Cherokee woman making her mark in golf
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — On a day where the temperature reached 115 degrees, most people find indoor activities to occupy their time. But Cherokee Nation citizen Crystal Reeves braved the scorching heat on the golf course to train and hone her craft. It’s because of that hard work and dedication that she has seen success during her early career.
At age 4, Reeves swung her first club and would go to the golf course with her grandfather and father. But at that age, she said she would usually fall asleep in the golf cart by the time the round was over. At age 9, her parents entered her in tournaments and she became instantly addicted to them. Since then, golf has been a huge part of her life.
“I’ve always said that whenever I go onto a golf course, it’s kind of like a fish in water,” Crystal said. “It’s not that I constantly think about it, it’s that it’s always there. I’ve played it for so long. I live and breathe golf and it’s not that’s my whole life, per say, but it definitely has, I mean it shapes a big part of who I am.”
Crystal’s father, Buck Reeves, said he saw natural talent in her from the beginning.
“Seeing her start when she was young, my dad I both knew that she had a gift because she would just strike the ball naturally,” Buck said.
With that natural talent and hard work, Crystal made her mark at the junior level as well as at the Oklahoma State high school level while attending Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow, Okla.
“In 2008, I won the 6A state championship and that was through the school system,” Crystal said. “Also, I won the WOGA (Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association) state championship which is more of an open… its not just 6A. It’s open entry for junior golfers and that was two years in a row.”
Crystal has continued her success at the college level too. After graduating from BHS, she attended Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, but eventually transferred to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Now a senior at ORU, Crystal said she has won a few tournaments while there.
“In college I’ve won three up to now,” she said. “I won the Kiawah Island tournament which I think that was the biggest or the most teams in one tournament in college golf.”
She has also garnered honors for her work inside the classroom. According to ORU’s website, Crystal was named to the National Golf Coaches Association 2010-11 All-American Scholar Team. To earn a spot on the team, the student athlete must carry a minimum 3.50 grade point average and Crystal earned a 3.79 GPA.
Crystal said it is hard playing golf in college and to go through the daily grind of playing. She added most golfers know before their senior whether it’s their victory lap or a step-it-up. After enduring the last three years of college golf she said this year is a step it up year for her.
For any amateur female golfer, the goal is to compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur golf tournament. The U.S. Women’s Amateur is touted as the leading female amateur golf tournament in the United States and is in its 111th year. It is organized by the United States Golf Association and is open to all amateur women golfers in the world and has no age restrictions.
Crystal qualified for the tournament this past summer and competed with the best women golfers around the world. She qualified for the match play rounds by shooting a 3-over-par 71 in each of the two stroke play rounds to gain the 62 seed. She faced the No. 3 seed Moriya Jutanugarn from Thailand who finished the stroke play rounds 5-under-par 142 in the first round of match play. Crystal lost to Jutanugarn, the eventual runner-up in the tournament, by 1 stroke.
“The match could have gone my way so easily,” she said following the loss. “The girl is one of the number one players out of Thailand and the No. 3 seed. I had her down for most of the match. I didn’t feel like I played amazing but then again it was a very tough course. I can’t wait for next time to really zone in on the pins.”
Buck said he is happy to see the gift he saw early on to be realized with her career accomplishments thus far.
“To realize so many tournaments won through her career and play with the best in golf and come out on top as much as she has … it’s just very rewarding and I’m very proud of her,” he said.
Crystal said she plans on continuing her golfing career after college and hopes to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour some day.
“I’ve been practicing a ton, this past summer especially,” she said. “Since I was 9, I’ve been playing in tournaments basically to get to the highest level that I can and I love it. It’s something that I’ve always loved and it hasn’t changed over the past decade. So, I know that I’m supposed to play in the future so why not give it all I’ve got.”firstname.lastname@example.org ? 918-453-5087