England Golf Club News 9th Apr, 2019 by ukclubgolfer.co.uk
Rising English amateur star Lily May Humphreys says she feels ‘very honoured’ and ‘proud’ to be taking part in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
Comprising 72 of the world’s leading female amateurs, Humphreys is one of four golfers from the UK taking part in the historic first staging of the event, alongside compatriots Alice Hewson, 21, and Annabell Fuller, 16, as well as Olivia Mehaffey, 21, from Northern Ireland.
The event, which was announced ahead of the 2018 Masters, marked an unprecedented move from Augusta National Golf Club, especially given that it only admitted its first two female members – former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and businesswoman Darla Moore – in August 2012.
The event, chairman Fred Ridley hopes, will ‘inspire greater interest and participation in the women’s game by creating a new, exciting and rewarding pathway for these players to fulfill their dreams’ and it has already had that effect on 17-year-old Humphreys.
“I only started playing golf six years ago – now I’m going to be among the first women to play in a tournament at Augusta,” said the reigning Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open champion, who only took up golf after a chance trip to Topgolf with her brother.
“I feel very honoured and proud to be playing in this event. I’ve already had so many great moments, like the first time I played for England, the Curtis Cup and becoming an Olympian. Playing at Augusta National will be right up there with them.
“When the invite arrived, I was out practising at my golf club (Stoke-by-Nayland) and my dad drove there to give the invite to me. The envelope had the Augusta National logo on it and it was such a thrill, especially as it looked just like the invitations the men get to the Masters. It’s definitely one for the scrapbook.”
To actually play at Augusta National in the tournament will take a bit of work for Humphreys, though. The first 36 holes of the 54-hole strokeplay event will be contested over two days on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, from April 3-4.
Only the top 30 competitors will make the cut for the final round at Augusta National on April 6 and, if any of the English trio make it through, it will mark the first time an England Golf female player has played in a tournament on the famed course.
The Augusta National dream won’t be shattered for the 42 players who don’t make the final day though as, on April 5, the entire field will play an official practice round.
“I am really hoping to make the cut but even if I only get to play the practice round, it will still be very special for me,” added Humphreys.