It’s not how, it’s how many.
For China’s Xi Yu Lin, the golf cliché seemed applicable during the second round at the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament. On the 179-yard par-3 16th at Siam Country Club, the 20-year-old appeared to have hit too much club with her 22-degree hybrid as her tee shot landed roughly 35 feet past the hole.
The saving grace was that the ball caught a slope behind the green and slowly began trickling toward the hole. Lin saw this starting to happen, and figured she had gotten a break. Little did she know just how big it turned out.
Unfortunately, Lin didn’t actually see the ball disappear in the cup. “I hear my caddie saying, ‘Let’s just get in the hole.’ I’m like, ‘No way,’ ” Lin said. “Then when I picked the tee up and walked to the back, and I really just couldn’t believe it.”
The improbable ace also was a profitable one, as the tournament sponsor was giving away a new car to any player who made a hole-in-one on the 16th during the tournament. It was the first time anyone had ever won the car on the hole since Honda started dangling the four-wheel carrot 10 years ago.
Lin, who splits her time in China and the U.S., got a driver’s license in the States last year but said she did not own a car. Not a bad way to fix that problem.
“I’m going to go have a look [at the car] tomorrow,” said Lin, who shot a 68 for the round and is four strokes back of 36-hole leader Amy Yang. “When I walked off the tee, I just didn’t believe. I was thinking they were kidding, so I didn’t really look at the car, but it’s funny, like then on the 17th hole I see the group behind coming in, and I was thinking, ‘OK, don’t touch my car, that’s my car.”
It was Lin’s second hole-in-one in an LPGA event, the first coming last year at the Canadian Women’s Open.
Oh, and it was Lin’s birthday only the day before. Happy Birthday, indeed.