A hole-in-one is a rare feat in golf. Most golfers go their entire life without marking down a “1” on their scorecard.
Vandal golfer Kaitlyn Oster, a junior from Hillsboro, Ore., got to see just that as she aced a hole on Oct. 8 in Las Cruces, N.M., at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Intercollegiate.
On a windy day, at the New Mexico State University Golf Course, hole 11, she stood there with a tough decision to make — to use the 8- or 7-iron?
“It was right in the middle, in the front. I was kind of in-between clubs, and I was trying to decide which one to choose,” Oster said.
Oster may have caught a break, as she was second to hit.
“I was the second one to go, so I watched the other girl hit her ball first, and watched what the wind was doing. Then I pulled out my club and hit it like normal,” Oster said. “It looked like it was going straight at (the hole), then it hit like a foot before and then all of sudden it disappeared.”
With none of her teammates around to celebrate with her, Oster found herself in unfamiliar territory, celebrating with the competition.
“I was just silent at first and in shock. Then the girl I was playing with gave me a high five, then the Tulsa coach was freaking out and everyone was all excited,” Oster said.
Idaho coach Lisa Johnson didn’t get to see the hole-in-one, but Tulsa coach Randy Keck made sure she found out right away, even with a picture to prove it.
“I heard it from the Tulsa coach. He was nice enough to take a picture,” Johnson said. “I was very excited for her, and then I immediately wanted myself or my assistant to go check on her because the emotional reaction is usually very positive, but sometimes kind of a negative reaction. So I just wanted to get to her to make sure she was calm, and refocused.”
Johnson must not have got there fast enough, as Oster might have been a little flustered following the ace. Oster said she grabbed her putter when she got to the green before it registered that she wouldn’t have to use it. On the next hole, Oster hit the ball out of bounds.
“She did get a little excited, and hit a couple of mistakes after, but then she hit a great shot and recovered and did great,” Johnson said.
Oster would end up refocusing and continued to enjoy a great tournament, as she finished tied for fourth out of 77 competitors with a 1-under-par 215.
The hole-in-one couldn’t have happened at a better time for Oster, as it had been one of her long-time goals.
“She’s the one on the team who is constantly talking about how she has never had a hole-in-one and how irritating it was,” Johnson said.
Oster said her father and her younger sister, who is three years younger, would joke with her because her sister had already hit a hole-in-one. Now Oster has one too.
Oster joins three other Vandals who have hit holes-in-one for the women’s golf team — Rachel Choi, Annika Karlsson, and Kayla Mortellaro. Choi is currently a senior on the women’s golf team and Mortellaro, a 2012 Idaho graduate, has enjoyed success in the LPGA.
“Kaitlyn (Oster) is a great teammate, she is the ultimate student athlete, has excellent grades, 3.9 plus GPA, she is very coachable and extremely competitive,” Johnson said. “She is a leader by example and well respected by her teammates.”
Korbin McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org