For Oregon State junior golfer Ellie Slama, not only can she say that she has qualified for the Augusta National, but she can say she has qualified for it twice.
In the sport of golf, one of the most historical and traditional golf tournaments is the Augusta Chronicle’s National Tournament, also known as the Augusta National. The tournament is hosted yearly by one of the most famous and beautiful golf clubs in the country, the Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia.
The tournament is meant for the best of the best golfers, with only the elite being able to say that they were able to compete in the same tournament as Tiger Woods. Qualifying for this tournament is no joke.
Slama can add her Augusta National qualifications to her already long and impressive list of accomplishments. Not only did Slama win the OSAA 6A Girls Golf State Championships in 2016 and 2017, but she has also medaled at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Oregon Junior Amateur, and was the top American finisher with seventh place at the 2016 IMG Junior Worlds. All of these accomplishments were while Slama was still in high school, way before she would even compete for Oregon State.
In her first season for the Beavers in 2017-2018, Slama had a scoring average of 72.79 in 29 rounds, which would be the best single-season scoring average in Oregon State history. Slama also won the individual title at the Ron Moore Invitational and finished in a tie for 27th place at the PAC-12 Championships. Slama finished in a tie for 30th place at the NCAA regionals, barely missing the cut to qualify for the national tournament.
In the 2018-2019 golf season, Slama set two more personal records, including having the best single-season scoring average in Oregon State history with72.43 in 35 rounds. She also set the Oregon State single-season record with seven top-10 finishes and became only the fifth golfer in Oregon State history to advance to the NCAA National Championship tournament as an individual, where she tied for 103rd place.
Slama was one of only 72 of the best golfers from around the world to be invited to the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she tied for 52nd place. Slama barely missed the cut to qualify for the last round of the tournament, as only the top 30 moved onto the final round. In the 2019-2020 season, Slama simply picked up where she left off, earning a scoring average of 72.72 in 18 rounds, the second best in Oregon State single-season history.
Slama was even given another chance at redemption, as she was invited once again to compete in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur during the 2019-2020 season. Unfortunately, like many other sporting events, the tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite this, Slama is still staying positive about the whole situation. In an interview with The Oregonian, Slama said, “Knowing that it’s backed up by other competitions is good because there’s a better chance that it is postponed and not completely cancelled.”