AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A new kind of champion crowned on golf’s most iconic course. Every April in Augusta, Georiga the best golfers in the world join golf legends to play in the Masters.
This year, the first ever Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament.
Countless pictures taken with the iconic leaderboard in the background over the years and for the first time the names of female competitors on the board. We now have the first women’s champion at Augusta National.
The first to tee off on Wednesday at nearby Champions Retreat… and the last to putt on 18. Jennifer Cupcho: the first women’s champion at Augusta National.
In one of the first groups to tee off, University of South Caroilna grad, Ainhoa Olarra.
“They opened the gate and I started seeing people and people and people and I’m like ‘oh my gah’, how many people are coming?”
Olarra brought a tribute to her friend Celia Barquin Arozamena. A ribbon, a ball marker, a head cover and a bracelet.
“On the other side it’s her initials.”
Arozamena was murdered on a course near Iowa State University where she played golf. She wanted to play in this tournament and she never will, but a piece of her was here at Augusta National.
“Honestly, I feel like she is with me and she’s been with me the entire round and so maybe I enjoy it and that’s why it was going so fast because I was enjoying it twice, you know,” said Olarra. “I just feel like really honored to be here with her.”
Virginia golfer Anna Redding came in with momentos she says she’ll never use again.
“Put them somewhere just to remember…”
These Augusta green shoes and her ball marker, sacred like her memories.
“Gosh there’s so many things to take away…this entire week has just been so special. I realize how lucky I am to be here,” said Redding.
Some of golf’s greats here this week talked about how this will inspire the next generation of golfers. Another effort to do just that– the Drive, Chip and Putt competition that happens Sunday.
The Masters practice round starts on Monday. The tournament begins on Thursday.