‘It felt like the most pure shot I’d ever hit’
WHATCOM — Bellingham senior Sophia Schmidt made history on May 21 as the first girls golfer ever to claim a hole-in-one at the WIAA state golf tournament.
Schmidt’s first career ace helped her place sixth at state with a two-round score of 158 and aided Bellingham in finishing second as a team for the second consecutive year. The Red Raiders tallied 87 points this year.
Schmidt, who placed second at districts, was tied for third after the first round at state this year.
It marked the third straight year Schmidt placed in the top-11 at state. She placed fifth in 2018 with a two-day score of 163, and 11th in 2017 with a combined 171. She was the Northwest Conference Player of the Year in 2017 and was named to the all-league first team this season.
It was a 134-yard drive on hole number 17 on day one of the state tourney at Meadowwood Golf Course of Spokane, the second-to-last hole of the day. Right when she drove the ball, Schmidt knew it had something extra on it. It landed right near the pin before disappearing and she wasn’t sure if it went in or not. She thought it might be hiding behind the flag stick.
“It felt like the most pure shot I’d ever hit in my life,” Schmidt said by email. “I wasn’t totally convinced it was in yet. As I walked up to the green I saw no other balls around it and I walked up to the cup and it was sitting in there. I was super excited to have finally achieved my first hole-in-one and at state of all places, but I didn’t want to be too excited and lose focus as I knew I still had to play well for the rest of the round.”
Schmidt had no idea she was the first girls golfer to hit a hole-in-one until the tournament director approached her and her coach, Brad McKay, and informed them while Schmidt was warming up on the range the second day to prepare for the back nine.
“It still feels unreal to be the first girls golfer to get a hole-in-one at state, as there are so many phenomenal golfers out there in these tournaments,” Schmidt said.