The temperatures had dipped into the low 40s and the wind was strong at the Benedictine University Spring Triangular. Freshman Laura Ringo, one of the members of the women’s golf team at North Central, was mainly focused on keeping warm.
“I had like four Under Armours on,” said Ringo. “I just (wanted to) make sure I could swing with all the layers on.”
Ringo, a Lemont native, didn’t have any idea she’d become the second golfer in North Central’s history to record a hole-in-one. The only other time an athlete recorded an ace was seven years ago, when Alyssa Gaudio hit one in 2009. But, perhaps there was a little bit of well-timed foreshadowing in Ringo’s case that something special was going to happen.
“The week before, my best friend shot a hole-in-one (at her) school,” said Ringo.
The tournament was held at St. Andrews, just 10 minutes down the road from North Central’s campus. The beginning of the tournament was a little up and down, Ringo said, with a bit of an inconsistent swing that she was trying to work on throughout the tournament.
Then she arrived at the 15th hole, a par-three, 145-yard hole. It was a pretty clear shot to the hole, with just two sand traps bordering the green.
As Ringo set up to take her shot, someone else was cheering her on in addition to her coaches and teammates –Ringo’s father was one of her spectators. Ringo said that her father usually comes to watch her play, but had been recently transferred by his employer to Florida, so now it wasn’t as easy for him to come watch. Regardless, he flew up to watch her play, and managed to get to the golf course just two holes before Ringo’s golden shot –though Ringo says it wasn’t quite what you’d call a “traditional” shot.
In the words of her father, “It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.”
Ringo was aiming to just get the ball on the green, but her shot fell a little short and hit 20 yards before the green. Instead of rolling to a stop, it took a funny bounce and jumped into a sand trap, where it then ricocheted out of the trap and onto the green, where it rolled into the hole.
“I kind of just stopped and stood there (after the shot),” said Ringo. “I turned around really slow and asked “Are you sure?”
The silence broke as everyone started cheering. A little luck and a couple bounces went a long way, and Ringo earned her first collegiate hole-in-one.