ANWA: Two birdies on the final two holes gives Lottie Woad the win
Lottie Woad is the 2024 ANWA champion. (Augusta National)
Lottie Woad is the 2024 ANWA champion. (Augusta National)

Lottie Woad birdied three of her final four holes, including a clinching birdie putt on the 18th hole, to win the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur with a score of 8-under par.

The day started a bit rocky for Woad, as her opening drive nestled in the pine straw under a tree. She scrambled to the front of the green and made the par putt, which was a sign of things to come for Woad, as the putter was pivotal for the No. 3 ranked amateur in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf Women's Rankings

A birdie on the par-5 second hole got Woad to 6-under par. Her playing partner, Gianna Clemente, opened with three straight bogeys and fell off the pace early. Clemente steadied the ship and played the last 15 holes in two-under par, but the damage was done. She finished T5, which goes nicely next to her T14 debut last year. She would have wanted more, but it was an impressive performance from the 16-year-old.

The main competition for Woad was Bailey Shoemaker, who was playing about six holes ahead of the final group. Shoemaker fired a bogey-free 66, the lowest round at Augusta National in the tournament’s history.

The 66 was a symmetrical round marked by three birdies on both sides of the golf course. Shoemaker opened her birdie spree on the second hole; that’s when she thought she really might have a chance.

“I missed my putt super low on number one. A little frustrating, but to bounce back on that on number two, good speed, a heck of a lot of break,” Shoemaker said. “I knew if I could get it rolling really early that I would have a chance.”

Birdies on hole Nos. 5 and 7 put Shoemaker into contention at four-under par just as the final groups were starting their rounds.

“I talked to my dad about that last night,” she said. “I just had to putt well today and get it started early. I knew if I could keep it going and give myself opportunities all day, I'd have a chance.”

It looked like Shoemaker might drop a shot on 18 as she hit her approach long. However, her putter bailed her out with an incredible leg putt that left her with a stress free fourth shot.

While Shoemaker, a USC first-year, was negotiating that tough putt on 18, Woad was navigating the famous Amen Corner. That left Shoemaker with plenty of time to see if her two-shot lead would hold up.

How would she spend her time?

“Go sit on the range, talk to my coach, talk to my mom, go on TikTok,” said. “I don't know, honestly. No phones, but yeah.”

Related: At the Augusta National Women's Amateur, the cut matters

Earlier in the week, Woad said she is a scoreboard watcher. She would have been tracking Shoemaker’s move up the leaderboard. The pressure built when Woad hit a poor wedge shot into 13 and left herself a very tough putt. She’d miss a 12-foot par putt and drop to 5-under par, two shots behind Shoemaker’s clubhouse lead.

When Shoemaker signed, there were only two players who had a realistic chance at reaching seven-under or better.

World No. 1, Ingrid Lindblad, was four-under par after making a long putt birdie putt on the 12th hole. She got off to a fast start with birdies on the first two holes. It seemed like Lindblad might be primed for a big run. She spun her wheels the rest of the front nine, turning in three under.

She backed up her birdie on 12 with another one on 15 with a nice up and down after hitting her second shot on the back edge of the par 5. However, Lindblad couldn’t get any closer to Shoemaker’s seven-under par. A bogey on the 18th hole left Lindblad in third place. In her four ANWA appearances, Lindblad recorded three top-3 finishes but could never break through for a victory.

“Every time I come in here, I just have a smile on my face,” Linblad said. “It doesn't matter how it goes. You're happy to be here. It's such an amazing experience and a test for your golf game.”

Meanwhile, Woad appeared rattled after her bogey on 13.

“I went with my 4-wood off the tee, tried to draw it round, struck it terribly, blocked it right, got the layup all wrong with the wind, left myself really far back, hooked my pitching wedge,” she said. “Then I want to say my first putt was going in the water I hit it so hard, and luckily it stopped.”

Then, just like in the practice round, she clipped a tree on 14, leaving 215 yards into the green.

“I felt like the three birdies I got were probably not as important as my par save on 14 because I think if I'd gone three back at that point, it would have been pretty difficult to get that back,” Woad said. “So a good save there after having like 215 in because I hit the tree.”

That par kept hope alive for the FSU sophomore. After a drive on 15 blocked her from reaching the par 5 in two, she pitched her shot down the fairway and hit a wedge close enough to give herself a good look at birdie.

It was game on when she poured it in to get to six-under par, one shot behind the clubhouse leader.

After looking staggered, Woad had her feet under her again, and a solid iron in 16 left her another good birdie putt that just missed.

“I thought I had made that one, too,” Woad said.

Ask Woad what her strength is, and she’ll say it’s her ball-striking. She also knows that she wins when her putter gets hot.

Her flatstick was solid for most of the day, and after good putts on 14, 15, and 16, it was no surprise when Woad combined her ball striking and hot putter to tie Shoemaker on the 17th hole.

“The putt (on 17) I left myself was pretty quick. I knew I definitely wasn't going to be able to leave that short,” Woad said. “Just kind of set it on its way and managed to catch the right edge, and it went in.”

Then, Woad peeled a lovely cut into the fairway on 18 to leave herself 123 yards from the middle of the fairway. A hard wedge up the hill left her putter with one last chance to show off.

“I was honestly just thinking about making birdie rather than par,” she said. “I knew I needed par for the playoff, but the pin was such a nice pin that I knew I could use that backstop a little bit.”

As the ball rolled into the center of the cup, there was no Mark O’Meara double fist pump or Phil Mickelson leap.

“I don't really get too hyped up on the golf course; I'll rarely fist pump. That was probably -- I think the last two holes. I probably threw a little one in there,” she said. “That's probably the most you'll get out of me.”

That cool and calm demeanor helped her battle high winds on Thursday at Champions Retreat and the pressure cooker of holding the lead for two nights and watching someone shoot 66 and leapfrog the entire field.

But Woad had a feeling the plot might unfold like it actually did.

“I knew teeing off, only having a two-shot lead, at some point during the round someone was probably going to overtake me with it probably being scorable,” Woad said. “I looked at the pins before, and they were in some pretty nice locations, so I was prepared for someone to go low. When I ended up being two back, I was like, 'Okay, so I've got these birdie chances that they have.' Just gave myself the chances at the end and, luckily, holed some putts.

After waiting around for nearly two hours to learn her fate, Shoemaker was gracious in defeat.

“Good for her. Especially under pressure, knowing she had to do it, that's amazing. That's awesome,” she said. “I think super clutch.”

Of course, she would have loved a chance in a playoff.

“I'm obviously disappointed, but at the end of the day, I played about as good as I could have. Maybe a couple of putts could have dropped,” she said. “But I made just about everything too. It is what it is.”

In the end, Woad played the best golf throughout the 54 holes. Her steady, calm attitude helped her stick to her game plan. Now, following this momentous win, she’ll have more expectations placed on her, after demonstrating her potential.

“It's just really cool to be standing in the same place as the Masters champions and following in their footsteps a little bit.”

She seems prepared for the new expectations that will be placed on her shoulders with this dramatic victory.

Results: Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA)
1EnglandLottie WoadEngland150068-71-69=208
2FLBailey ShoemakerDade City, FL100070-73-66=209
3SwedenIngrid LindbladSweden70067-76-69=212
4CAJasmine KooCerritos, CA70069-74-70=213
T5FLCasey WeidenfeldPembroke Pines, FL70072-72-70=214

View full results for Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA)

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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