/2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur primer: Field breakdown, schedule, predictions, who to watch
2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur primer: Field breakdown, schedule, predictions, who to watch

2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur primer: Field breakdown, schedule, predictions, who to watch

It has been two years since the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur was played, and with an expanded field in 2021 along with several interesting storylines, the second edition of this tournament should be outstanding. Though it will be hard to match that Jennifer Kupchio-Maria Fassi showdown from two years ago, several great narratives will emerge as the week marches toward that 18-hole finale at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday.

The ANWA was a fantastic entry into the Masters a couple of years ago, and though the event was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, any opportunity for more golf to be played at Augusta is a good one. Let’s take a look at a few of the top storylines entering this year’s event and break down what the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur will look like.

2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Opening rounds: Champions Retreat Golf Club (March 31, April 1)
Time: 7:45 am ET

Final round: Augusta National (April 3)
Time: 8 am ET

Format: The 85-golfer field will be cut down to 30 after 36 holes of play at Champions Retreat, which is within a few miles of Augusta National. Those 30 remaining golfers will get a practice round on Friday at Augusta before finishing the tournament on Saturday with 18 holes.

Field: The field of 85 is pieced together 11 different ways with the primary one final World Amateur Golf Rankings. Additionally, everyone who qualified for the 2020 edition (which was not played) remains qualified this time around even if they fell out of range. One good example here is former Vanderbilt golfer Abbey Carlson, who is ranked No. 114 in the world but recently took a job with Boeing and has barely played in the last nine months.

What do you win? A five-year invite is extended to all winners, but most who win this event will almost certainly be turning pro shortly after capturing such a high-profile prize (just as Jennifer Kupcho did in 2019). Winners also get invited to the next U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s British Open and any USGA, R&A and PGA of America amateur championships for the next year. Of course, there is also a trophy, which on its own is an amazing sight.

Five golfers to follow

1. Zoe Campos: The top returning player from the 2019 ANWA is back as an older, better version of herself as she preps for a fall in which she’ll attend UCLA to play. The only problem for Campos is that she has not gotten as much tournament golf under her belt as she would have liked heading into this week’s ANWA. Still, you cannot replicate the experience of playing here the first time, and if she makes it out of the first two rounds, she should thrive at Augusta National.

2. Rose Zhang: The No. 1-ranked amateur in the world won the U.S. Amateur last year and finished in the top 15 at a professional major championship (ANA Inspiration) in the fall. She made the cut here as a 15-year-old in 2019 and is a budding superstar.

Beatrice Wallin: A Florida State golfer, Wallin finished among the top 10 here in 2019 and has been on fire over the last year as she has 11 top 10s in 12 worldwide events since the start of 2020. The only one that wasn’t a top 10 was the U.S. Women’s Open in December where she missed the cut. She’s a stud.

4. Amari Avery: A former Netflix star (“The Short Game“) who has drawn comparisons (most often from her own father) to Tiger Woods, Avery should be a standout performer at the ANWA. Her story is quite intriguing, and her debut at this prestigious event will be as well.

5. Yu-Chiang Hou and Yu-Sang Hou It’s amazing enough for one family member to rise into the top 30 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, but what about two? Sisters Yu-Chiang (No. 7) and Yu-Sang (No. 27) have accomplished that feat. Both play golf at Arizona, and both will be playing in their second ANWA.

Predictions

Winner — Linn Grant: I want to pick her fellow Swede, Wallin, but Grant has won the last three tournaments she’s played in and has some experience playing in this event (a missed cut in 2019). She’s currently the No. 3 amateur in the world and finished 23rd at the Women’s U.S. Open.

Top 10 — Rose Zhang: Again, not really going out on a limb by picking the No. 1 amateur in the world (who has won five of her last nine events, including the U.S. Women’s Amateur). She shot 72-72-75 in this event back in 2019, and I’m betting that 75 turns into something more like a 71 or 72 this time around.

Sleeper — Amari Avery: I don’t know that she’s a sleeper given how strong her last year has been, but she’s still ranked outside the top 200 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. I’m compelled by her story and will be rooting for it to culminate in a dream around at Augusta National.