Another Chapter Added to the Historic Story of the Augusta National Women's Amateur
Today the final round of the second Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA) took place! The 82 player invitation-only field teed it up for the first two rounds, on Wednesday and Thursday, at Champions Retreat Golf Club, located just a short ride away from Augusta National. There were so many incredible shots and great players in the field. It was amazing to see the best amateurs in the women's game playing together!
After the second round, on Thursday, a cut was made and only the top 30 (no ties) advanced to the final round of competition that took place today at Augusta National! When play was completed for the second round there was a 5-way tie for 30th place and those 5 women went into a playoff where Maja Stark sunk a long birdie putt to secure her spot in the final round!
On Friday all 82 players in the original field had a chance to tee it up for an official practice round at Augusta National where they were all provided a course caddy. I can only imagine how incredible that experience must have been for all of those women in the field (hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to experience it as well)!
Today was, as Master's Sunday always is, an exciting and constantly changing final round at Augusta National. Number 1 ranked amateur in the world Rose Zhang started off tied for the lead heading into the final round and played great all day, she ran into a little bit of trouble on 13 resulting in a triple bogey that ended up costing her. Throughout the day multiple women shared a hold of the lead including Ingrid Lindblad, Olivia Mehaffey, Karen Fredgaard, and a few others. 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani from Japan had a great round today and ended her day at +1 for the event. Emilia Migliaccio, a senior from Wake Forest University, also had a great final round finishing tied with Tsubasa at one over par.
Tsubasa and Emilia went into a playoff starting on the 18th hole. Emilia had the honor on the tee and piped a drive down the fairway that landed in a shadow just short of the fairway bunker. Tsubasa followed and piped her drive down just past Emilia's. Emilia hit her second shot right of the green and it rolled to a stop next to one of the greenside bunkers. Tsubasa hit a beautiful shot that landed on the back second tier of the green. Neither of them would have an easy time making par. Emilia struggled with her pitch and ended up coming up short in the bunker, where she hit a phenomenal shot to a few feet which she would have for bogey. Meanwhile, Tsubasa rolled a great putt down near the cup to what looked like a little testy 7-8 footer left to win. After taking her time analyzing the break Tsubasa stepped in and rolled it into the bottom of the cup. Tsubasa Kajitani had just become the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur Champion!
It was an exciting week and everyone played so well. It's always inspiring to me to watch the best players in the game, men or women, professionals or amateurs, tee it up and there is something so special about watching this event. Even though it was only the second time the event had been contested (it was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic) already such a story has been written and the history of this event will continue to be written for many years to come.
Great job to everyone who teed it up and congratulations to Tsubasa Kajitani on her incredible playoff victory! I am already counting down to next year's ANWA!
~NH Golfer Gal