Alum Dewi Claire Schreefel will never forget the 7-iron she hit on the par-3, 157-yard 12th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco during the final round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic on April 27.
With one swing, she put $100,000 in her pocket and gave herself a considerable amount of financial freedom for the remainder of the year. Chinatrust Bank ran the hole-in-one promotion at the inaugural LPGA event, and Schreefel cashed in on it in grand style.
“Perfect hole to do it.” Schreefel said after carding a 71 in the round to finish tied for 30th. “I was walking up 18 and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s worth more than a car.’ So it’s great. It’s only my second one, so awesome.”
It was Schreefel’s first LPGA ace and only the second hole-in-one of her career, with the first one coming on the Symetra Tour. It was a thrill for the fifth-year pro.
“This one I could see,” said Schreefel, who has earned $90,936 this season. “I hit a perfect shot and I was like, ‘Oh, be good.’ I think Suzann (Pettersen) yelled, ‘Get in,’ and then it was in. It was awesome.”
The first Dutch player to qualify for the LPGA, Schreefel has had mixed results since joining the Tour in 2010. After a couple of lean years, she earned $153,777 in 2012 and put another $164,767 in her bank account last year.
Schreefel’s career earnings heading into this weekend’s event in Virginia were $545,620, so the six-figure hole-in-one was a thrill.
“It’s just a nice bonus,” she said. “It was a great shot, a great moment, and I was just lucky it was on that hole. I’ll sure take the money and do some fun things with it, but nothing major.”
There won’t be any crazy purchases or extravagant expenditures from Schreefel, who is being smart with the unexpected windfall of cash.
“People ask me all the time, ‘What are you going to do with the money?’ and I don’t really have an answer,” said Schreefel, who has two career top-10 finishes. “It’s nice to have, and I’m pretty sure I can pay all of my expenses this year. I don’t have to worry about that, so in that way it’s very nice.”
Naturally, Schreefel will have a soft spot in her heart for the tournament for quite some time, and she was impressed by the first-year event’s success.
“It’s an awesome course, we’re right there by a huge city, and there were great crowds, so I think it’s going to be a great event,” she said. “It’s a good sponsor that loves women’s golf, and I don’t think we can ask for anything more. It’s a good test, and I think everybody enjoyed it.”
The money will enable her to focus on the task at hand on the golf course and alleviate the worries of travel expenses and entry fees. It will make things easier for Schreefel as she sets her sights on goals for 2014.
“I’m looking to get more top-10s and get more comfortable playing later into the weekends,” she said. “I want to use all of the experience I have, put together a good year and take it to the next level.”