LPGA’s Alison Lee on Augusta National: ‘When do we get to play?’

April 9, 2019

With one successful Augusta National Women’s Amateur in the books, several LPGA players are starting to wonder — will they have a chance to play the most famous course in golf?

The timing of the inaugural event put LPGA Tour players in a tricky spot; the ANWA took much of the shine off the first major of their season. But pros from across the men’s and women’s games were quick to provide vocal support of the event, both in interviews and across social media.

“This is just so amazing!!!!!!” wrote Jessica Korda after Saturday’s thrilling finish at Augusta. She would go on to finish T6 on Sunday after a two-under 70 at the ANA Inspiration.

Suzann Pettersen chimed in with her own excitement. “How awesome to turn on the TV and watch the girls play at Augusta! Great to see the crowds and the publicity girls golf are getting,” she wrote.

Men’s players like Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler were among those who offered support. But there was another sentiment that LPGA pro Allison Lee raised after the tournament’s dramatic conclusion Saturday.

“Sooooo when do we get to play Augusta?” Lee wrote on Twitter.

She immediately found support from peers. Brittany Lincicome added several thinking face emojis. “Someone finally said it,” wrote mini-tour pro Hannah Gregg. In another post, former LPGA player Jeehae Lee showed her support for a women’s event at Augusta that would involve the pros.

The ANWA undeniably drew attention; the event grabbed the highest ratings (men or women) of any amateur event since 2003 and the highest ratings of any women’s event since 2016. Augusta National’s pull helped bolster the intrigue of some of the top amateurs in the women’s game. The course’s recognizability also makes it easy for viewers to access and appreciate when they tune in.

There’s an underlying theme here, one Jessica Korda expressed to the New York Times. “What we’re working toward is having the same amount of respect that the men get,” she said. That’s a process that took a step forward at Augusta this week. Whether the women’s pro game fits into Augusta’s plans remains to be seen.

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