know, first time win is hard,” said Choi. “I cannot believe it. Hopefully, this is a turning point for me. It’s been a long time, seven years. So, I was really, really excited and happy.”
Choi's father, Ji Yeon, has caddied for her since she turned professional seven years ago and had repeatedly said he wouldn't retire until she won.
"I wanted to work with my father for my first win,” said Choi “So my father worked with me until now. My father wants to retire because we promise, but I don’t know. We will talk later.”
Before becoming her as a full time caddie, her father was a police officer.
Choi recorded 28 Top 10 finishes before her first career win. Choi earned $225,000 with her first victory and jumped from 40th to 25th in the world ranking. She also moved up the official 2015 LPGA money list from 31st to 18th.
In the playoff, Choi chipped onto the green from 87 yards on the Par 5 18th hole and two-putted from 25 yards for the par and the victory. Choi explained how her father’s calming presence helped guide her to the win.
“I missed my tee shot,” said Choi, “but I don’t have confidence in win, like I don’t have experience of win, so it’s really a little bit nervous. I tried to focus, and my father said, ‘it’s okay. You like draw hole. Try to be patient and make par.’ So I tried to be patient and focus on just trying to make a par. So I made a par, so excited!”
Choi finished 72 holes with a score of 14-under par 270. Last week, Choi fired a 29 on the front nine at Lancaster Country Club, a new nine-hole record for a US Women's Open.
Players using Volvik golf balls have now earned three LPGA Tour victories the past three seasons. In 2013, Ilhee Lee won the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic with a Yellow Vista iS 4-piece golf ball. In 2014, Volvik staffer Mi Hyang Lee won for the first time on the LPGA Tour at the Mizuno Classic. She was the first player to ever win on the LPGA Tour with an Orange golf ball and also won with the 95-compression S3, the same Choi won with this weekend. It is the 4th worldwide win for the S3, the Golf Digest Hot List award winning ball that has independently tested as the straightest tour ball on the market.
Four Volvik staffers playing three different colors (Orange, Pink and Yellow) currently rank in the Top 31 of the Race to the CME Globe. Choi ranks 16th, Ilhee Lee 21st, Mi Hyang Lee 28th and Pornanong Phatlum ranks 31st.
Volvik is the #1 Color Golf Ball on Tour with over 75 professionals using Volvik's ultra high-performance color golf balls on the world's professional tours. Since 2012, players using Volvik golf balls have earned over $8.5 million in prize money on the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour,Web.com Tour, Ladies European Tour, LAGT and Symetra Tour with 14 victories and over 100 Top 10 finishes.
Volvik has experienced more color golf balls in play on the world's professional tours than any other manufacturer in the history of golf.
Volvik is dedicated to the production of specialized 3- and 4-piece multi-layer golf balls that feature 41 worldwide patents. In over 30 years of golf ball production, Volvik has developed a reputation based on highly innovative development, quickly becoming one of the most significant and trusted golf ball manufacturers in the world.