Augusta National Women's Amateur, surprise

Francesca Fiorellini has been selected to participate in the fifth edition of the Augusta National Women's Amateur, a prestigious tournament that will take place from 3 to 6 April

by Andrea Gussoni
Augusta National Women's Amateur, surprise
© Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith / Staff

Francesca Fiorellini has been selected to participate in the fifth edition of the Augusta National Women's Amateur, a prestigious tournament that will take place from 3 to 6 April. This tournament is also known as the Women's Masters, as competitors will have the opportunity to play the final round on the renowned Augusta National course, located in Augusta, Georgia, which is the home of the Masters Tournament, the first men's seasonal Major (April 11-14).

Francesca Fiorellini, schedule

The invitation is a recognition both for the talented young 18-year-old Roman player, Francesca Fiorellini, who has impressed worldwide in 2023 with her extraordinary performances, and for the entire Italian national movement, which continues to demonstrate the excellence of its athletes.

In the previous season, Fiorellini triumphed in the National Women's Championship/Giuseppe Silva Trophy (match play) and in the International Women's Championship of Italy. He also successfully represented Europe in the Patsy Hankins Trophy against the Asian Pacific team, in the Junior Solheim Cup against the US team and in the Junior Ryder Cup, where together with Giovanni Binaghi he contributed to the victory of the European team against the same age Americans in the run-up to the first Ryder Cup played in Rome, achieving a global success.

The Augusta National Women's Amateur tournament will consist of two phases. On April 3 and 4, the 72 players will compete on the course of the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, for the first 36 holes. After a day's break on April 5, during which they will test on the Augusta National course, on April 6 the top 30 will have the honor of concluding the tournament on the legendary course designed by the legendary champion Bobby Jones.

The tournament saw the light back in 1934 under the name "Augusta National Invitation Tournament," an idea born from the mind of Bobby Jones, a well-known golfer, and the contribution of Clifford Roberts, an investor from New York.

Bobby Jones together with architect Alister Mackenzie were responsible for the design of the course. In 1939, the tournament changed its name to the current "Masters Tournament," and since 1940, it has been held annually in the first full week of April.

The Masters attracts top professionals from around the world, along with amateurs who hold the United States and Great Britain champion titles. The selection of participants is extremely rigorous, even more so than other major tournaments.

This leads to a limited number of participants, around 100 players, in contrast to around 160 in traditional major tournaments. Eligibility rules include past Masters winners, winners of the last five other majors, winners of the last three Players Championships, the top four finishers in each major from the previous year (but the top 12 in the Masters plus recent), the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking of the previous year and the top 50 of the current year in the week preceding the tournament, as well as the qualifiers for the Tour Championship of the previous year and the champions of the Amateur tournaments.

Among the players who have made the history of this tournament, names such as Jack Nicklaus stand out, winner 6 times, the last of which in 1986, when he was 46 years old, and Tiger Woods, who won it 5 times, with his first victory in 1997 at the age of 21 years and 3 months, thus becoming the youngest and first black player to win in the history of the tournament.

Another memorable Masters moment came in 2017, when Sergio García finally won the tournament after having competed in 73 majors without a win. He beat England's Justin Rose in an exciting playoff.