BELLAIR – Austin Ernst knew she had a good shot off the right back tee on the 12th hole (147 yards) Monday night in the Pro-am of the Pelican Women’s Championship.
After connecting to her 8-iron, the ball arched in the air and bounced once on the green before falling in seamlessly for a hole-in-one.
Sure, the 29-year-old was excited about the personal figure — the fourth hole-in-one of her career — but she was even more ecstatic for the prize she received from it: a two-year lease on a new Lamborghini.
“I think this (hole-in-one) was the coolest,” Ernst chuckled on Tuesday.
And if Ernst does it again this weekend at the pro-am or Wednesday’s tournament game at Pelican Golf Club, she’ll win another two-year lease. There is also no limit to the number of leases given to different players.
Ernst gets to choose the color of her new ride if she decides to keep it, but if she forgoes the gift, she will receive an unspecified cash prize.
Monday was the first day she’d been in a Lamborghini.
“It feels like it’s probably going pretty fast,” she said. “I feel like taking a little test drive.”
The Greenville, SC native said everyone on the course asked for a ride and tips on the 12th hole on Tuesday so they could have the same fortune.
“It’s a long list (of people),” Ernst said. “I think we should park it (at the clubhouse) and get it lined up.”
Ernst, who had four top-10 results (including a win) on tour last year, scored her first hole-in-one career during her first year with LSU in the 2011 National Championships. She was the program’s first woman to win. won a title in the program’s 32-year history.
LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship
True: Pelican Golf Club, Belleair
Handbag: $1.75 million
History: Sei Young Kim won the inaugural tournament last year.
Players to watch: World No. 1 Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko (2), Sei Young Kim (4), Lydia Ko (5), Yuka Saso (6), Nasa Hataoka (8), Brooke Henderson (10), Danielle Kang (11) , Patty Tavatanakit (12), Lexi Thompson (13).
Coverage: Live, 10am Thursday-Friday, Golf Channel. Livestream, Saturday-Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, nbcsports.com. Taped, 7:30pm Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel.