AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Augusta National Women’s Amateur has moved from Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Georgia to Augusta National Golf Club. The entire 2023 field played a practice round there on Friday.
Rose Zhang, the No. 1 ranked amateur in women’s golf, continues to be the story of the 2023 tournament. She set the tournament single-round scoring record for a second consecutive day during Thursday’s second round at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans. Zhang carded a 65 to enter Saturday’s final round with a five-shot lead at -13.
“I think for us as players mentally, we always like to chase, and it’s very normal to be trying to make birdies and not worry about the consequences, but when you’re in the lead, you realize that you’ve been playing well and you want to maintain it,” Zhang said after her practice round at Augusta National on Friday. “Some players tend to kind of have a loose footing, I guess, with their lead, and they end up trying to play safe or they would think about their lead too much. I’ve definitely felt that before. I’ve definitely had that. With that in mind, the experience will certainly allow me to kind of realize what I need to do when I go out there.”
Five shots behind Zhang is Andrea Lignell of Sweden (-8), who helped lead Ole Miss to the 2021 women’s golf national championship. (Photo courtesy: Augusta National Golf Club)
“I’m kind of enjoying it right now,” Lignell said Friday. “I think this was like well-needed for me, like a practice round in the middle to get my nerves down to calm down and just have fun today before tomorrow. “
In solo third is University of Georgia senior Jenny Bae (-7). She sits six shots behind Zhang after a second round 68. With Augusta being roughly a 90 minute drive from her college campus in Athens, Bae expects to have a lot of familiar faces in the gallery on Saturday.
“I’m going to have a lot. I have a lot of relatives that I haven’t seen in a while and their friends and other people, but I’m more excited to see them than them ever giving me pressure,” Bae said after Friday’s practice round at Augusta.
The 31 players that made the cut will compete in Saturday’s final round at Augusta National Golf Club. Inclement weather is in the forecast. As such, start times have been moved up and players will be teeing off of both No. 1 and No. 10 beginning at 7:40 a.m. Saturday morning.
Zhang and Lignell will tee off in the final pairing at 8:50 a.m.
For tee times, click here.
Friday night, participants were treated to a surprise concert by Niall Horan.
This story will be updated throughout the day.