EVANS, Ga. – When Erica Shepherd saw what happened between Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship, it stirred up some painful memories.
Garcia lost a hole – and later the match – after lipping out a tap-in putt in anger before Kuchar could concede. Two years ago, something similar happened between Shepherd and Elizabeth Moon in the semifinal of the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior, when Moon raked back a putt before Shepherd could say the putt was good.
Of course, what happened after that was worse. Shepherd, who went on to win the title a day later, was viciously attacked on social media.
“I was glad that it wasn’t blown up as much as it could’ve been [for Garcia and Kuchar], as much as it was for me,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd, though, has learned from the trauma.
Full-field scores from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur
“That taught me to not care what people say or think,” said Shepherd, now 18. “I’m a lot more mentally tough than I was back then, and I’m grateful for that.”
Her game has evolved since then, too.
The Duke signee, the only lefty in the field this week at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, shot 1-under 71 Wednesday at Champions Retreat. Shepherd made six birdies, including three in her final four holes.