EVANS, Ga. – Carolina Lopez-Chacarra was warming up on the range at Champions Retreat on Tuesday before her practice round for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur when she hit a shot and immediately felt a sharp pain in her lower right arm.
“It was kind of like an electric shock from my elbow down to my wrist,” Chacarra told GolfChannel.com on Tuesday evening.
Now, the Wake Forest freshman is questionable for Wednesday’s opening round.
“I’m hoping I can play tomorrow,” she added.
Chacarra started feeling soreness in the right-wrist area during last weekend’s Liz Murphey Collegiate in Athens, Georgia, where she tied for second. But the feeling had mostly subsided by the time she arrived in Augusta, and through the first handful of warm-up balls on Tuesday, everything felt normal – that is until the ill-fated strike.
After the jolt, Chacarra tested her wrist out with another ball. Same sudden pain. She then headed to the first tee and tried to play the front nine, but she hit just two full shots. She putted for most of the back nine before hitting a drive and approach shot on her final hole.
“It was hurting,” Chacarra said, “but when I hit it was like a shock and then after like 30 seconds to one minute it went away.”
After she finished, Chacarra called her trainer back at Wake and was diagnosed over the phone. Chacarra said that they determined that a muscle in her arm must’ve become inflamed and started irritating a nerve. The treatment called for a combination of heat, anti-inflammation cream and stretching, which she was headed straight home after the players’ dinner to resume.
Rest would also be helpful, though Chacarra, who is ranked 10th in the world amateur rankings, knows she has an important event to play this week.
“With some rest and treatment, it should be good to finish the season, but it might bother this tournament,” said Chacarra, who has enjoyed a stellar debut season for the Demon Deacons, winning twice and leading Wake to a No. 3 national ranking. “This is one of the best tournaments of the season, but at the same time, it’s my first college year, and as a team, we’re really excited for regional and nationals, and I know for sure that I don’t want to miss that.”
Full-field scores from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur
Still, Chacarra is going to try to do everything she can to give it a go on Wednesday. After all, coach Kim Lewellen calls her freshman one of the toughest players out there.
“I will see if I can play tomorrow, even if it’s hurting, if I can just hit it good,” Chacarra said. “I was kind of scared to hit the ball hard today, so I wasn’t carrying it as far, but it still went pretty straight. So, maybe tomorrow I’ll have to take one or two more clubs than usual.
“But I’ll be happy just being out there and having a chance to play.”