A popular saying states that you must first walk before you run. Second-year LPGA Tour member Dewi Claire Schreefel is ready to start running.
Schreefel enters the 2012 season with the momentum of a solid season last year in which she made 10 of 15 cuts and banked $136,140. That put her 62nd on the final money list – not bad for her first full season on Tour.
“Last year being my first full year, I was pretty satisfied with how it came out,” Schreefel said. “For me, it was a year of making sure I secured my LPGA card and got as much experience on top of the leaderboard as I could. I did that a few times, so I know I can only go higher this year and hopefully have some good finishes.”
Her top finish last year was 11th place at the RICOH Women’s British Open, a result that gave Schreefel confidence that she can compete with the best. All things considered, she was pleased with her 2011 campaign.
“You always want more as a golfer, but looking back on it, I think I can be happy with how I performed last year,” Schreefel said. “I think I can take a lot from it for this season, so I’m looking forward to it.”
The first Dutch player to qualify for the LPGA Tour, Schreefel has enjoyed success at every level of her golf career. After taking up the game at the age of 9, she went on to win five Dutch Stroke-Play Championship titles (1999-2000, 2002-04), as well as the 2004 Italian Women’s Amateur Championship and the Dutch Match-Play Championship.
She then took her talents to California, where she was the 2006 NCAA champion and a three-time All-American at USC. The Trojans won the 2008 NCAA team title with Schreefel in the lineup, and she posted 14 top-10 finishes during her collegiate career, including three wins.
Like many current Tour players, Schreefel cut her teeth in the pro ranks on the Symetra Tour, where she played in 2009 and 2010. She won the 2009 ING New England Golf Classic and had four other top-10 finishes.
The Symetra Tour, Schreefel says, was a great place for her to learn the ins and outs of being a professional golfer.
“I learned how to be on the road by myself and to play professional golf,” Schreefel said. “Even though I didn’t get my full card, it taught me a lot. I learned a lot by doing that and grinding it out on that level, and I think it makes you appreciate the LPGA Tour a lot.
“It’s a good stepping stone.”
Now, with a solid first LPGA season in the books, Schreefel is focused on achieving her goals in 2012 and beyond.
“I want to work on my own little goals I’ve set up, and if I do that well enough, I’ll put up better results,” she said. “With that, I’ll be getting top 10s and playing for a trophy. But it’s all up to how well I play and stick to my own goals.
“That’s all I can ask of myself – to stay within myself, and I’m sure my ability will speak for itself.”
Away from the course, Schreefel enjoys surfing, field hockey and rock climbing, among other outdoor activities. She said it’s crucial for a touring pro to have outside interests that serve as positive distractions throughout the season.
“It’s very important,” Schreefel said. “It’s so easy for us to get caught up in practicing, practicing, practicing and playing. Your mind goes crazy. It’s important for me to have my mind on something else so that, when I’m on the golf course, I’ll be focused and ready to go.”
And, with the bulk of the Tour season ready to begin in earnest, she is ready to go.
“I’m competing on the LPGA (Tour), and that’s where I want to be,” she said. “I’ll do my best and will hope that’s good enough to win one day. I feel I’m on the right path to do that.”