Augusta National Women's Amateur: Players to watch
Ingrid Lindblad (LSU Athletics Photo)
Ingrid Lindblad (LSU Athletics Photo)

The Augusta National Women's Amateur boasts the strongest field in women's amateur golf. With Rose Zhang, the 2023 champion, having turned professional, the event is wide open.

A number of players would cap their amateur careers with a victory, while some young players would announce their arrival on the international stage. 

Here are thirteen players who should be on your radar at ANWA.

Amari Avery

The No. 6 ranked player in our rankings will play in her fourth straight ANWA. She has made the cut in two of her previous appearances, and her best finish was a T4 in 2022. Avery is a key cog in the USC squad and has won five events in her time as a Trojan. 

Helen Briem

One of two Germans in the field, Briem has exhibited a lot of firepower this year. She won the Portuguese Women's Amateur by four shots and dominated the R&A Girls' Amateur with a 12&10 victory in the final. In addition, she won the European Nations Cup in Spain and the Italian Women's Amateur and shared low individual honors in the Women's World Amateur Team Championship in France with Rose Zhang and Meja Ortengren. She represented Germany in the Junior Ryder Cup and Junior Solheim Cup. This is her second ANWA; she shot 78-71 last year.

Gianna Clemente

Clemente finished T14 in her debut last year as the youngest player in the field. This year, the 16-year-old made news in the fall of 2022 when she Monday Qualified for three consecutive LPGA events. Clemente is also the reigning U.S. Women’s Four-Ball champion after partnering with Avery Zweig to become the youngest partnership to win that title. She has also reached the U.S. Girls’ junior final in 2022 and the semi-final in 2023. 

Related: A Quick Nine with Gianna Clemente

Anna Davis

The 2022 champion arrived at last year’s ANWA with a bright spotlight on her. She had just won the Junior Invitational and the kid who made the bucket hat cool was a frontrunner to win the ANWA again. However, a mistake on the first hole cost her four strokes when she mistakenly thought they were playing lift clean and place through the green. Her ball was in the rough, but the rules were only for when a player was in a closely mown area. She broke the rule twice, resulting in a score of 9. Davis joined the Auburn Tigers team this spring and has played well for the national title hopeful.

Rachel Heck

Fresh off her announcement that she will not turn professional when she graduates from Stanford in the spring, one has to wonder if that might free Heck up a little bit in the coming months. After missing last year’s ANWA due to injury, she’ll hope to build on the fact that she made the cut in 2021 and 2022. With the weight of the decision off her conscious, she could be in the hunt on Saturday at Augusta National given her exceptional talent and battle-tested game.

Related: Rachel Heck announces she will not turn professional

Rachel Kuehn

Kuehn’s resume in the ANWA is a bit of a surprise. She’s missed the cut in two of three appearance. Her 2022 showing, a T7, is what one would expect from No. 4 ranked player in the world. The fact of the matter is that in her six rounds at Champions Retreat, Kuehn has shot 76 or higher in all but one round. In 2022, 76-73 was good enough to make the cut and then she fired a 32 on the front nine at Augusta to rocket up the leaderboard and signed for a 69. The Wake Forest graduate student has played in pressure-packed situations and would seem a good pick to have another year like 2022.

Megan Schofill

The reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion is aiming to become the second player to win both the ANWA and the U.S. Women's Amateur. Rose Zhang was the first to do it, but Scholfill would be the first to hold both trophies at the same time. The Auburn fifth-year senior beat four players in the ANWA field en route to her U.S. Women's amateur title, including Latanna Stone and 2022 champion Anna Davis, who also happens to be Schofill's teammate at Auburn. 

Latanna Stone

Stone is a rather tortured soul, depicting the cruelty of the game. However, following a heartbreak runner-up finish in 2022 when she held the lead late into the final round, Stone showed great resolve and perspective. She has won a handful of events for LSU, most recently the Illini Invitational in the fall. Stone also reached the U.S. Women’s Amateur final after beating Rachel Heck in the semi-final. Stone was hobbled in the final two days and battled admirably. A win at ANWA would feel redemptive for the LSU senior.

Andrea Lignell

There’s an adage that lefties have an advantage at Augusta National. Anna Davis has won there, also see Phil Mickelson’s three green jackets, Bubba Watson’s two, and Mike Weir’s 2003 triumph. The Swede nearly added her name to that list in her 2023 debut.  The No. 23 ranked player from Ole Miss finished third last and shot 67-69 in the first two rounds and player her way into the final group with Rose Zhang. A 74 at Augusta National beat Zhang’s 74, but couldn’t close the five shot gap. In 2022, she finished T-9 in the European Ladies' Amateur in France and closed her year with five consecutive top-three finishes for Mississippi, including victories in both the Cougar Classic in South Carolina and The Ally in Mississippi. She was also a part of the 2021 National Championship-winning team.

Ingrid Lindblad

The No. 1 player in the world according to the Golfweek/ Women's Rankings has built up quite a bit of scare tissue in the ANWA. The LSU senior is playing in the event for the fourth time and has finished one shot behind twice. In 2021, Lindblad missed out on the playoff between Emilia Migliaccio and the winner Tsubasa Kajitani for a T3 finish. Then in 2022, Lindblad shot 68 at Augusta Nation to get to even par only to see Anna Davis shoot 69 and edge her by one. Rounds of 78 and 74 last year saw Lindblad crash out and miss the cut. A ten shot win in the Clemson Invitational on March 24 was a clear sign that Lindblad is playing excellent golf. 

Julia López Ramirez

The Ole Miss sophomore from Spain has made quite the impression in Europe and stateside with her golf game. She birdied the final three holes of the European Ladies’ Amateur to win that event. She’s also won five events for the Rebels in her two years on campus and made the cut in AIG Women's Open. Last year she shot 76-72 at Champion Retreat and missed the cut.

Kiara Romero

Romero is not stranger to the winner's circle. The University of Oregon rookie has two college wins under her belt. A 2023 U.S. Junior Girls’ championship earned her an invite to the Curtis Cup practice session at Seminole. She is making her ANWA debut this year.

Yana Wilson

Wilson is another U.S. Girls’ Junior champion in the field. The 2022 winner will play her third ANWA’ she missed the cut in 2022 and finished T26 last year. That wasn’t the first time she competed at Augusta National, as Wilson was the Girls 12-13 champion in both the 2019 and 2021 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. She won a Cactus Tour professional event in Arizona in February and finished T-3 in the Girls' Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in South Carolina in March. Not bad for a high school senior. She attend Oregon in the fall.

ABOUT THE Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA)

54-hole stroke-play tournament that will include a 72 player international field. The field will include winners of other recognized tournaments while also utilizing the Women's World Amateur Golf Rankings.

The first two rounds will be played at Champions Retreat Golf Club before the field is cut to the low 30 and ties for the final round at Augusta National.

The tournament will be played the week before the Masters, concluding on Saturday.

View Complete Tournament Information

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