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Tsubasa Kajitani celebrates with the winner's cup after the final round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur.
On Saturday, close to one-third in the field of 30 in the final round seemingly had a chance to win on the back nine, and it turned into a fascinating profile in golf survival. With so many in contention—there was a six-way tie at one point on the back—a playoff seemed like destiny. We got that, with Wake Forest senior Emilia Migliaccio, who shot 71, and Japanese year-old Tsubasa Kajitani 72 tying with one-over totals and returning to the 18th tee to start a sudden-death playoff. From there it was over in a matter of minutes, with Migliaccio badly missing the green right with her approach, dumping her third shot into a bunker and making a bogey, while Kajitani deftly two-putted from 70 feet for par and the win.
Every player with a chance to win on Saturday had her own stumbles, and for Kajitani, they came after she birdied the 14th and 15th holes to leapfrog the six players who ly led. But at the 17th, her approach came up far short of the green, she pitched too long and then three-putted for a double-bogey 6 that dropped her back into a tie at the top.
By that time, Magliaccio was already finished and held the clubhouse lead. She made five birdies and three bogeys, including a 6 at the par-5 13th. But she recovered with a birdie at 14 and steadily played the final four holes in par. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to be in contention. Emilia Migliaccio plays her shot from the greenside bunker on the 18th green during the playoff in the Augusta National Women's Amateur.
After waiting about an hour and hitting only about 10 drives on the practice range, Magliaccio and her mother, Ulrika, who served as her caddie, returned to the 18th tee, where she met up again with Kajitani. She kind of just takes a practice swing and then hits it. They, like, hit the flagstick and went in. She had a lot of really good bombs.
It was fun to watch. Along with World No. Kajitani will have an opportunity to defend her championship next year if she remains an amateur—a different circumstance from two years ago, when Kupcho turned pro soon after the win and reached the LPGA Tour. Six players ended up tied for third on Saturday, including co-leaders after the second round, Zhang and Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad.
Zhang bounced back with a birdie at 14, but a bogey at 17 knocked her out of the playoff.
Lindblad damaged her chances wiht a bogey at 14, three-putt for par at 15 and bogey at Denmark's Karen Fredgaard shot four over in her last five holes, including a double bogey at 15, and misssed the playoff by one. Two others who could have reached extra holes, Rachel Heck and Emma Spitz, each bogeyed the 18th. Pauline Rousssin-Bouchard had the wildest round of the day, making seven birdies to go with five bogeys, and her birdie putt on the 18th hole to make the playoff burned the edge and stayed out.
Full Leaderboard. By Tod Leonard. April 03, Share this story Facebook Twitter LinkedIn.
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The young female amateur mastering the men on the golf course