At the end of a turbulent and taxing fifth and final round of last week's LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Pro V1 loyalist Aree Song's name sat atop the leaderboard, her hopes also high for the year ahead.
Song, 24, conquered unseasonably cool temperatures, rain and 30 mph wind gusts, to shoot a final-round 1-over 73 and earn medalist honors by two shots at LPGA International's Champions Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Fourteen of the 20 players that earned 2011 LPGA cards trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, including Pro V1x loyalist Dewi Schreefel (T-4) and Pro V1 loyalists Nicole Hage (T-10) and Pernilla Lindberg (T-12). Fifteen of the next 20 players that earned conditional status for 2011 also played Titleist golf balls.
In total, 90 players in the field teed up Titleist golf balls, 10 times the nearest competitor with nine.
For Song, having only recently returned to competition from a frustrating shoulder injury, it was just another case of beating the nerves.
At last year's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, Song suffered a nerve injury in her left shoulder when her club got caught in some tree vines mid-swing. The injury sidelined Song for months, but still allowed her to practice her short game and putting.
Last week at Q-School, her game looked as healthy as ever.
“Any time you enter a competition and come out on top, you feel pretty good,” Song said. She finished the five days at 6-under 354, which included an opening-round 67. “(With this weather), I couldn’t hit it as close as I did in the last four days, but I still hit it well.”
“When I step on the course (now), I feel like I can make birdies, and that’s
key for me,” Song told Golfweek.com. “Playing too defensively the last two years.”