My word. What an exciting week of play in Augusta. The strongest field in ANWA history certainly did not disappoint. Here are the stories you need to know…
Rose rises to the top
It wasn’t the easy ride we thought it might be, but Rose Zhang is the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Champion.
A four-over par final round of 76 was quite the contrast to her first two rounds of golf and showed us perhaps Rose Zhang is human after all.
Her 207 total tied with Jenny Bae through 54 holes, which meant more golf for the fans as we went to a sudden-death playoff.
Bae took the advantage on 18 in playoff hole one when she put her approach close. But Rose two-putted from over 40 feet, and Jenny failed to convert.
On playoff hole two, hole 10, it was a different story. With Rose safely on the green, Jenny pulled her approach into the pine straw and when she failed to get up and down for par, Rose claimed the title.
Jenny Bae nearly caused the upset of the century on Saturday at Augusta. A 2-under par final round that included three birdies in her last ten holes got her excruciatingly close to the ANWA title.
The Georgia native was being cheered on by the home crowd, who were delighted when her approach shot danced around the flag on seventeen finishing at tap in distance to tie her for the lead.
Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio delighted the crowds on Saturday with five birdies on her scorecard. She saved the best for last, though, holing out from off the green on seventeen and eighteen to jump up the leaderboard and finish in fourth position.
It was the seventeen-year-olds first visit to Augusta after she won the 2022 World Junior Girls champion, Spanish Amateur Championship and finished runner-up in the R&A Girls Amateur Championship in 2022.
Only one shot needed
Bohyun Park became the first player to make a hole-in-one in ANWA history on Thursday. She hit an 8-iron from 144 yards and actually looked away before the ball dropped in the hole as she was relieved to be over the water. We all know how you feel Bohyun!
“I actually kind of thinned and was like, please just carry the water, and as soon as I saw the ball bounce, okay, thank God. I looked away, so I didn’t see the ball go in, but I saw everybody raising their hands.”
So was this her first ace or how many has she had? Turns out, its a question that no one has the answer to.
“I had my last ace during a Stanford intercollegiate, and that was my fourth or fifth, so this will be my fifth or sixth.”
It’s a good sign when you’ve had so many holes in one you’ve lost track.
When it rains, it pours, and we had to wait less than twenty-four hours for the second ace of the week, this time from Englishwoman Amelia Williamson.
A hole-in-one at Augusta National, Amelia is definitely one of a very exclusive club!
We’re still waiting for our drinks girls…
Rose Zhang doing Rose Zhang things
Rose Zhang reminded us all why she is the longest-standing World Number 1 when she broke the single-round scoring record on Tuesday, the 36-hole scoring record on Wednesday and set a new course record at Champions Retreat.
On Tuesday the American holed six birdies in a round by which even she seemed surprised. In her post-round interview, she remarked that she didn’t see a 66 out there at the start of the day.
“I think that from the start of the round, I really just wanted to make pars because, at Champions Retreat, you never know what you’re going to get.
“With the round being so soft and being muddy, I can’t really expect anything more out of my game today.”
The following day she came back and bettered her score by one. Her Wednesday round of 65 included 6 birdies and an eagle. She heads into the final round with a 5 stroke lead.
- RELATED: ANWA leaderboard
Defending Champion hit with four-stroke penalty
Defending champion Anna Davis’s day got off to a worse start than she thought after she made two rules breaches on the opening par-4 on Tuesday morning.
Preferred lies are in effect for the first two rounds at Champions Retreat, but only in “areas cut to fairway height or less” via Model Local Rule E-3.
Davis drove her ball into the edge of the first cut and proceeded to take preferred lies relief twice. As a result, she was in breach of Rule E-3 twice and faced a harsh penalty.
Here’s what the tournament directors had to say about it: “During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and failed to replace it on its original spot on two separate occurrences.
“Under Rule 9.4, Ms. Davis has been penalized two strokes for each occurrence of playing from a wrong place. Her score on hole one will be increased from 5 to 9.”
Record number of English players at Augusta
There are six British players in the field this week at Augusta, six of which are English – the most of any ANWA field to date.
Lottie Woad, the youngest of the five, is a freshman at Florida state and has already racked up two collegiate wins this season. She also won the British Girl’s Amateur last summer.
Charlotte Heath is the highest-ranked English player in the field. Charlotte has top 20 starts in every collegiate event she has played this year, including one victory. Last summer, she finished runner-up in the European Women’s Amateur Championship.
Amelia Williamson is in her fifth year at Florida state university and has had top 25s in all her collegiate starts this year. She represented GB&I in the Curtis Cup last year and was part of England’s winning European Ladies’ team.
Jess Baker qualified for the ANWA by winning the Women’s British Amateur at Hunstanton last summer. Since then, she has travelled the world playing numerous major championships and LPGA and LET events.
Finally, Caley McGintey is the only English player to be returning to Augusta for the second time in 2023 after she finished 12th in last year’s event. She has already won the South American Women’s amateur this year. She has represented GB&I in the last two Curtis Cups.
Charlotte Heath is leading the way for the Brits. She is currently 12th position on even par.
ANWA Golf Factfile
What is the ANWA?
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a 54-hole strokeplay event run by the Augusta National Golf Club. The first 36 holes are contested around Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta. After the cut, the leading 30 players and ties complete the final round at Augusta National Golf Club.
Who has won the ANWA?
There have been four editions of the ANWA to date, with two American winners and one Japanese:
2019: Jennifer Kupcho
2021: Tsubasa Kajitani (Playoff victory over Emilia Migliaccio)
2022: Anna Davis
2023: Rose Zhang
What are the ANWA winners doing now?
Winner of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Jennifer Kupcho, has already gone on to great things in the professional rankings.
She won the Chevron Championship in April 2022, to become a major champion, she is currently ranked No 11 in the world.
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