Menne, Forsterling Invited to Augusta National Women's Amateur
TEMPE, Ariz. - Ashley Menne and Alexandra Forsterling have been invited to the 2022 Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA), scheduled for March 30-April 2 in Augusta, Georgia.
The duo will represent Sun Devil Women's Golf at the third edition of the most prestigious female amateur event in the country. Arizona State continues their strong connection with the ANWA, as Forsterling and Menne join a growing list of Sun Devils to compete in this event.
"Really excited that Ashley and Alexandra get this opportunity," Sun Devil Women's Golf Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. "They have worked extremely hard to put themselves in a position to qualify. I know they will make Sun Devil Nation proud at this wonderful event."
Forsterling and Menne qualified for the event based on their World Amateur Golf Rankings, as both currently sit in the Top-100. They are joined by class of 2022 signee Paula Schulz-Hanssen in the field, who will already be making her second appearance in the event before arriving on campus in Tempe. Schulz-Hanssen was part of the nation's No. 1 signing class and will join the Sun Devils in the fall of 2022. A total of 85 competitors will travel to Augusta to try and claim one of most prominent championships in female amateur golf.
"We are thrilled that Paula is in the field again and know she is going to compete extremely well," Coach Farr-Kaye added. "Can't wait until she becomes a Sun Devil!"
Female amateurs from all over the world will compete over 54 holes of stroke play. A cut will take place after 36 holes, advancing the leading 30 players to the final round at Augusta National Golf Club. In the event of a tie after 54 holes, the winner will be decided by sudden-death playoff. A full list of the field can be found here.
The first 36 holes will be contested over two days on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., March 30 and 31, 2022. The entire field will then play Augusta National for an official practice round Friday, April 1. The final round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 2 and will feature the top 30 competitors who made the cut.
HISTORY AT THE ANWA
The current Sun Devil duo joins current teammates Alessandra Fanali and Amanda Linner as well as former teammates Olivia Mehaffey and Linn Grant in accomplishing this feat, with Mehaffey and Grant competing in the first two ANWA events. In 2021, they made the cut after two rounds to advanced to Augusta National. Mehaffey (E/144) was tied for third, while Grant (+2/146) was not far behind in a tie for eighth. Mehaffey shot a championship-low 69 in round two to clinch her spot above the cut line. Grant opened the event with a 70 to end in a tie for first after the first round.
In the 2019 version, Olivia Mehaffey put together a fantastic first two rounds, making the cut and eventually finishing tied for 23rd. Linn Grant hadn't yet arrived on campus in Tempe yet, but she still hung with some of the top young golfers. Grant improved her round by seven strokes from the first to second day, giving Sun Devil fans a glimpse of her poise and toughness.
Mehaffey and Grant were joined by three other representatives of Sun Devil Women's Golf in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur. Back in 2019, alum Sofia Anokhina participated along with current Sun Devils Alessandra Fanali, and Amanda Linner. Fanali caught the attention of the golf world after firing an opening round 70, which put her in the Top-5 after the first day. Sofia Anokhina was one of two Sun Devils to make the cut, carding a clutch second-round 70 to earn a spot at Augusta National.
2022 - Ashley Menne, Alexandra Forsterling, Paula Schulz-Hanssen
2021 - Olivia Mehaffey, Linn Grant, Paula Schulz-Hanssen
2019 - Olivia Mehaffey, Linn Grant, Alessandra Fanali, Amanda Linner, Sofia Anokhina
HOW TO FOLLOW
NBC Sports will produce and broadcast three hours of live final-round coverage at Augusta National from Noon – 3 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2022. NBC Sports will also provide pre-event promotion across NBCUniversal's portfolio, while Golf Channel will deliver highlights, live reports and news coverage throughout the event, including onsite during the first two competitive rounds at Champions Retreat. Additionally, Golf Channel's "Live From the Masters" will commence on Friday, April 1 from Augusta National and wrap ANWA coverage on Saturday, April 2 and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday, April 3.
Alexandra Forsterling and Ashley Menne get ready to compete in the Lamkin Invitational coming up on February 14-15, but they provided some time to share their thoughts on getting the chance to compete in this event. Check out a Q&A with the Sun Devil duo:
What was your initial reaction when you first received the invitation?
Alexandra: "I was extremely excited when I got the invite and I immediately shared it with all my friends and family. I was honestly checking everyday if got something in the mail or not."
Ashley: "My initial reaction was surprise and excitement. I really didn't know that I was eligible to qualify for the event. I was so focused on our spring season that I completely forgot about the tournament even existing."
You've seen several friends/teammates compete in this event. How exciting is it to finally have the opportunity to play in it yourself?
Alexandra: "It's extremely exciting, I have heard so many good things, seen so many nice pictures, and always wanted to play in it. Before the season started last year, I set my goal to get to play in Augusta and I am happy that I achieved it."
Ashley: "It has always been a goal of mine to play in this tournament so being able to do it this year has been such a treat. Also it has been so inspiring to see all my teammates play in this and hear about their wonderful experiences playing Augusta."
Have you received any advice from those who have been in this event before?
Alexandra: "I haven't gotten any advice yet, just a few tips such as how to get there and what to wear, but I still want to talk to the other girls to hear about some of the strategies that could help me in the tournament."
Ashley: "I have received advice from Olivia, Amanda and Alessandra about playing in the event. Hopefully with their guidance, I will be able to have a great week on the course."
How special is it to be able to go through this experience with a teammate?
Alexandra: "It's extremely special to go through this experience with Ashley and I am super excited to have her there and to be able to spend time with her there and to experience it with her together. I am also glad that we will be doing the traveling together and just having someone you trust by your side is always nice."
Ashley: "Being able to go through this experience with my fellow teammate Lexi is awesome. Having a teammate in the field always makes any tournament feel homey."
Do you have any specific memories of Augusta as a golf fan growing up?
Alexandra: "I try to watch the masters every year and it's always stunning how beautiful the course is and just the memories that were created there over the last decades. One memory I still have is when Tiger won the Masters in 2019 and we were all watching this great success on our phones while we played a practice round for our tournament and we all couldn't believe it."
Ashley: "I actually played in the inaugural drive chip and putt at Augusta when I was 10. I was able to finish 3rd that year. So being able to go back and actually play the course as an adult is a dream come true."