Speaking to the official tournament website Maria Fassi said “Until last year, having the chance to compete at Augusta National so early in my career is something I didn’t know could be possible,” said Fassi who plays her golf at the University of Arkansas and will also be part of the field for the event.
Former major winners Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Nancy Lopez and Se Ri Pak will take part in a special first tee ceremony to begin the event’s final round at Augusta National the morning of Saturday, April 6.
The male winner of The Masters is awarded the coveted Green Jacket each year and in 2018 Patrick Reed won $1.98 million for finishing at the top of the leaderboard, out of a total prize purse of $11 million.
However, the prize for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship is quite different. The winner will collect a specially designed trophy, made in collaboration with Tiffany & Co. from sterling silver and a 24-karat yellow gold vermeil.
Provided the winner remains an amateur, the champion will also receive an invitation to the next five Augusta National Women’s Amateurs, as well as the remaining women’s majors for 2019.
The scheduling of the event has caused some controversy within the game as well. It’s being played on the same weekend as the first major of the year on the women’s professional calendar, which is traditionally when the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) ANA Inspiration is held. This also happens to be the week before The Masters heads to Augusta National in the men’s game.
Reigning Women’s British Open Champion Georgia Hall will be one of those competing in the ANA Inspiration and she told the BBC in March “It’s another step towards having some equality,” before going on to say “I’m quite sad I’m not playing, it’s an awesome opportunity.”
Whilst no plans are currently in place for a women’s version of The Masters, organizers at the Augusta National have stated they would be open to discussing options for one in the future.