AUGUSTA, Ga. – University of Arkansas senior Maria Fassi will be one of the first 30 collegiate women ever to play a competitive round at Augusta National on Saturday.
The Razorback All-American fired back-to-back rounds of 70 finishing in second place after two rounds of stroke play in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur on the Champions Retreat Golf Club on Thursday. The entire 72-player field will play in a practice round at Augusta National on Friday with the top-30 players moving on to the final round of competition for the title on Saturday.
Fassi’s Thursday scorecard was littered with ink as she battled all round long to remain near the top of the leaderboard. She opened play on No. 10 and posted a two on the par-3 11th hole. She then struggled with back-to-back bogeys before an eagle on No. 14 moved her back to 1-under. A bogey and birdie to close out the side saw her turn 1-under.
She birdied hole one but gave both strokes back with bogeys on holes three and four. Unfazed, Fassi picked up birdies on two of her final four holes to finish 2-under for the day. Her 4-under 140 is one shot back of the leader and Fassi is one of just four players who were under par in both rounds.
Senior Dylan Kim shaved one stroke from her first-round total shooting 75-74=149 to finish T-37th overall. Senior Kaylee Benton was five shots better on Thursday shooting 78-72=150 to T-40 overall. The duo will take part in the practice round at Augusta National on Friday but did not make the cut to Saturday’s final round.
The trio are in the field of 72 players who compete the week before the Masters Tournament next week. The event is 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to 30 players taking place after 36 holes. The first two rounds take place on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club Wednesday and Thursday. The entire field will then play Augusta National for an official practice round Friday, April 5. The final round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 6 and will feature the competitors who made the cut.
NBC Sports will broadcast three hours of live coverage and the Golf Channel’s “Live From The Masters” will provide coverage of the later rounds.
The University of Arkansas and Blessings Golf Club are the proud hosts of the 2019 NCAA Women’s and Men’s National Championships. The women’s event begins May 17 and is immediately followed by the men’s championship beginning May 24. For more information or to volunteer for the event, log on to www.NCAAGolf19.com.