Two hometown favorites out on the course for the first Augusta National Women’s Amatuer. One of them is wearing orange and purple and the other garnett and black.
Alice Hewson is a senior at Clemson. Her dad tells me she got invitations from 28 college golf teams. Clemson was her first visit. She instantly felt at home, which is somewhat unexpected since the small Souh Carolina town is very different from her hometown right outside London.
Hewson tied for the low round on Thursday. Her successful play on Thursday put her at tied for 12th, which sealed her spot in the top 30 headed to the final round at Augusta National on Saturday.
University of South Carolina graduate Ainhoa Olarra made it into the top 30 in dramatic fashion. Olarra made a 20 foot putt for birdie in a sudden death playoff round to take the last spot.
Olarra chose USC, not only for golf, but also for their business school. Instead of going pro, she is now a junior auditor at Deloitte in her home country of Spain.
Both Hewson and Olarra got a lot of love from patrons at Champions Retreat.
“There are so many people just around Augusta that are Clemson fans and the amount of “Go Tigers” that I’ve had out on the course, like that is really really special. It’s just a culture you don’t get at home,” Hewson says.
Olarra said somethign similar. “I don’t even know how many people said like “Go Cocks,” or “go South Carolina,” she says. “I was like, coach, there’s so many people here like I love it, I love it, so nice.”
They are bound to get even more cheers as this in-state rivalry continues to Augusta National.