Tsubasa Kajitani made par at the first playoff hole to defeat Emilia Migliaccio and win the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.
Tsubasa Kajitani Wins Augusta National Women’s Amateur
Tsubasa Kajitani was the youngest player to qualify for the top-30 at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. On Saturday, though, she would defeat Emilia Migliaccio to claim the biggest win of her life.
The 17-year-old had started her day two shots back of overnight leader and world amateur number one, Rose Zhang, and a level-par front nine for Kajitani kept her firmly in contention.
With the front nine in full flow, it was Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey who was making the early moves: making consecutive birdies at the seventh and eighth to join the leader, Zhang.
Mehaffey would falter, though, making bogies at the ninth and 10th, before a double-bogey at the 12th dropped her out of contention.
As the leaders approached the back-nine, it was Karen Fredgaard who was making moves, converting four birdies in a seven hole stretch to overtake Zhang, who remained level-par for her day.
Like Mehaffey, though, Fredgaard would drop herself out of contention, racking up a bogey and then a costly double to put her three shots back.
Whilst others struggled, Kajitani pounced; birdieing the 14th and 15th to give herself a two-shot lead over Zhang who had just racked up a triple-bogey on the par-5 13th.
Kajitani was the only player under-par for the tournament. That was, until, she played the par-4 17th. Placed in the middle of the fairway, the Japanese star fatted her approach shot. She then put her chip over the back, eventually three-putting for double-bogey.
The 17-year-old would par the last hole to get into the clubhouse at one-over-par and tied with Migliaccio, who was one of only five players under-par for the day.
With Zhang missing a birdie putt at the last to join the playoff, the duo headed back down the 18th.
Playing the famous finishing hole, both hit great drives onto the fairway and were faced with mid-iron approaches into the green.
But, with Migliaccio pushing her second well right of the target, her opponent would find the back of the green, leaving herself two putts for victory after Migliaccio duffed her chip into the bunker.
The 17-year-old wouldn’t buckle, holing a five-foot-putt to claim her biggest ever victory.
Speaking in the Butler Cabin, Kajitani said: “I wasn’t expected to win this tournament and I was just really happy to be here. I can’t really describe it right now.”
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