Wednesday was the first day of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, GA. This was also the first day patrons could watch the women play.
Some junior golfers even skipped school to be there and NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne talked to some who hae played this course before and hope to do so again under the banner of this tournament.
Three girls who play on the Augsta Prep golf team got to the course well before the first drive at 9AM.
Poorna Doppalapudi explains why they got there so early. “To watch women, you know, having the chance to show everybody what they can do.”
All 3 of them have played the course at Champions Retreat.
“Itr’s definitely one of the more challenging courses in Augusta,” says Mary Hunt Murray
Getting there early has it’s perks. The girls got a picture with the trophy they dream will one day be theirs.
“It’s like a great moment in history so we all kinda skipped school to come and see this,” says Mia Sessa and all 3 girls laughed.
Little Madelyn Elsken skipped school too. She’s a golfer too and only six years. In June, Madelyn will come back to Champions Retreat to play in the drive chip and putt qualifier. When asked what she would be doing on this same course in the summer she adorably said, “probably hitting balls” and she is probably right.
10-year-old golfer Belle Gantt went to the 10th hole to watch a specific amatuer.
“I like Virginia,” Gant said with confidence. “She’s just a really good golfer and she goes to Duke.”
We asked if she has dreams of playing on this stage and she did not miss a beat. “Very much so,” was her response.
Gantt was first inspired to pick up a club by her dad and brother.
“I really wanted to be like them and also like the golfers out here,” she says looking down the 10th fairway.
There were dozens of girls like these at the tournament on Wednesday. Their excitement was palpable.