WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — If Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands comes up one or two strokes short of winning the Kingsmill Championship, she has only herself to blame. On Friday morning, ignorance of the rules cost her two shots at the River Course.
To her credit, Schreefel recovered brilliantly from her misfortune, shooting a second consecutive 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead midway through the second round at the River Course.
Returning to Kingsmill early as one of 33 players who failed to complete the rain-delayed first round, Schreefel placed her ball where she had left her marker on the green at hole No. 8 the previous night. But as she lined up her putt, the ball drifted downhill.
Schreefel returned the ball to where it was marked and putted from there, making a two-putt par. Soon afterward, a rules official notified Schreefel that she would be penalized two strokes as she should have played the ball where it came to rest.
It was an unusual situation, having much to do with the stoppage in play and changing condition of the green from dusk, when play was halted Thursday, to shortly after dawn Friday, when it was resumed.
“Things like that just kind of fuel me up,” Schreefel said. “It’s a little upsetting in the moment and you’re losing two shots while you’re in the hunt to make a really good score. It’s unfortunate but we live and learn.”
The 26-year-old Schreefel won the NCAA individual championship six years ago at USC, but has never captured an LPGA event. In her first trip to Kingsmill, Schreefel has a favorite hole – No. 7, a 485-yard par 5 – which she has eagled twice from the fairway. On Thursday evening, Schreefel did it with a 60-degree wedge from 35 yards out. Approximately 15 hours later, Schreefel did it with a 56-degree wedge from 41 yards.
“Two totally different shots because yesterday I played [it] high,” Schreefel said. “This morning I could play it low.”
Schreefel has played brilliantly under difficult circumstances. He finished up on Thursday at about 7:45 and cancelled her plan for a cookout, opting for a Subway sandwich. She watched some U.S. Open tennis and went to bed at about 9:30, rising at 5:15 to get to the course by 6.
But Schreefel has been resilient so far. This morning, she was informed of her rules violation just before teeing off at No. 9, but birdied the hole anyway, draining a 25-foot putt.
“Don’t get upset about it. You’re playing well and hitting the shots you want to, so just keep focused on that,” Schreefel said she told herself on No. 9. “If you make a birdie on that first hole, it really keeps you going.”
With the River Course playing soft, Schreefel’s lead will likely be overtaken by the time the afternoon wave of players have completed the second round. But it would have been nice to have put her lead a little further out there.