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Augusta National Women’s Amateur: A New Tradition

anwa featured

The fourth edition of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA) tees off today, April 3, 2024. The ANWA is a 54-hole stroke-play tournament held annually at Augusta National Golf Club and Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Established in 2019, it features 72 top female amateur golfers worldwide competing for the coveted title. 

augusta national women's amateur

The tournament begins with the first two rounds played at Champions Retreat Golf Club. The top 30 players and ties advance to Saturday’s final round at Augusta National Golf Club. However, all participants get to play a practice round at Augusta National on Friday before the final round. The ANWA has quickly become one of the most sought-after events in women’s amateur golf, providing a unique opportunity for the world’s best amateurs to compete at one of the most revered courses in the sport.

By hosting the ANWA, Augusta National celebrates the amateur game and sets a gold standard for young girls interested in the sport. The tournament has quickly become one of the most sought-after events in women’s amateur golf, further solidifying Augusta National’s commitment to supporting and promoting amateur golf at the highest level.

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Augusta National Golf Club Georgia Landscape

Amateur Roots

Augusta National Golf Club has a long-standing tradition of supporting amateur golf, dating back to its co-founder, Bobby Jones, a lifelong amateur. Jones competed in the first 12 editions of the Masters Tournament, with his best finish being a tie for 13th in the inaugural event in 1934.

jones claret

To this day, Augusta National continues to prioritize amateur exposure by offering exemptions and invitations to top amateur players for the Masters. Winners of prestigious events like the U.S. Amateur, British Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur, and U.S. Mid-Amateur are traditionally invited to compete at Augusta each April.

The inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur was announced in 2018 by then-Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, who stated that holding such an event would have the “greatest impact” on women’s golf. This move came after the club had admitted its first female members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, in 2012, ending its long-standing male-only membership policy. Ridley emphasized that the tournament would align with Augusta National’s long history of supporting the amateur game, dating back to its co-founder Bobby Jones.

The ANWA was seen as a perfect extension of the club’s quest to reinforce the amateur game while opening its doors to women beyond the annual Drive, Chip, and Putt contest. The ANWA provides a unique opportunity for the world’s best female amateur golfers to compete at the iconic Augusta National Golf Club, following in the footsteps of the amateur champions who have graced the Masters over the decades.

Did You Know?

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The ANWA has already begun to inspire the next generation of female golfers.

In 2022, 11-year-old Anna Norquist became the youngest player to qualify for the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals held at Augusta National the Sunday before the Masters. Norquist cited watching the ANWA on TV as her motivation to work towards competing at Augusta one day.

So far, the youngest competitor in the ANWA’s history is Avery Zweig. In 2023, Zweig teed it up at the remarkable age of 14 years and ten months old. At 15 years old, Asterisk Talley is the youngest player in the 2024 field.

Anna Davis, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from San Diego, won the 2022 event with a final round 3-under 69 to finish at 1-under par for the tournament. Despite her young age and relative anonymity, Davis held her nerve down the stretch, becoming the youngest champion so far at the home of the Masters.

Qualification

augusta national women's amateur

The qualification requirements for the 72 player field are as follows:

  • Reigning U.S., British, and Asia-Pacific Women’s Amateur champions
  • Reigning R&A Girls Amateur, U.S. Girls’ Junior, Girls Junior PGA champions
  • Reigning NCAA Division I individual champion
  • Past champions of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur within the last five years
  • The 30 highest ranked players from the United States of America based on the prior year’s final Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, not otherwise qualified
  • After the above qualifications, the 30 highest ranked players not otherwise qualified, as listed on the prior year’s final Women’s World Amateur Ranking
  • Players receiving special invitations from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Committee

History

While there is no prize money, the tournament winner, provided she remains an amateur, receives invitations to the next five ANWAs, the U.S. Women’s Open, the Women’s British Open, the Chevron Championship, the Evian Championship, and any USGA, R&A, and PGA of America amateur events for one year. The winner also receives the ANWA trophy designed in collaboration with Tiffany & Co.

augusta national women's amateur
  • Jennifer Kupcho won the inaugural ANWA tournament in 2019. She pulled away from María Fassi with a remarkable back-nine performance, featuring an eagle on the 13th hole.
  • In 2021, Tsubasa Kajitani of Japan became the first winner from her country at Augusta National in any tournament, defeating Emilia Migliaccio in a playoff. A week later, Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters, making it a memorable week for Japanese golf.
  • The 2022 champion was 16-year-old Anna Davis, the youngest winner in the tournament’s short history.  The teenager’s composed and clutch performance down the stretch belied her age and experience, as she drained a crucial 15-foot par putt on the 17th hole to maintain the lead.
  • Last year, Rose Zhang claimed the title in a playoff over Jenny Bae, capping off an incredible amateur career. Before turning professional, she had spent two and a half years as the world’s No. 1 amateur.

2024 Event

The 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur features a strong field of 72 players ready to take on the two courses. Champions Retreat will play to a par 72 at 6,360 yards and Augusta National 6,365 yards and a par of 72. The field includes two of the last three champions, Anna Davis (USA – 2022) and Tsubasa Kajitani (JAP – 2021).  Nine of the top ten in the world will be in the field, including number one ranked Ingrid Linblad (SWE), who has held that position for 44 weeks.

2022 Augusta National Women's Amateur
  • Players from 17 countries and six continents will compete in the 2024 edition, showcasing the event’s global reach. USA: 36, Japan: 8, Spain: 7, Sweden: 6, Germany, England: 2, 1 each from Scotland, Italy, Thailand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Phillipines, Colombia, India, Malaysia, and Chinese Taipei.
  • The first two rounds will be played at Champions Retreat Golf Club on April 3-4, with Golf Channel providing daily live coverage from 1:30-3:30 p.m. EDT.  The top 30 players and ties will then advance to the final round at Augusta National on April 6, broadcast live on NBC from 12 noon to 3 p.m. EDT.
  • With its growing prestige and global reach, the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur promises to be another exciting chapter in the tournament’s young history, showcasing the best in women’s amateur golf on one of the sport’s grandest stages.
  • For player profiles, tee times, and course information, visit the ANWA at https://www.anwagolf.com/ 

Further Reading – Books and AudioBooks

grand slam jones by mark frost

The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America,
and the Story of Golf

by Mark Frost

Summary: “The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf” is a biography that tells the story of Bobby Jones and his incredible achievement of winning all four major tournaments in the same year, 1930. The book delves into Jones’ background, his introduction to golf at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, and his progress as a junior golfer. It also explores the challenges he faced in adapting his playing style and refining his attitude toward the game to win against the best players of his time consistently. The book provides insights into Jones’ personal life, relationships with fellow golfers, and impact on the sport. Frost’s storytelling captures the excitement of Jones’ historic accomplishment and his lasting legacy in golf.

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The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History of America’s Golf Classic
by David Sowell

Summary: Discover the secrets of Augusta National with “The Masters” audiobook by David Sowell. This comprehensive guide provides insights into each hole’s history, challenges, and iconic moments. Perfect for both seasoned fans and casual enthusiasts, gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the tournament with this audio tour.

So, the next time you’re watching the Masters on TV, you’ll have a newfound respect for what it takes to conquer Augusta. And who knows? The strategic insights might just help you tackle your local course a little more skillfully.

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Making the Masters
by David Barrett

Summary: Making the Masters by David Barrett provides the origin story of the Masters tournament, detailing how Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts conceived it in the 1930s and quickly established itself as one of golf’s most prestigious events. The book chronicles how Jones and Roberts built the tournament from the ground up despite tough economic times, highlighting key events, winners, and moments that shaped its legacy over the years.  Barrett’s comprehensive history shares little-known stories about the Masters and the many golfers who have defined its prestige as one of America’s greatest sporting events.

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