England’s Lottie Woad wins Augusta National Women’s Amateur

A sign of what will happen in the Masters week? Lottie Woad, the 20-year-old from Farnham, has become the first European winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. In the kind of moments that childhood imaginations – and many adult fantasies – are made of, she converted a birdie putt on the 18th green to take the title by one stroke from Bailey Shoemaker of the United States.

Woad had shots in three of her last four holes, including the last two. The former girls amateur champion shot a 69 at the Georgia venue where the 88th Masters kicks off on Thursday. What competitors there would give for Woad’s finish.

“To be on the back nine at Augusta is something everyone dreams of,” Woad said. “So I really tried to embrace it. It’s just really cool to be in the same spot as the Masters champions and to follow in their footsteps a little bit.”

This was the fifth time this tournament was played. Three of the previous champions have come from the US, with Japan’s Tsubasa Kajitani having the upper hand in 2021. Woad is a student at Florida State University, and the temptation to turn professional will likely only increase after this success. “I don’t want to rush anything,” Woad said. “We have a national championship coming up with FSU, so we really want to give ourselves a chance in that.”

Shoemaker, who set the clubhouse goal after a bogey-free 66 moved her to seven under, explained why she felt completely at ease. Only the final round of this event will take place at Augusta National. “It was more stressful to make the cut at Champions Retreat (where the tournament starts),” she said.

“Everyone said the same thing in the second round. You didn’t know if you would take the lead or if you would fight to get to the finish. I would get a bogey and go up five spots. It was just a super hectic day, so it was nice to just get out there and know that you made it, you’re running Augusta National on the last lap. It’s just perfect, you can go out and have fun. I’m obviously disappointed, but I played as best I could.”

Cameron Smith is expected to be fit for the Masters despite withdrawing before the second round of the LIV event in Miami. It was believed the Australian was feeling the effects of food poisoning he suffered earlier in the tournament week.