FSU golfer Lottie Woad rides Augusta National rally into Chevron Championship

Florida State sophomore Lottie Woad isn’t into golf history as she is making some of her own.

Woad also knew she’d done something special to capture the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on April 6 with a furious and record-tying rally on the storied course. The 20-year-old from Farnham, England, joined Arnold Palmer (1960) and Mark O’Meara (’98) as the only golfers to win at Augusta National with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, giving Woad a 1-shot win over USC’s Bailey Shoemaker.

“There’s a lot of history at Augusta National, but not much on the women’s side,” she recently told the Orlando Sentinel. “A lot of people are telling me two players or something have birdied the last two to win by one. So I’m in there with them.”

Woad had little time to rejoice after a career-changing victory during a tournament becoming the pinnacle of the women’s amateur game. Much work remained as the world’s fourth-ranked non-professional golfer set out to ride the momentum into this week’s Chevron Championship.

The ANWA winner earns invitations to the five women’s majors, though it will keep Woad from joining the Seminoles at this week’s ACC Championships.

“Unfortunately I’m going to miss that, but I couldn’t really turn down a major,” she said. “It’s just going to be great to see where my game is at compared with the best players in the world, which is what I want to do eventually.”

A powerful driver of the ball and gifted ball striker, Woad displayed the game and the mettle at Augusta National to create ample curiosity about her this week in Houston.

She entered the final round with a 2-shot lead after two rounds played at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, 15 miles north. Following a practice round at Augusta National, Woad set out the next day to close the deal on the game’s biggest stage.

“Having to sleep on the lead an extra night is a weird one,” she said. “You don’t get that at any other tournament.”

Woad seemed destined to become a footnote to the fifth edition of the ANWA.

A bogey on the iconic par-5 13th hole has derailed many golfers, but Woad did not wilt. Even when she hit a tree with her drive at the par-4 14th, she would complete a clutch up-and-down with a 10-foot par putt.

“That put was probably the biggest moment of the round and gave me momentum,” she said.

Up ahead, Shoemaker led by two shots amid a brilliant final-round 66 on the par-72 layout.

But Woad followed her par-save with a birdie from 12 feet at the par-5 15th to set the stage for her show-stopping finish, capped by her winning birdie on No. 18.

“I’ve watch that putt quite a bit,” she said. “It keeps popping up on my feed.”

Woad keeps showing up on leaderboards wherever she tees it up.

Dating to her March 2023 win during the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, she has finished inside the top 10, with two wins and two runner-up finishes in the eight events counting toward her amateur ranking.

“I’ve contended in every event, which is obviously the aim,” she said.

A ardent fan of Leeds United, Woads fancied herself a footballer until going all-in on golf as a 12-year-old.

“I just enjoyed the different aspects of golf,” she recalled. “You can never really get bored or run out of things to practice.”

Eventually she ended up on the radar of Seminoles coach Amy Bond, who had lured All-American Charlotte Heath from England in 2020.

Recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic, Woad soon set her sights on Tallahassee. First-class facilities, favorable weather and a coaching staff led by Bond sold her on FSU sight unseen.

The 2023 ACC Freshman of the Year, Woad hopes to improve on her T-31 at the NCAA Championships. Otherwise, she’s taking a wait-and-see attitude.

“I’m not thinking too far ahead,” she said. “I have a lot of stuff to play in this summer with FSU and the majors. I’m going to see how all those experiences go.

“I don’t want to rush anything.”

Edgar Thompson can be reached at