One week before the 2019 Masters tournament, Augusta National will host their first ever women’s event, The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship. This tournament will bring the best women amateurs from all over the world to compete on the prestigious grounds that have crowned many PGA players as major champions. Among the competitors is Alexa Pano, a 14 year old from Lake Worth, Florida. Alexa is a dedicated student that does her homework in the car while traveling across the United States to compete in junior and amateur golf tournaments. Alexa is no stranger to competition as she competed with a sponsor exemption at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2018 and she was a member of the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup team. Pano already has four amateur event wins which has brought her as high as 66th amateur in the world rankings.
We were introduced to Alexa Pano in 2013 when she was featured in a documentary on Netflix called “The Short Game.” This documentary showcased the most talented 7-8 year old golfers internationally as they prepared to play the World Championship of Junior Golf at Pinehurst Golf Course. During this film, Alexa Pano is discussing her future and says, “I want to be the first woman to play a tournament at Augusta.” It’s clear to see that these junior golfers have outstanding talent and bright futures ahead of them all but I don’t believe anyone thought Alexa would make that dream a reality so quickly. At only 14 years old, she has received the coveted invitation play in the first Women’s Amateur Championship at Augusta National and show everyone that age is just a number.
According to Augusta National, “The event was established to 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.”
Holding their first women’s event is a great way to break down barriers and move the game forward. Efforts like these will grow the game for future generations. Although she is only 14, Alexa Pano has proven that she’s prepared to compete against the best in the world at Augusta National, where she has won her age group at the Drive, Chip, and Putt twice. Alexa Pano will be the youngest of the 72 players battling over four days but don’t count her out, she absolutely has what it takes to win.