About a month ago, 15-year-old Pittsburgh native Lauren Freyvogel won the first Women’s Health Classic Junior Challenge on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour at The Links at Stoney to earn a spot in the upcoming Symetra Tour event, which begins on Thursday, May 11 in Greenwood, S.C.
"I’m so excited to play in my very first professional golf tournament,” said Freyvogel, who is a high school sophomore. "I’m very grateful for the opportunity provided by the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Medford, and the LPGA Symetra Tour. I’m honored to represent the Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour (PKBGT) as well. I can’t wait to tee it up with the professional ladies. I believe it will be an incredible experience to be able to be inside the ropes and play in this event. I plan to soak up as much knowledge as I can from these professional golfers.”
She finished the 36-hole qualifier at 3-over, 147 to earn the spot. Five-time LPGA winner Cindy Rarick was in Greenwood to present Freyvogel with the trophy.
"It was super exciting to qualify for the sponsor exemption,” said Freyvogel. "I played a really solid first round, shooting 2-under 70, and had a four shot lead. My lead increased to nine shots during the final round, but then I dropped a few shots and other girls made some birdies. My lead dropped to only three shots at one point, but I was able to finish strong and win by four shots.”
Freyvogel has been playing golf since she was 5-year-old and was actually an inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Finalist in 2014 and got to compete at Augusta National Golf Club.
She now has three wins on the PKBGT Tour.
Additionally, she was the 2015 & 2016 WPIAL Class AAA Section Champion and became the first female golfer from Pine-Richland to ever compete in the Pennsylvania State High School Championship.
Although she hasn’t made any decision as to where she will play college, she hopes to compete for an NCAA Championship one day.
As for her maiden voyage into professional golf, she simply wants to enjoy the experience and play into the weekend.
"I would love to make the cut and play in the final round on Mother’s Day, with my mom watching me and my dad as my caddy,” said Freyvogel. "That would be so cool"