Cindy Schreyer, of Peachtree City, Ga., claimed the 1986 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at SentryWorld Golf Course in Steven Point, Wis., with a 3-and-2 victory over Vickie Goetze, then a 13-year-old from Hull, Ga., and three years away from winning the first of her two U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships. Two years removed from an NCAA Division I national championship at the University of Georgia, Schreyer won the 1986 WAPL at the age of 22. Schreyer was also a member of the 1986 USA Curtis Cup Team and competed on the LPGA Tour from 1989 to 2004, producing one victory at the 1993 Sun-Times Challenge. Today, Schreyer is a manager of a Trader Joe’s grocery store in suburban Atlanta.
What did winning the WAPL mean to you?
Growing up in a golf environment, USGA events were the ones I considered majors. Those were the ones that had the most meaning. Those were the ones that I focused on. I played in the Public Links, the [U.S.] Women’s Amateur, the [U.S.] Girls’ Junior. Those were really significant events for me growing up and even on the LPGA. Winning an event like that is definitely something I’ve reflected on throughout my career and have been able to put on my resume. It’s something I’ll always look back on and have great memories about.
What is your most vivid memory from that week?
That championship week was a week I got to spend with my golf coach, the late and great Liz Murphey, who was the head women’s golf coach at the University of Georgia. Murph was there with me and I ended up going with Vickie Goetze. We traveled together. The first thing we did when we qualified was to look and see when we would play each other. We saw that it would be the finals and we ended up in the finals together. We played against each other and I won, but Vickie was very young and had nothing to lose, and I had everything to lose since I was much older. But it was a great event and a great championship. We had a lot of fun that whole week. It’s something I reflect on a lot.
Had you graduated from the University of Georgia at that point?
Yes, I was out of Georgia. I stayed an extra year working with the athletic department, but Vickie still came [a few years] after me there. We had practiced and played together at the University of Georgia Golf Course when we both qualified for the event. We both decided to go to [the WAPL]. I knew Vickie and had practiced and played with her a little bit there at the University of Georgia course. So, it wasn’t like I didn’t know her game and she didn’t know my game. It was kind of an interesting challenge between the both of us.
Your match ended up being close. Did you think, Oh my gosh, I’m going to lose to this little kid, or was Vickie just a dynamite young player?
With match play, I knew the level of play that she had. I knew it wasn’t a shoo-in because she was 13 years old. Age doesn’t mean anything when it comes to golf. You can all of a sudden get that nice little high with making a couple of good shots, and she was a fantastic putter. All she had to do was just make it tee to green and I knew I was going to have a challenge every single time. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to go all the way down [to 18]. I knew I was going to have to pull it together and hang on to it for close to 18 holes, if not for even more than that.
Was there any talking in the car on the way home?
I can’t remember back that far, but I’m sure she was smacking me pretty good. I remember we had a good time and it was great to have coach Murphey there, and it was even great that the two of us have been competitive all through our careers on the LPGA. We were competitive in the college ranks even though we didn’t play each other. She was always right there on my heels as far as records and such [at the University of Georgia]. I have a great amount of respect for Vickie.
She ended up following you to the University of Georgia. It must have been nice for your coach to see you win and see Vickie right there on your heels.
Coach Murphey was really good about looking at talent, as well as adding solid people. Even though you might not be the best of the ball-strikers, she could see that tenacity and that work ethic to make it happen, no matter what. I think Vickie had the same talent that I had. Neither of us were the best ball-strikers, but we got it done. We knew the level we were at and we didn’t try to be somebody we were not. I think that was why we both were successful on tour. We knew where we stood and we both worked with what we had.
You did a lot of things on different levels in your career, including finishing as medalist at the 1981 U.S. Girls’ Junior, winning the 1984 NCAA championship, earning a spot on the 1986 USA Curtis Cup Team and joining the LPGA Tour in 1989, where you won once and had 23 top-10 finishes. Where does the 1986 WAPL title fit into your career?
Obviously, it is one of those top achievements because it is a USGA event. I can look at the pin that I got and still look at it as being a USGA champion. That means an awful lot. I played in the Curtis Cup Match and have had a lot of achievements, but winning a USGA event is a top-notch championship. It’s been something that will always be a fond memory. I’ve done a lot with golf and I’ve been pleased with doing what I have done, but I look at this as being a USGA girl. It’s something no one can ever take away from me. It’s definitely great.
How do you feel about the WAPL being retired at the end of the year?
It makes me sad. Any time there is a lost opportunity for a young talent to play – any talent to play – is always saddening to me. But maybe it’s opening up opportunities for someone at another level or other opportunities that were not out there before. As one door closes, other ones always open is how I look at it. The WAPL definitely provided me with a great championship, as well as others who were a part of the public environment and not at the country club level. The public level is definitely different and it was the championship that provided [opportunity] for people who wouldn’t have had it otherwise. It’s something I’ll always cherish.
Lisa D. Mickey is a Florida-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.