PGA Tour rookie Eric Cole's first-ever round at Pebble Beach was bound to be special, but his partner Stephanie Williams couldn't have imagined just how special it would become.
On the 18th tee box of the famous Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Monday, Cole took a knee and took his girlfriend completely by surprise. They'd been together for seven and a half years before the proposal.
"I didn’t expect it. He totally surprised me," Stephanie told PGA Tour.com.
"It was a long time coming. But better late than never. I got the answer I wanted," Cole said. He shot a 65 in the practice round ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but his score was insignificant on his debut at the major championship venue.
Stephanie seemingly had no idea a proposal was on the cards. Many players and their partners take a picture on the iconic 18th hole, so there was nothing mysterious about it at the time.
"He took off his hat and glove and I didn’t think anything of it. It’s such an iconic hole. Reed (Cole’s caddie) took the photo and that’s when he proposed - I probably cried for the first minute. I just didn’t expect it," Stephanie added.
Despite missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open last week, Cole shot a 65 in the first round at Monterey Peninsula on Thursday to sit two shots behind leader Hank Lebioda who carded 8-under at the same venue.
Cole took advantage of the low scoring at Monterey on day one. The collective score at this venue was 60-under, while the collective score to par at Spyglass Hill was 35-over.
The 34-year-old earned his first PGA Tour card by coming seventh in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List in 2022. He has made five cuts and missed five cuts in 10 events so far this season.