Jenn Crow grabbed her golf clubs and headed to Pinecrest Country Club for some practice, just like any ordinary day.
The University of North Carolina Pembroke senior had been struggling with her game, but April 11 was her 22nd birthday.
"I felt like it was going to be a good day," she said.
It got a lot better when she hit her four-hybrid into the hole for an ace on the par-3, 167-yard seventh hole.
"When I hit the shot, it was probably the best shot I had hit in a while," said Crow, a former Havelock High standout and 3A regional champ. "I had been struggling, but when I hit it, I thought, ‘wow, I really hit that.’"
She had been playing with teammate Abby Shipley, who witnessed the shot.
"There’s a hill that will funnel the ball to the hole, and I hit the hill and it rolled and hit the flag stick," Crow said. "I looked to see where the ball was on the green. I thought it ricocheted somewhere on the green. I didn’t think about it going in the hole. I didn’t see the ball, and I looked at Abby and told her I thought it went in the hole. She hit her shot and we grabbed our bags and sprinted to the hole and there it was.
"I didn’t react. I didn’t scream or anything. I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do. Then it hit me and I jumped up and I got a picture of me taking the ball out of the hole."
It was Crow’s first ace.
"It was my first one and it came on my birthday," she said. "It was the best birthday ever."
And it came as Crow had been struggling with her game.
"I usually hit a little baby draw, but I had been hitting a little fade and losing distance," she said. "I had been trying to get back to my normal swing, and everything just came back on its own."
Crow is wrapping up her career at UNC-Pembroke. She had a season-best sixth-place finish at the TSYS Collegiate Classic, where she shot 79, her lowest round of the season.
She’ll graduate with a degree in business entrepreneurialship with a minor in media integration.
"It’s definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she said. "I’ve gotten to play golf courses that not everyone gets to play. We played Kiawah Island, and we played at the Slammer and the Squire at the Golf Hall of Fame and got to tour that. The team has been great. The coaches have been great. It’s all been an absolute blast."