Wrigley Field. Madison Square Garden. Churchill Downs. The Swamp.
These iconic sports venues hold memories and moments that will survive well beyond their lifespans. The history of these places makes them what they are today: temples. Holy places for the sports fan to make their pilgrimage.
Perhaps no venue holds more weight than Augusta National. The home of the Masters, this golf cathedral spans more than 7,700 yards and has played host to some of the sport’s most memorable moments. Starting Wednesday, another chapter will be written on its hallowed grounds by two Florida Gators.
Senior Addie Baggarly and sophomore Annabell Fuller will battle with some of the top women in amateur golf in Augusta, Georgia, this week in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA). The event features 54 holes of stroke-play competition that take place between Wednesday and Saturday.
The first two rounds of the tournament take place at the Champions Retreat Golf Club. After the initial venue cuts the field down to 30, the final round will commence on the sacred grounds of Augusta National.
Baggarly and Fuller both earned the exclusive right to compete in this event, as less than 100 golfers from across the globe were invited to compete. The duo combine to form quite a resume. Baggarly earned a spot on the 2020 U.S. Arnold Palmer Cup team, the only golfer in UF history to achieve that feat, and was named second-team All-SEC for 2020.
Fuller made a name for herself before even enrolling at Florida in the spring of 2020. The England native won the 2020 English Women’s Open and is currently ranked 29th in the world amateur golf rankings. In her first season as a Gator, Fuller won the Gators Invitational, which included a collegiate-low 66 in the third round. She comes in at 30 on Golfstat’s NCAA Player Rankings.
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur began in 2018 and was the brainchild of former Gator Fred Ripley. The current chairman of Augusta National, Ripley announced the tournament on April 4 of 2018.
According to the ANWA website, the event was established “to inspire greater interest and participation in the women’s game by creating a new, exciting and rewarding pathway for these players to fulfill their dreams.” As of now, the ANWA is the only event women compete in on the historic course.
The ANWA will bring national spotlight to the Gators. The Golf Channel will provide coverage and on-sight highlights from the first two rounds. Coverage shifts to NBC Sports for live coverage of the final from noon to 3 p.m.
Fuller leads the duo off Wednesday at 11 a.m. while Baggarly tees off at 12:06 p.m. After two rounds of play on Wednesday and Thursday, the 30 players who make the cut will have a round of closed practice on Friday before the final round on Saturday.
The Florida pairing is set to walk in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest legends this week and try to etch their names into the allure of the sport’s greatest sanctuary.
Contact Michael Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33