Seven months ago, Jenny Sritragul was riding her bike at Michigan State University when she was struck by a car.
The young woman from Bangkok, Thailand, suffered severe injuries, including broken bones in her pelvis and her leg, which cost her nearly her entire junior year at MSU.
“I was in the hospital for two weeks,” Sritragul said. “I just started hitting the first week of April and started playing the first week of May.”
This week, Sritragul is making up for lost time. She certainly appears to be hitting her stride at the Spring Lake Invitational Tournament. After shooting a five-under-par round of 67 during Monday’s qualifying round, Sritragul shrugged off miserable conditions on Tuesday to defeat Chris Zeigler in the opening round of the Championship Flight, 6 and 4.
“I just try to go out and do my best, focus on each shot,” said Sritragul, who is staying with the McGurk family in Grand Haven this week. “I was really pleased (with Monday’s round). I’m just glad to be here. This is my first time here. I love the course and I love the people I play with.”
Rain and wind made Tuesday’s round much more challenging.
“It’s wet, it’s really really windy. The balls just don’t go very far, but it’s the same for everyone,” Sritragul said. “I just tried to play my best each shot, and I think it worked.
“I played OK today, but not as well as yesterday. There were a few putts I thought I would make but I misjudged the distance.”
Sritragul said her speedy recovery from her injuries came thanks to the efforts of the medical staff at MSU.
“I feel really fortunate that I’m an athlete at Michigan State,” she said. “My trainers, my doctors keep pushing me, building my muscles back.”
Ziegler, who has played in several Spring Lake Invitationals Tournaments over the years, admitted she was a little intimidated to go up against a golfer of Sritragul’s ability.
“When I first found out I was playing Jenny, I was rather shocked,” she said. “I was looking forward to it. She shot a 67 yesterday, and that’s just fantastic. It’s really an honor, although she’s a little out of my league.