Brazilian Victoria Lovelady lit up the Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Course in the first round of the Buick Championship on Thursday when she made a hole-in-one at the 16th, to win a top of the range Buick GL8, worth approximately 60,000 euros.
Having received an invitation to play in the tournament courtesy of the golf club, Lovelady used a hybrid 5 club to ace the 187-yard par-3 16th, which played as her seventh hole.
After signing for an opening round of one under par 71, she told reporters: “I started today playing a little but poorly: I started bogey, par, bogey. Right before the hole in one I had a birdie so I was happy. With that shot, the wind was crossed, right to left. From the practice round I remembered that the green was very firm so I thought, ‘I’m just going to have fun here, hit a draw and let the wind take it and do my best.’
“All of a sudden, I see the ball crossing in front of the flag. It bounced left of the flag and then all of a sudden the ball goes right and hits the pin and I hear the noise and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it just went in!’ I was hugging all the caddies and all the players and everyone was happy so it was a lot of fun. Then everyone started to point behind my back. I was just happy with my score but then all of a sudden I had won a Buick and that was really amazing.”
Lovelady, who began to play golf in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics Games next summer, felt extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to compete in the tournament.
She added: “I feel extremely blessed to be playing this sport, to be part of the LET and to be able to come to China to play. Not many people have that chance. I want to thank the people who invited me here. Coming from Brazil, a country of 200 million where only 15,000 people play golf, I feel extremely blessed to be one of them and representing my country in this fantastic tournament in amazing conditions on this great course.”