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Texas A&M Women's Golf

Chadwell looks back on making an Augusta trip with a trio of Aggies

April 9, 2024

As Masters week gets underway, Texas A&M head coach Gerrod Chadwell just returned from the Augusta National Women's Amateur with Jennie Park, Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio and Hailee Cooper. On Tuesday, Chadwell spoke to TexAgs Radio about the experience.

Key notes from Gerrod Chadwell interview

  • I feel like you get quite the array of songs leading into my segment. We went with George Strait once, and now we went with “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” On the way to school in 1997, I might have been listening to Snoop Dogg. I am a country music fan. I want to see Parker McCollum in concert. Growing up in Oklahoma, it was popular, but you go through phases in music. I’ve gone through rap, rock and country, but I’m back in my country phase.
  • It was a special week at a special place with special people. What can you say? To have that representation on the biggest stage in women’s golf with three Aggies in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur field is just amazing.
  • Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio had a good week. She played well. The first two days, they played at Champions Retreat, which is a tough course, and the wind was really blowing. She got to Augusta for Saturday’s round, and she didn’t have the best round. She played OK on the back side. She’s just a freshman and had a 20th-place finish at Augusta.
  • Jennie Park played really well but missed the cut by one stroke. She didn’t have her best but played it well. Hailee Cooper had a lot of coverage throughout the week. She didn’t play that well at Augusta, but it was her first time there. Still, all of it was amazing for our program.
  • Fernández García-Poggio and Park didn’t have the element of being in awe of everything because it wasn’t their first time there. For Cooper, it was the largest crowd she had played in front of. There were thousands of people there, and they were ticketing it just like the Masters.
  • I was able to walk and watch Fernández García-Poggio’s round on Saturday, and there were so many Aggies there to support her. I got to talk with them about the program, and their reaction was the same as mine: It was awesome to see our program represented so well there. I ran into an older gentleman who was there for the first time with his son, and it’s just in a category of its own. Everything they do for the young ladies at Augusta is just first class.
  • The cutoff to get into the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is Dec. 31, and it’s off your ranking. For Fernández García-Poggio to get there last year as a junior golfer is really impressive because junior golf tournaments aren’t weighted as much as college golf. This year it just happened to be 36 Americans and 36 internationals. The qualifying process will restart next year. You can move up pretty quickly in college golf, and Adela Cernousek is already knocking on the door. If she can get there next year, it would be her first time. The girls know what it takes to get into places and tournaments. Our players know what’s at stake, and hopefully, they can seize those opportunities when they arise.
  • The Augusta event takes up almost two weeks for the players. Our first tournament of the spring was the first weekend of February, but you’re forced to start that week and then play all the way until Memorial Day if you’re a title contender. We leave tomorrow for the SEC Championships. You have to schedule something close to the SEC tournament, and we’re currently trying to figure out how to balance all of it with our scheduling next spring. It’s a good problem to have.
  • Your best players are going to be at Augusta, and you want them to be there. If they’re playing in that event, it’s a good problem to have.
  • As a sport, we don’t have a recruiting calendar. We can go on the road 365 days a year. As a coach, it’s a grind, but we’ve learned how to balance finding a break in March to split our spring season because we ran out of gas at the national championship two years ago. We’re still learning, but you want to be your freshest and well-rested at this time of the year.
  • We haven’t played our best year, but if we do, we’ll be fighting for an SEC Championship. Then we’ll have the chance to play at a home regional for the chance to go to the national championship. I like how things are shaping up.
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Chadwell looks back on making an Augusta trip with a trio of Aggies

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