Pimnipa Panthong was in contention after the first two rounds of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship at the Champions Retreat Golf Club.

The final round was another story, however, as Panthong stumbled straight out of the gate with a triple-bogey on the first hole.

Panthong scored a 78 in the final round, which was six-over-par for the day and three-over-par for the tournament.

“(Augusta) itself was tough,” Panthong said. “Greens were pretty fast. I just didn’t score good. I played bad on the first hole and struggled on the greens. You need to putt well there, or you aren’t going to play well.”

Coach Maddi Swaney elaborated on Panthong’s struggles on the first hole.  

“She drove her shot a bit right and hit the fairway bunker,” Swaney said. “She didn’t have a shot out. She did hit the center of the green, but her first putt missed the hole by four feet. The second was even worse, about six feet past. It’s pretty tricky if you miss the green or don’t hit the right part of the green.”

The fast green also affected Panthong’s short game. 

Augusta

Pimnipa Panthong tees off at the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship on April 4, 2019. She would finish 17th in the tournament.

“This golf course is all about putting,” coach Greg Robertson explained. “She didn’t make the putts. She got opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. You have to put the ball on the right part of the green.

“The green and undulation are unlike anything you’ve seen. If you hit the wrong part of the green with your approach shot, it’s very tough to two-putt.”

Despite the tough final round, Panthong still realizes she became a part of history over the weekend.

“The experience was amazing,” Panthong said. “It was a dream come true and an honor to play.”

Swaney praised Panthong’s ability to carry herself despite the pressure.

“I think she did a great job,” Swaney said. “Even though she didn’t score as well as she would have liked, she handled herself with class and very proud of her. It’s very hard to go into that type of atmosphere and not have any pressure.”

Panthong’s teammate, Michaela Finn, missed the cut for the final round with scores of 76 and 74.

Jennifer Kupcho won the tournament with a score of a 67 (five-under-par) in the final round to win. Kupcho, the number one amateur in the world, defeated Maria Fassi by four strokes. Kupcho secured the win in the final round with an eagle on the 13th hole and birdies on three of her last four holes.

Zachary McKnight is a sports reporter. Contact him at zmcknigh@kent.edu.

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