Valentina Haupt Earns First Professional Win
June 28, 2023
THOMPSONVILLE – Valentina Haupt’s first professional win happened at the same place she made her debut as a professional in 2019.
“That works out perfect for me,” said the Weston, Fla., resident and LPGA Epson Tour player after winning the 30th Michigan PGA Women’s Open presented by Coca-Cola Wednesday at Crystal Mountain. “I’m so glad because I love coming here. I love this place, the people, my host family, everyone's so nice.”
Haupt, 26 fired a final 7-under 65 for a 9-under 207 total on the Mountain Ridge course, topping two fellow Epson Tour players, Jillian Hollis of Rocky River, Ohio, and Jessica Welch of Thomasville, Ga. by two shots.
She earned $7,000 and a Crystal Trophy for her first tournament win of any kind since her freshman year at Southern Mississippi University eight years ago.
Hollis shot a closing 71 for her 209, and Welch shot 70. Haupt birdied Nos. 16 and 18 to pull away from what at one point in the day was a four-way tie for the lead with Hollis, Welch, and defending champion Sarah White of Grand Rapids.
Hollis had bogeys and 16 and 17 to take her out of the title chase. Welch couldn’t get birdie chances to fall on the last three holes, and White double-bogeyed 17.
“I started really good,” Haupt said of her front-nine 6-under 30, which included an eagle-2 on the par 4 No. 7 hole courtesy of a 123-yard nine-iron shot that holed out. “Then mid-round I was like, okay, you know you’re playing good, just keep going. I never really thought I was going to be where I am right now, but it worked out because I just played freely pretty much.”
White, who came roaring from behind a year ago to win, tried the same again. This time she came up short with a 68 for 210.
Anika Dy of Traverse City, the former Crystal Mountain cart attendant who won the championship in 2019 and just finished her University of Michigan golf career, also shot 68 for 210.
Epson pros Jessica Porvasnik of Ponte Vedra, Fla., and Jean Reynolds of Newnan, Ga., rounded out the foursome tied at 210, also shooting 68s
Haupt, a native of Chile who with her family has lived in the U.S. for 11 years, said she surprised herself greatly this week. She was sidelined with a fractured hand from last October through May and didn’t touch a golf club.
“So I’ve struggled some this year and my comfort level was not high coming into this,” she said. “I never thought I was going to win. So it’s a good surprise. You know, sometimes when you least expect, you play better.”
It was the third trip to the Michigan PGA Women’s Open for Haupt and her third time staying with Phyllis and Scott Kladder who are Crystal Mountain members and live adjacent to the golf course. The 65 was also her low round on Mountain Ridge.
“It’s like our kid won,” Phyllis Kladder said just before the trophy ceremony.
Haupt, who played for her native Chile in the 2015 Pan American Games, said things lined up from the start on the final day.
“The first tournament I played as a pro was here, and I was paired with Jessica (Porvasnik) and today I was paired with Jessica again,” she said. “And I remember my first time here I was really nervous. She was so nice and played a really good round. I was like wow, this is impressive. So today it was like coming full circle. It was so much fun and so great to see how it worked out.”
ABOUT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN: Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort destination located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City and a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The 1,500-acre resort features lodging, dining, downhill and cross-country skiing, two championship golf courses, shopping, award-winning Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, Peak Fitness, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, weddings, a conference center, and real estate options.
SPONSORS: The tournament’s presenting sponsor is Coca-Cola, a long-time partner of Crystal Mountain. Click sponsors to see a list of the great support that makes the championship possible.
MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson at 616-560-8995 or firstname.lastname@example.org