EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – Bright sunshine greeted the 72 golfers participating in the third annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur as Tuesday’s practice round began at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans.
Emilia Migliaccio, who lost to Japan’s Tsubasa Kajitani in a playoff last year, was in the first group off of the No. 1 tee at 8:30 a.m. She enters the tournament as the No. 12 ranked amateur in the world.
The world’s No. 3-ranked amateur, Ingrid Lindblad of LSU, was in the third group off of No. 10 at 8:45 a.m.
The players attended the Chairman’s Reception at Augusta National Golf Club Tuesday night. The first round begins Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m., followed by Thursday’s second round at Champions Retreat. The entire field will play a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday before the top 30 play the final round there on Saturday.
“I think I’m a lot more mature emotionally,” Migliaccio said after her round. “I’m just a lot more positive, a lot more grateful, and just not as hard on myself. Obviously have high expectations and want to hit good shots but know that I’m human. Bad shots happen here or there, and that’s okay.”
The world’s top-ranked amateur, Rose Zhang, played in the penultimate group on Tuesday. She declined to speak with reporters. Lindblad, of Sweden, finished tied for third in last year’s ANWA. Most recently, she has won three of her team’s four events this spring and was named to the watch list for the ANNIKA Award, which is given to the top female collegiate golfer each year.
“I’m super excited to get back, and I’m super excited for when everyone gets to play,” Lindblad said after her practice round Tuesday. “Everything around it is so special. All the little things around it, like the goodie bags…the dinner at Augusta. Everything is just so special.”
For those in the CSRA looking for a local rooting interest, Clemson has two golfers in the field, while Georgia and South Carolina have one apiece.
Ivy Shepherd and Savannah Grewal will represent the Tigers, each playing in their first Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
“Just super excited, super ready to go,” Grewall, a native of Canada, said after her round Tuesday. “I mean, it felt kind of surreal to finally be here and be on the grounds and get to play Augusta National on Friday, but I’m looking forward to it and just ready to go.”
South Carolina will be represented by Hannah Darling, while the University of Georgia sends senior Jenny Bae. Bae is playing her first ANWA, but is one of the few players in the field who has already played Augusta National, having done so with her UGA teammates in 2019.
“I was in awe,” Bae said. “There were so many thoughts in my head. We were driving there I was thinking ‘I’m about to go warm up on the same tee box and play the same holes that I’ve seen so many times on TV.’“
This week’s winner will also earn an invitation to this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open, provided they are still an amateur at the time of those tournaments.