Making professional debut, Aline Krauter fires 66 on sponsor’s exemption at Dana Open
Aline Krauter’s standout college career had the perfect ending. And now, the good vibes have translated to the start of her professional career.
Earlier this year, Krauter was a key player on the Stanford Cardinal’s national championship team. During the trophy ceremony, head coach Anne Walker selected Krauter as the recipient of a sponsor’s exemption into the Dana Open.
Krauter, 22, recently decided to turn professional ahead of LPGA Q-School and made it through the first stage. The German is now in Sylvania, Ohio, making her first start as a pro, and showing no signs of growing pains. Krauter shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday and sits T-2, one shot off the lead after her round.
“Seeing (the leaderboard) on 18 probably got my nerves up even more,” she said after her round with a laugh. “It all worked out.”
Now playing for a living, Krauter isn’t changing her mindset on the course from her college days. She’s still taking it “one shot at a time,” which she did in Round 1 at Highland Meadows Golf Club, with her brother, Tim, looping for her.
“I think I really try to stay level-headed as much as I can,” she said. “My brother helps with that as well. We don’t really talk about golf in between shots. We try to focus on other things and then play shot by shot.”
Despite just turning pro, Krauter has ample experience playing alongside the world’s best. She won the 2020 Women’s Amateur in England and has competed in five major championships. Though she missed the cut in each of those majors, including this year’s Amundi Evian Championship, she still took some valuable lessons from the experiences.
“(I’ve learned) to stay patient, definitely,” she said. “I think if you get ahead of yourself like after a round like today — I’m going to try to not get ahead of myself because I think that’s super easy to do.”
Coming into this week, Krauter’s goal was to make the cut. But after Day 1, she’s put herself in a position to win. If she pulls out the victory as a non-member, she could accept LPGA status and play the remainder of the year as well as next year.
However, she’ll try to duplicate Thursday’s round on Friday while making sure to stay in the moment. Then, the accolades will come naturally.
“This is a great start,” she said. “Yeah, I’m on my way (to making the cut). So, we’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I think this has been a great start and I think I put myself in a great position for tomorrow.”