China’s Xi Yu Lin waited until the day after her birthday to give herself the biggest gift of all.
Playing in the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand on Friday, Lin made her second career hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole.
Her 22-degree hybrid from 179 yards appeared to have too much on it, landing almost 35 feet past the hole, but the ball caught a slope and slowly trickled down towards the cup.
From her vantage point, Lin thought she’d gotten lucky, but she had no idea just how much.
The ball ended up in the hole and Lin, who had just turned 20 the day before, now had a belated birthday present in the form of a brand new Honda Accord 2.4EL 5AT.
“I saw my ball land on the slope, and I saw it start coming back, and I thought, hmm, it’s going to be close to the pin, and I hear my caddie saying, ‘Let’s just get in the hole,’” said Lin. “I’m like, ‘no way.’ Then when I picked the tee up and walked to the back, and I really just couldn’t believe it.”
The car has been on offer at the tournament for the past 10 years, but Lin is the first player to claim it.
“Oh, that’s my honor,” said Lin. “It’s funny, yesterday I hit the same club, and my ball finished, I think, like a yard from the hole today, so I was thinking, okay, tomorrow it’s going to be the same strategy for me, so I just hit exactly the same club, the same way to hit it, and it’s the same way, so it did go in. It worked.”
Lin will be able to make full use of the prize. While she received her American driver’s license last year, she hadn’t bought a new car yet.
Now she no longer has to.
“I’m going to go have a look [at the car] tomorrow,” said Lin. “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, okay, don’t touch my car, that’s my car.”