Arnold Palmer, Lydia Ko, Tiger Woods. Not only are these household names multiple major winners on the PGA and LPGA tours, they also all got their start by winning the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Senior Sophia Schubert followed in their footsteps this summer as she captured the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur, with head coach Ryan Murphy caddying alongside her throughout the tournament.
Schubert became the first Longhorn to win the title since Kelli Kuehne back in 1996. The victory granted her exemptions into four of the five LPGA major championships, including the fast approaching Evian Championship this September.
“Winning the (amateur) was definitely a dream come true,” Schubert said. “I’ve worked my whole life for this and for it to finally happen was awesome. Having my coach on the bag was so great. It was my first amateur to play in so that was a great experience.”
Sophia has played for the Longhorns since her sophomore year, when she came to Austin after transferring from Auburn. She’s now registered consecutive appearances on the All-Big 12 team, and has consistently led the Longhorns in scoring average.
“She’s a great player,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “She’s essentially played in my number one spot since she arrived. She’s a great leader and she’s great in the classroom. All around it’s been terrific having Sophia.”
The bond between player and coach has grown over the years and culminated with coach Murphy caddying for Schubert in San Diego this past year.
“You can be a really good caddy when you have a really good player to caddy for, so Sophia was pretty easy,” Murphy said. “I walk with her a lot during the season, so we were very synced in. I know her game pretty well, and her tendencies, so we hit the ground running when we were in San Diego at the Women’s Am.”
The victory at the U.S. Amateur was the highlight of Schubert’s career thus far. She started playing at a very young age, logging countless hours on the course and on the practice range. She said she won the first tournament she played in as a young golfer and, after claiming the U.S Amateur, she’ll look to earn her first win at the professional level later this month.
“So I was four years old when my mom signed me and my sister up for lessons,” Schubert said. “I didn’t know how far I would go in it; we just did it for fun. I played in my first little competitive tournament when I was six and just went from there.”