It might be pretty tough to top making a hole-in-one on your way to winning an NCAA Championship, but Austin Ernst may have done just that.
The Seneca native made an ace when she won the NCAA Individual championship in 2011 at LSU. The national championship helped launch her professional career the following year.
Now she could have a new way to drive from tournament to tournament on the Tour.
The three-time winner on the LPGA Tour has been driving a Tahoe around the country, but now must decide if she is going to take advantage of the two-year lease she won on one of the world’s most elite sports cars.
Ernst made an ace during the Pro-Am before this weeks Pelican Women’s Championship near Clearwater, Florida.
Her brother, Drew who is her caddie, thought she was between an 8 and 9 iron on the 147 yard hole. She picked a “little 8” and made the ace.
There were no cameras around to film it, but the hole-in-one earned her a two-year lease on a Lamborghini Huracan.
Ernst told “Golfweek”“I hit it barely off the toe, but it was right online and landed on the green and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s got a chance. And we saw it roll out and I was like, ‘Did that just go in?’” she recalled.
Her father Mark, a long time Upstate PGA Professional and now a Volunteer Assistant with the Clemson women’s golf program isn’t sure his daughter and the car will be a good combination.
“It is a mid-engine car so she might have to carry a small bag in the passenger seat,” joked Ernest. “She might need a trailer to haul all her stuff to each tournament,” he added.
The Lamborghini is about as close as you can come to having a Formula One race car on the street with a license plate.
“They said the car goes from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds with 650 horsepower you probably need to be a NASCAR driver to handle it,” added her father.
Ernst was married at the beginning of October so it could be a second family car for her and husband Jason Dods.
Fortunately the Lamborghini does not have a race car transmission. It is automatic.
“I was like wait, I can’t drive a stick,” said Ernst. “Probably shouldn’t learn how to drive on that car either,” she told “Golfweek”.
The Lamborghini dealer in Tampa may be a glutton for punishment. The dealership is putting up more cars for the pros to win during the regular tournament this week. Any other player who aces the 12th hole gets a two-year lease just like Ernst.
Mark Ernst will take a little time off from his teaching in the upstate and working with Clemson as the Tigers have finished the fall season and are in exams. He will be with Austin for the next couple of weeks in Florida and is hoping to get a look at the car.
“I was caddying for her at one tournament when she made a hole-in-one, but she never won anything for it. I’m looking forward to seeing this car, but I don’t think I will be driving it back to Seneca,” he joked.
You can follow Austin Ernst on twitter @austinernst92 and Mark who offers private instruction in the upstate when he is not with the Clemson women’s team can be reached at email: email@example.com
Categories: LPGA Tour