Soo's tough start in Augusta women's event

Soo's tough start in Augusta women's event

While the word historic has been attached to the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur, Martha Burk, an activist who was on the front-line in the fight to get women into the club, has labelled it a public relations stunt.

The first two rounds of the tournament are taking place at the Champions Retreat Club, after which the top 30 will progress to the final round at Augusta National. However, all 72 players get the opportunity to play a practice round at the course on Friday. "She's a spring player, if you hadn't noticed". Then it was back to playing her game and, after the conclusion of the first round, Harford shot 1-over 73 and is tied for 21st.

Kupcho, a 21-year-old senior at Wake Forest, who has deferred joining the LPGA despite finishing second in the Q-Series last year, has been in fine form coming into the championship. Slama shot 37 on her final nine, making a birdie at 7. The 103rd-ranked player in the field, Campos was one of the last players invited to the event but didn't look out of place.

Thursday, on the other side of the country, the women's first professional major of the season - the ANA Inspiration - kicks off at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

"I think it's going to be wonderful for the world of golf", said two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw. "That was one of the big things when I was a freshman and sophomore".

"I just felt like the world was rooting for me to come back, and I felt like I could do it even despite what had happened earlier in the round", he said. "It's just a fantastic event for these young women".

The pessimistic view is that the Augusta amateur tournament steals eyeballs from the already limited number of sports fans who will attend or tune into watch the ANA Inspiration.

Hausmann said she's played some of the top courses in the USA and England but nothing that compares to Augusta National. Remaining positions will be filled by invitation of the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship Committee. "They shouldn't have to".

The inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur is a milestone, given that the sport has always been weighed down by a self-imposed millstone. "I think it took a little bit of an adjustment just to see the landing areas and kind of adjust where you wanted to hit the ball out there because it was traveling further and rolling out more", Harford continued.

At 14, Alex Pano is the youngest player competing in the Augusta amateur, but something of a veteran of the hallowed grounds.

"It is nearly unimaginable that Augusta National will crown a historic first woman as a tournament champion right before the start of the 83rd Masters".

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