It came under unusual circumstances, but Peiyun Chien has the tournament title she has long coveted.
Atop the leader board of the Kansas City Championship following Saturday’s second round at Staley Farms Golf Club with a 9-under 135, Chien won the event when officials canceled Sunday’s final round due to poor course conditions after two downpours of rain.
“I’ve dreamed for a very long time about winning, and to finally win is great,” said Chien, a native of Chinese Taipei. “This is the first (Symetra Tour) tournament win in my life. I had a lot of chances to win tournaments before but I always finished second.”
Patrick Riha, the tournament’s director, said the second storm made it nearly impossible for the event to go on.
“The first storm came through and dropped torrential rains and winds and every bunker was damaged to some degree. They worked for over three hours to get the course ready, and when the second storm came through, we had to start over again,” Riha said. “The rules require half the field to finish to go into Monday. Because we weren’t confident that we were able to do that, we called it.”
Despite not getting all three rounds in, Riha noted the tournament was a success and hopes to make it a mainstay on the Symetra Tour.
“The LPGA thought it was a great event. So far, all the comments from the players, volunteers and the tour were positive,” he said. “With the success we had, with the attitude everyone has shown, we feel confident in bringing the tournament back. Everyone is excited about the tournament going forward.”
For Chien, the win moves her closer to her ultimate goal.
“It will help me move up the money rankings to where maybe next year I’ll have my LPGA card,” she said.
Fleenor first in KC Amateur
Preston Fleenor shot a 71 Sunday and won the Kansas City Amateur at Shoal Creek Golf Course by 4 shots.
Fleenor, who played at Pembroke Hill, finished at 9-under 204.
Ryne Fisher shot a 74 and finished second at 208.
What: Digital Ally Open
When/where: Thursday through Sunday at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate
Other events: There will be pro-ams today and Wednesday and practice rounds on Tuesday.
What: Vinzant/Cosnottio Memorial Junior Golf Tournament
When/where: Today through Wednesday at Sykes/Lady Overland Park Golf Club
Who: About 400 golfers will be divided into 18-hole, nine-hole and par-3 divisions.