The Growing Game of Women’s Golf: Local high-schooler invited to play at Augusta National

Local high-schooler invited to play at Augusta National

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis Junior All-American Golfer is helping the game of women's golf grow.

Augusta National is one of the most iconic golf courses in the world.

It’s the home of the Masters, where the world’s best male golfers play.

Just last year, women’s amateurs were invited to compete on the same greens.

“I had never even considered that a possibility. Growing up it wasn’t like I was even hoping for a tournament at Augusta, I had never thought of it,” said Rachel Heck, St. Agnes Academy senior.

When St. Agnes Senior Rachel Heck saw the news of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur she couldn’t believe it.

Until 2012, women weren’t even allowed to be members at the prestigious golf club.

“I feel like the women are starting to have more opportunities like the guys because so many positive women role models, like Annika Sorenstam, and so many women who get to the top and push for more opportunities,” said Heck.

Seventy-two of the world's rising juniors in women's golf received invitations to the event.

Heck was selected for being one of the top 30 women's golfers in the United States.

Last year she was watching it on TV.

“It was packed. The ropes, 10 feet deep. To think that kind of crowd was at a women's amateur event, is pretty unbelievable,” said Heck.

This year, she has the opportunity to be the one that younger golfers are watching with hopes of making it to Augusta, one day too.

“Even outside of golf, all women sports are growing. All women athletes need to support each other and to help grow the game,” said Heck. “To help set an example for women to show that the men, yeah we deserve these opportunities just as much as the men and we can work just as hard and be just as good. I could’ve never dreamed that my first time at Augusta National will be as a competitor and that wouldn’t have been possible without all of the strong women who have come before.”

Augusta National Women's Amateur is April 1-4.

If Heck makes the cut after the second round she'll play on Augusta for the final round on television.

Ole Miss women’s golfer Julia Johnson will also compete at the tournament.

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