It was a message in his inbox. One of many. This one, unusually, was from Augusta National. Opening it like a chest found on the wreckage of a ship, the golfer Monet Chun had just found her treasure.
She was on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Harbor when she received an alert on her phone. The email informed her that she was on the shortlist for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournament. The female counterpart of the Masters Tournament.
The official invitation arrived by parcel a few weeks later, at the university.
For anyone who has ever knelt down to read a putt or planted their tee on a tee, stepping onto the ground at the world’s most famous golf club is a dream come true. A fantasy, in fact, for ordinary mortals. But not for Monet Chun. For her, it will soon be reality.
The golfer from Richmond Hills, Ontario will therefore be visiting the temple of American golf for the first time. “It means a lot. They select few players among the best amateur players in the world. So to have been chosen to play there, it’s quite phenomenal, “says the kinesiology student by phone after a class.
The 22-year-old athlete, whose birth date is a palindrome, January 1, 2001, will appear in “one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments” to wow the gallery. She refuses to play extras and to be impressed by the magnitude of the event.
Monet Chun is used to meeting expectations under pressure. This is why it represents one of the finest projects in Canadian golf. His year 2022 has been stunning. Enough to tip the scales and propel it to the top sooner than expected, she says.
Last year, she won the college championship in the Big Ten, the division in which her team, the Michigan Wolverines, plays. She also triumphed at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, in addition to finishing second at the US Open Amateurs. A year earlier, she had been selected to the Big Ten All-Star First Team and was also named the division’s Rookie of the Year. This season, in five tournaments, she maintains an average score of 73.40 per round.
“I think I’m dealing well with playing in big tournaments. It has helped me over the past few years. I will try to keep the same routine. It will obviously be a different environment, but we will have to take advantage of every moment to come out of it stronger, “she explains about her apprehensions about the tournament played in Georgia from March 29 to April 1.
The Ontarian landed at the University of Michigan because she was seduced by its culture. “It’s a whole,” she clarifies.
The university is recognized for its athletic excellence. Its reputation precedes it. In the past, the Wolverines have stood out in hockey, swimming, gymnastics and, of course, football, a religion on campus. Each game played in the Michigan Stadium, the largest stadium in the United States, takes on the appearance of a mass bringing together 107,601 faithful.
“It’s phenomenal!” I go to all games when I am available. It’s a completely crazy experience. It’s part of the culture here and there are so many people that it warms up when it’s cold. You can’t understand until you live it,” Chun recalls.
Still about this unique culture, the golfer speaks of a “quality program”.
She’s proud to wear the big yellow “M” on her polo shirts because she knows that behind that capital letter lies a rich and glorious history.
“It’s inspiring to see that there have been athletes in the same position as me who have had success. It’s good for confidence and it impresses me to know that we too can dream of being so successful. It is a complete and nourishing experience. »
It is now up to her to create her own story to become part of the legend of this sports program. Being able to drag your golf bag around the most iconic course of all is arguably a great start. So that one day it will be Monet’s “M” written in gold and in capitals.