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  • Alexa Muchnick

Nikki Iniakov sets record low 28 at Spyglass

When Stevenson junior Nikki Iniakov woke up on October 4, she had no idea that later that day she would be making golf history and breaking course records. As Iniakov played the Spyglass Hill golf course for approximately her 35th time, she was certainly in for a surprise.

Iniakov preparing to hit a drive on the first tee box at Spyglass

Iniakov has been playing golf since she was eleven years old. As a young girl, she tagged along the golf course with her older brother, her pink set of clubs in tow. But who has been her biggest source of inspiration when it comes to golf? Tiger Woods. Iniakov reflects, “Tiger Woods really pushed every boundary and taught me to hate each shot . . . You know, play like you know you're gonna win.” When Iniakov had an opportunity to meet her idol when invited to the 2022 Tiger Woods Invitational, she remembers with a smile, “It was honestly so surreal.”

So on October 4, when Iniakov played the par 36 front 9 of Spyglass Hill, she shot a 28! In order to achieve this she had to make 8 birdies and a par which is no easy feat.

Iniakov's record-setting scorecard

As the holes progressed so did her audience. Iniakov recalls, “Both Coach MacArthur and Mr. Pratt were in and out and then on hole eight, Coach Clymo, Coach Cousins, and Dr. Griffiths also showed up.”

When asked what was going through her mind as she played the round she commented, “I didn't really force anything. I had a couple of weird drives on my first three holes, but I just tried to play my game. I wasn’t really going for a score until the last three holes because I've never broken 30. And I'd say that's where the pressure picked up a bit. But I just told myself it's already a good day, no matter if my score is a 30 or 28. And things just fell in my favor.”

Iniakov on the green getting ready to putt

Her accomplishment was celebrated on many social media accounts, including Stevenson’s and Pebble Beach Resort’s Instagram. When chatting with Iniakov about the round, she explained, “I wasn't nervous at all. Really! I just got in a groove with my putting and felt more confident. And I just let things happen. I didn’t really force anything.”

According to Iniakov, “I had previously talked to Mr. John Sailin about planning the California Cup, which was a tournament I ran with the AIGA. He emailed me congratulating me and asked if he could post something on Pebble Beach Resorts. I said, ‘yes, of course.’ Then he posted about my round with a couple of photos of me from the Tiger Woods tournament.”

Iniakov felt excited that people were reposting it, and commented, “it was cool to see my swing on Pebble Beach Resort’s social media page.” Additionally, Iniakov received congratulatory emails and special attention from different teachers and classmates. She says, “I just got a lot of support and excitement and people asking me how I did it. But I don't think I've been treated differently.”

Our community congratulates Iniakov on a golf round that literally goes down in history and one she is sure to never forget. After this performance and so many of her others, the Stevenson community will follow her continued golf journey where we are sure that there will be more records to be broken and a great future to come.

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