AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Ana Belac, a Duke University junior from Slovenia, stepped to the tee of Augusta National’s famed par-3 12th hole on Friday, stuck a 7-iron shot to 5 feet and proceeded to make the birdie putt.
It’s a memory she’ll cherish, one of many forged by the competitors in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, who got their first taste of the home of the Masters in a Friday practice round. Although only 30 of the 72 entrants will play in Saturday’s final round at Augusta National, the entire field played Augusta on Friday.
Belac didn’t make the 36-hole cut after rounds of 80-72 at Champions Retreat Golf Club, but that didn’t matter on Friday.
“It was nothing like I could ever imagine,” said Belac, 22. “Playing (Augusta National) after seeing it on TV so many times, it was surreal.
“It’s hard to describe in words what today meant because I never expected it to be that special. So it’s just hitting me right now.”
Belac was nervous on the first tee, she said, but as the day went on she became more comfo...
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