Wednesday, April 4, 2018
(News 12 NBC 26 News At 11)

UPDATE | 11:45 p.m.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Augusta National is shining the spotlight on women’s golf and it’s something former Augusta University golfer Sarah Mooney still can’t believe.

“My brother actually texted me asking if I’d heard the news and I couldn’t believe it,” Mooney, also a PGA member, says. “I thought it was an April Fool’s joke or something.”

It’s the kind of reaction she has because, as she says, their game has been overlooked for so long.

“Women’s golf has always been the second thought,” Mooney says. “They don’t get the notoriety that the guy’s do and the same opportunities that the men do on tour.”

The opportunity will begin along the rolling fairways of Champion’s Retreat in Columbia County, where they’ll play the first 36 holes of this championship before finishing at the National.

“The opportunity for any player to receive an invitation to go play at Augusta National,” says Champion’s Retreat manager Cameron Wiebe, “nonetheless compete for a national championship, is unheard of.”

Even after just learning about the news Wednesday, Wiebe says the news is welcome and already has members there buzzing. He says it’s got officials there excited for what’s to come, especially those who have young ones growing up with the game.

Wiebe says they’ll be following the lead of Augusta National as the planning is in its early stages, but he’s confident that the course will be ready and National officials will help take their game forward.

“Augusta National has taken the lead as real stewards of the game,” Wiebe says. “They started with the Drive, Chip and Putt competition that’s been wildly successful and now, today’s announcement with the women’s amateur game is a stake in the ground as to where the game’s going.”

A change in the wind now on the horizon, one golfers like Mooney have been hoping would come to her and young, female golfers everywhere.

“To have a goal of one day playing at the Augusta National in the national women’s amateur would be an incredible opportunity,” Mooney says, “and something that I’m sure everyone will aspire to do that plays golf.”


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Augusta National Golf Club isn’t just for the boys anymore. The chairman of ANGC, Fred Ridley, has announced a new tournament.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will kick off in 2019. It will be a 54-hole tournament featuring 72 golfers.

According to the Augusta National, those invited will be chosen through other championships, and by using the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The event is expected to be televised, and the first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club, in Augusta. The final round will be played at ANGC.

The first tournament will begin April 6, 2019. That’s the Saturday before the Masters tournament.

For more information, head to the Masters website.

#BREAKING Augusta National announces Women’s Amateur Championship. First one will be Saturday, April 6, 2019. @TheMasters

— Laura Warren (@LauraWRDW) April 4, 2018

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