Kajitani captures Augusta Nationwide Ladies & # 39; s novice
Japanese teenager Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta National Women & # 39; s Amateur in 2021 afterwards against the American Emilia Migliaccio in the first hole of a play-off with a sudden death.
The 17-year-old Kajitani, who finished 26th in the amateur world rankings before the tournament, entered the finals in fifth at Augusta National. And her hopes of victory seemed slim after bogeying on par fourth, but bouncing birdies on the 8th, 14th and 15th.
But she struggled with a three-putt-double bogey on par 17th and thought her hopes might have been dashed with three groups still on the course. But those players had their own problems with Augusta's fabled nines, and a final par-72 round turned out to be good enough to force play-off with Migliaccio, a senior at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, who played with a two-under-par closed 70.
Kajitani, who shot rounds 73 and 72 in the first two rounds of the Champions Retreat, sealed her success in the first hole of the play-off with a bold two-putt par 45 feet on Augusta's 18th green.
Six players – Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, Rachel Heck, Emma Spitz, Karen Fredgaard and the co-leaders of the second round, Ingrid Lindblad and Rose Zhang – took third place, one stroke behind Kajitani and Migliaccio.
Commenting on her shocking success, Kajitani said: "To be honest, when I came to the US I didn't expect to win the tournament. Then day after day I gained confidence and then won the tournament."
Only 30 players made it to the finals in Augusta. Olivia Mehaffey of Northern Ireland finished ninth, three to par, while Annabel Fuller of Surrey finished 22nd after rounds 72, 75 and 79 and finished in tenth place.