Excerpts from Scott Carter / Senior Writer’s articles
Both players had their I-can’t-believe-that moments on Saturday during a historic day at one of golf’s most historic venues.
They heard “Go Gators” chants. They signed autographs and more autographs. They played in front of the biggest crowds either had witnessed from within the ropes.
It was an experience neither will forget. An experience they can’t forget, one that resonated too deep to let drift into the fog.
“That’s new territory,” said UF women’s golf coach Emily Glaser. “To be honest, I think I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing a little bit. They learned a lot.”
With their fathers carrying their bags in the final round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the names of UF juniors Sierra Brooks and Marta Perez both appeared on the green-and-white leaderboards poking at the sky around azalea-drenched Augusta National Golf Club.
Their practice of not looking at the scoreboard was tossed in a bunker.
“The feeling of walking up to the ninth green and seeing your name on the leaderboard, that was great,” Perez said. “That was awesome.”
In the end, neither Brooks nor Perez seriously threatened to become the first woman crowned champion at the home of the Masters. Both entered Saturday’s final round within striking distance, Brooks two shots back of leader and eventual champion Jennifer Kupcho, and Perez tied for 11th six shots back.
Brooks finished tied for 10th and Perez tied for 21st. The first women’s tournament in the history of the storied course drew rave reviews from fans, players, Masters officials and the media.