The LPGA Tour returns to play with the third playing of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America. Winners from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons have made their way to Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club, with 2020 DRTOC winner Gaby Lopez hoping to reclaim the title she earned after emerging victorious from a seven-hole playoff that spilled into Monday. She is joined by three players inside the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in No. 4 Nelly Korda, No. 5 Danielle Kang and No. 6 Brooke Henderson.
The exciting field also includes 53 celebrities covering a range of talents in the sports and entertainment worlds, who will tee alongside the LPGA Tour stars all four days. Notable celebrities include two-time defending DRTOC celebrity winner and World Series champion John Smoltz, musician Cole Swindell, and actors Brian Baumgartner and Jack Wagner.
NOT MUCH REST, BUT DANIELLE KANG MAKES IT TO DRTOC
Nearly a month has passed since Rolex Ranking No. 5 Danielle Kang stood on the 18th green at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., with a smile on her face and the 2020 Vare Trophy in hand. Yet despite the holiday break, Kang says she doesn’t feel that rested heading into this week’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
“It wasn't really a break. There were two moves. I moved, then I got exposed to Coronavirus twice,” said Kang, who arrived in Orlando from her Las Vegas home on Monday. “Had to quarantine twice. Take six tests in the last two weeks. It's been a little hectic.”
Luckily for Kang, this week’s tournament is a bit more laid back with more than 50 celebrities competing alongside the Tour players. This is Kang’s third consecutive tournament appearance and for the third straight year, she’ll spend a round with country musicians Cole Swindell and Lee Brice.
“I play with them every year, the three of us get paired. I'm really excited to see them,” said Kang, who will join her musical friends off the first tee at 9:40 a.m. on Thursday. “I just saw Lee earlier today and his crew. Those boys are really, really nice guys. At least once a year we get to play golf no matter what, which is here, and I'm really excited. I'm excited for the tournament to be here every year, and I asked (Diamond Resorts CEO) Mike Flaskey to don't ever take it away, because it's a pretty awesome event. He's doing so many good things with his charity and clothing line and all that stuff.”