Triumph in Augusta for the 17 year old, who won in the playoff against the American Migliaccio. Paltrinieri finishes 27th
It is that of the Japanese Tsubasa Kajitani, seventeen, the second name engraved on the trophy of the Women’s Amateur in Augusta (Georgia), top event in women’s golf for the quality of the field and competition theater. The same where the Masters will be staged next week. She started two shots back yesterday morning, survived a double bogey at 17, reacted with a super recovery to the last one and waited as a leader in the clubhouse for the playoffs. Who won – with the compliments of Tiger Woods – against the American Emilia Migliaccio after a play-off hole, always the 18th, this time played to perfection.
The youngest of the thirty on the field yesterday, Tsubasa Kajitani has already made some appearances on the Japan Tour, continuing the tradition of Japanese women’s golf capable of expressing absolute talents. A country in love with golf, which will welcome the Olympic Games next summer on a fantastic track. For the winner, the doors of the US Open and British Open are open, as well as those of the Women’s Amateur for the next five editions. In contrast, the twenty-one year old Emilia Migliaccio (who studies and plays at Wake Forest University) will be a writer, golf is not part of her professional plans; his caddy for the occasion was his mother, a former Swedish national.
Once again the Augusta National reserved emotions, front changes, great plays and dramatic moments. And as always, the second nine decided the race. This time, however, it was not a head to head for the title as in 2020, when the challenge was resolved between Maria Fassi and Jennifer Kupcho, then winner. This time the protagonists were many until the end. With five holes to play there were six in command, four when the last team was missing three to finish (one shot above par for the score leader). Danish Karen Fredgaard left the scene with bogey at 18, who was still in the game after a shot in the water at 15 and two paid on the score. Emilia Migliaccio and Tsubasa Kajitani had already finished. Rose Zhang, the world number one awaited for the grand finale, remained on the field: she had marched safely at the head of the board from the start of the match, but her run suddenly stopped at hole 13, with the ball lost from the tee. and in the water in the shot at the green for an 8 that highlighted a bad balance on the par 5 in the three days: of the 11 shots lost in total, 6 right in the holes where you can earn. But here we see the champion and the response was a birdie soon after. She lost another shot at 17 but she tried to the end: the wrong putt on the last one excluded her from the playoff. At the Augusta National, all flowers and perfection (it was a nursery before becoming a golf course in 1933) the athletes who crossed it in these last two days of the Women’s Amateur have given great plays, enthusiasm, smiles and that touch of femininity missed for almost all of its history (doors closed to ladies until 2012). The most coveted and exclusive club in the world gave them a dream, “the one that pays off all the work done to be among the best, which allows you to play the number one tournament on the best field ever”, said Caterina Don.
Qualified among the top 30 also in 2020 (she had closed twelfth dead heat), the 20-year-old from Turin had access for the second time to the final round. He closed it between applause with a memorable putt at 18: ten meters and one of the impossible slopes of Augusta, the body facing the opposite of the hole and the ball that bends at ninety degrees hitting the goal. 77 his score, two shots lost in the first nine and three left in the Amen Corner (11, 12, 13 crucial holes), with double at 11; then everyone par until the end. Emilie Paltrinieri, on the other hand, passed unscathed at Amen Corner, who however paid for a difficult start with six bogeys and a birdie in the first nine, and two more shots lost in the final for a 79. “At the beginning I put the ball on the green in the right places, but I didn’t find the correct speed with the putt, losing some confidence; then I kept the latter well. Playing here was a crazy experience, ”he commented. After all, as the president of the club Fred Ridley said, “this tournament is much more than a number on the score”. Italy led the international contingent in terms of number of athletes, second only to the United States in the field with 38 girls. Five blue, arrived at American colleges from the small Italy of golf, which manages to express excellence even with small numbers of players, born from a mix of individual talent and passion, commitment of parents, support of clubs and federation. Girls who have conquered the expensive scholarships in the most coveted American colleges, and here they are looking for that extra gear that will decide their path towards the professional tour. They did not pass the cut to Augusta, Anna Zanusso (out of a shot), Benedetta Moresco and Alessia Nobilio (of two).
Final ranking 1. Migliaccio 73-74-70 (217); 1. Kajitani 73-72-72 (217); 3. Pauline Roussin-Bouchard 75-73-70 (218); 3. Heck 73-73-72 (218); 3. Spitz 73-74-71 (218); 3. Fredgaard 70-75-73 (218); 3. Zhang 71-72-75 (218); 3. Lindblad 73-70-75 (218); 25. Don 73-77-77 (227); 27. Paltrinieri 72-77-79 (228).
April 4, 2021 (change April 4, 2021 | 12:27)
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Women’s Amateur, the Japanese Kajitani wins. Don closes in 25th place