Clemson star Alice Hewson enjoys experience of Augusta National Women's Amateur
Alice Hewson couldn’t stop smiling as she walked out of the scoring room and to the media scrum at Augusta National Golf Club.
Save Hewson’s day book-ended with double bogeys, she was pleased with her round three performance. Playing on the Masters Tournament course made it that much better.
Hewson, who plays at Clemson, finished the Augusta National Women’s Amateur with even-par 72 in Saturday’s final round to finish 1-over par for the week.
“I had a really great time out there,” Hewson said. “The atmosphere was incredible, there were so many great people out there cheering us all on. I had a really great time. The good golf helped.”
“... It’s a really, really great opportunity and no one else is ever going to get that chance to be in the first 30 women to play here so I’m really grateful to be out here this week and play well.”
She finished tied for 10th and birdied five times in the final round. Even with a solid round behind her, she really enjoyed having the Clemson faithful behind her.
She said even at home matches, she doesn’t get the support like she did Saturday, which made playing in the final well worth it. Hewson added that she even had fun chanting "Go Tigers" at nearly every fairway.
But her most cherished moment on the course was when she made a 25-foot birdie on No. 15.
“The roars coming from those who could see it on 16 or down the 15th fairway and having my whole family down here to be able to watch (was absolutely incredible),” she said.
Beyond the two rounds at Augusta National, including Friday's practice round, Hewson said the whole experience this week helped her get clarity and focus her mindset when she plans to turn professional this summer.
Former LPGA Tour legends Se Ri Pak, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa gave words of advice to all 72 participants on Friday about their experiences when turning pro and the challenges they faced. Hewson said hearing that helped her get in the mindset of progressing her golf career.
“It was really good being able to talk to them,” she said. “They mentioned feeling like you were ready to go and ready to turn pro and I think playing well this week in front of the crowds that we had today, that gives me some confidence after today going into the next stage of my golfing career.”
Playing in what is one of her last amateur events was another step in helping her get the confidence she needs to play on the pro tour.
Even though it may be some years down the road before it happens, she said she’d love to come back for a Women’s Masters.
“It’s just been really mind-blowing. I knew that they were going to do it well, but the way that Augusta National does stuff is just completely amazing,” Hewson said.