EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – Practice is complete. Wednesday morning the strongest field in Augusta National Women’s Amateur history will begin competition at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, the only golf course in the world co-designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, who combined to win 13 green jackets.
After Tuesday’s practice round, the field gathered at Augusta National Golf Club for the annual Chairman’s Dinner.
Since 2019, the event has been held the week before the Masters Tournament and serves as the official beginning of tournament-related activities in the Augusta area.
The 72 player field includes the top 45 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Defending champion Anna Davis teed off from the No. 1 tee at 9:46 a.m. on Tuesday. She became the youngest ANWA champion in 2022, and seeks to become the first back-to-back champion just weeks after winning the Sage Valley Junior Invitational in Graniteville.
“I feel like earlier in the week I was putting more pressure on myself,” Davis said after Tuesday’s practice round. “I don’t know. Once you’re here you’re like, okay, I’m just going to enjoy myself. It’s a pretty golf course. Playing good golf with good people. Just enjoy the experience.”
The 2023 field also includes 2021 champion Tsubasa Kajitani, who returns after taking a break from the game in 2022 for reasons she termed a “family situation” when asked after Tuesday’s practice round.
Rose Zhang, a sophomore at Stanford University and the world’s No. 1 ranked amateur, teed off of No. 10 tee at 10:44 a.m. She is making her fourth ANWA appearance as one of four Cardinal golfers in the field and is the only player to have advanced to the final round three times. Her best finish was a tie for third in 2021.
“I would say in terms of resume the ANWA is a title I haven’t achieved yet,” Zhang said after Tuesday’s practice round. “So it’s really cool to be able to be here and get another go at it. I don’t really think much about these things. I feel like I’ve been really thankful to even place well the last couple years. So right now my forefront goal is to make that cut.”
The field includes participants from 20 different countries and 31 different colleges and universities. Five schools have three representatives: Duke, Florida State, LSU, Stanford and Wake Forest.
Round one will being at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Following Thursday’s second round, the entire field will play at practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday before the top-30 plus ties compete in the final round at Augusta National on Saturday.
Golf Channel will provide live coverage from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. during the first and second rounds.
For groupings and tee times, click here.
This story will be updated throughout the day.