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Mar 21

Dewi Claire Schreefel

Dutch Golfer in Contention at JTBC

I’m always on the lookout for countries that are just getting into the game of golf, countries that are building new courses, opening new academies, and hosting tournaments from the major tours. It has been fun to watch as China, Taiwan, and Thailand become powerful entities in recent years, and my attentions continue to search non-western continents to see who is coming out next.  Perhaps, I think, Morocco will emerge, or perhaps Armenia – but I never expected to see it come out of continental Europe in the form of a Dutch player named Dewi Claire Schreefel.

dewi Frankly, I thought that the Netherlands was already here, but apparently Ms. Schreefel, the first Dutch player to qualify for the LPGA and European Ladies Tour, is the most high profile of all her countrywomen after dominating junior golf in that country for years before coming to the states. That record is endless, and can be enumerated when there’s more space for it.
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Schreefel’s mother is Dutch, and her father is Indonesian, a native of Djakarta, and unless I’m mistaken, the name is pronounced in the same way as “Davie” or “Davies.” Perhaps Schreefel and Laura Davies should check it out. The Netherlands is one of those countries that speaks a form of German, which I can read passably well, but someone came in the night and turned all the letters around. It is a country that makes sport of putting unlikely vowels together in a series, double “a” in particular, but for the sake of the game, I’m willing to learn a new dialect. It’s not Schreefel’s fault – the Swedes, Finns, Norwegians, and Icelanders do the same thing.

I wasn’t aware of Schreefel’s presence on the tour until this week at the JTBC Founder Cup, where she appeared on the elite end of the leaderboard. Through the second round, in fact, she has remained there, at seven under, four behind the lead. I didn’t know that she’s played in three World Amateurs, is affiliated with Puma and Tetherow,  and has earned upward of 661,000 since turning pro in 2010, attaining full status in 2011. That isn’t exactly rolling in dough, but it will keep enough of it on the table.
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Coming to the states around the early 2000s, Schreefel was a mainstay of the University of Southern California’s golf team. One would think I’d heard of her accomplishments there, but she won the NCAA individual championship anyway, and was the first player to ever come from behind to do it. A two-time All American at USC, she also qualified for the Ladies British Amateur and the U.S. Amateur.

Following college days, Schreefel won twice on the international stage, the first at the Helsingborg Open on the European Ladies Tour, the second coming on the Symetra tour in the ING New England Classic. The Helsingborg she won by seven strokes, and in New England by three.

Holding up well going into the third round of the JTBC, Schreefel finds herself in an excellent striking position if she continues to pour it on, and avoids the occasional bogey that negates her otherwise fine play. On the flip side, there are no walks in the park to be had this week. Sitting above her are folks such as Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, Hyoo Joo Kim, and several other rivals that Schreefel has undoubtedly seen on her European travels.

So do whatever you think is necessary to the German language. We’ll untangle it eventually. It’s only right that the Netherlands are well-represented among the elite of the golf world, and Dewi Claire Schreefel seems like the person to do it.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.