May 25, 2016
ANN ARBOR – What started as a golf event inside Michigan Stadium on Tuesday evening quickly escalated into something more.
After mastering the flop wall and chip challenges set-up for participants of Wednesday’s LPGA Volvik Championship pro-am, Daniela Iacobelli and fellow professional golfers tried their hand at a sport more commonly played inside the Big House.
“This is awesome,” Iacobelli said after taking a few field goal attempts from 20 and 25 yards out. “The record is what, 62 yards? That’s absurd. I was struggling from the 20 yard line.
“This has to be hands down the best pro-am party ever.”
Hundreds of golfers, both professional and amateur, were invited to Tuesday’s pro-am pairings event as an introduction to Wednesday’s pro-am tournament. After the pairings were announced inside the Crisler Center, participants made their way to the football field.
Once inside, attendees tried their hand at a pair of golf challenges in between seizing photo opportunities inside the nation’s biggest football stadium.
Less experienced golfers took pride in chipping the ball through the uprights, while the pros were challenged to lift the ball over the uprights without passing the wall located three yards behind it.
For Iacobelli, who grew up in Clinton Township before moving to Florida at 11 years old, Tuesday’s “Big Break at the Big House” was an opportunity to meet with some of the Volvik Championship’s biggest supporters.
“Everyone I’ve seen has been so excited to have us and we’re so excited to be here,” she said. “I get to be close to home, dad gets to come watch, so this is huge. I love Michigan golf so I’m excited.”
The $1.3 million Volvik Championship kicks off on Thursday and runs through Sunday at Travis Pointe Country Club. Ann Arbor’s first LPGA event features a field of 144 participants, including many of the world’s top golfers.
Justin P. Hicks is a sports reporter and storyteller for MLive / The Ann Arbor News. If you have a unique story you’d like to share, you can reach me at email@example.com. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and MLive.
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