Finn, Panthong playing in Women’s Amateur Championship


Michela Finna and Pimnipa Panthong take a selfie as they watch fireworks before the start of the Augusta Women’s Championship.

Zachary McKnight

Kent State women golfers Michaela Finn and Pimnipa Panthong will take part in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship April 3 through April 5.

The competitors will play the first 36 holes Wednesday and Thursday at Champions Retreat Golf Club, then a cut happens before the top 30 play the final 18 holes at Augusta National on Saturday.

The final round will air live on NBC from noon to 3 p.m.

Coach Greg Robertson praised the women’s performance to get to the tournament and said it is huge for all women involved.

“It’s such an iconic course,” Robertson said. “It’s such a special championship and golf course and for the ladies to able to compete there in a competition setting; it is a really big thing for women’s golf. It’s a golf course everyone dreams of playing at.”

Robertson is very proud of both women and said this tournament is a reward for their hard work.

“When you recruit, you see potential,” Robertson said. “We felt they had the qualities to be great players. With the resources, and with their hard work, they had a chance to have this opportunity.”

“Everyone playing there is playing at a high level, and Michaela and Pim are no exception. They have done a lot of good things here, and it has paid off for them.”

Robertson said both women earned their spots via World Amateur Golf Ranking. He said it’s based off summer, international and domestic tournaments.

“They take the top 30 American collegiate golfers and the top 30 international golfers with 12 spots for exemptions and selected spots.”

Panthong is ranked 17th, and Finn is ranked 57th as of April 2.

Robertson said several holes could give the golfers trouble.

“There are going to be a couple very long holes,” Robertson explained. “The 10th will play really long, and the 12th will be a pivotal hole. It’s a par-3 that’s tough even for the Tour players. It is surrounded by trees and water with swirling winds. The 13th and 15th holes will be fun to watch. They are both risk/reward holes where it’s very easy to make a birdie or a bogey.”

Robertson felt this tournament will be good for to Kent State in general.

“It’ll give exposure to the athletic department and our program and further validates you can be very successful at Kent State and achieve your dreams,” he said.

Robertson had a message for both women when they first started at Kent State and where they are now.

“Treasure every day you have,” Robertson said. “Don’t waste any opportunities. Enjoy the moment and enjoy the process because these next four years will be the best years of your life.”

“They’ve worked hard to get to this point,” he said. “Enjoy the moment and enjoy the experience. Compete hard and have some fun.”

Zachary McKnight is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].