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Posted April 04, 2019 06:04 pm
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Alexa Pano just misses out on playoff at Augusta National Women's Amateur

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    Alexa Pano walks up to the 11th green during the second round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga., Thursday April 4, 2019. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

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    Alexa Pano places her ball on the 11th green during the second round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga., Thursday April 4, 2019. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

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    Alexa Pano watches her putt on the 11th green during the second round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga., Thursday April 4, 2019. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

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    Alexa Pano watches her putt on the 11th green during the second round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga., Thursday April 4, 2019. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Alexa Pano knew she needed one more birdie.

The top 30 after Thursday’s second round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur advanced to Augusta National for Saturday’s final round.

Pano came to the 525-yard 9th hole at Champions Retreat Golf Club, her last of the day, and left herself 10 feet for birdie.

“The ball broke and just went below the hole, hit the edge,” her father, Rick, said. “I thought it was in. A foot away I thought it was in. She came that close.”

Pano, at 14 the youngest player in the field this week, finished with 1-under-par 71 on Thursday and 4-over 148 for the two rounds. A total of 3-over made the playoff for the final spots at Augusta National.

“She showed a lot of guts coming in,” her father said. “She was at plus 6 with three holes to go.”

Pano birdied Nos. 7 and 8 to give herself a chance. But the final putt wouldn’t fall.

“I played really solid the whole day today and couldn’t get anything to drop,” she said. “I got unlucky on a lot of my shots.”

Her father said the teen from Lake Worth, Fla., will go back to work.

“You turn it into a positive. Use it to work harder,” he said. “Take a look back. What did we not do well, and go out and get better. She wanted this badly, leave no doubt.”

The Panos were impressed by how the tournament it was run.

“It’s a hell of an experience,” Rick Pano said. “I think the best thing they’ve ever played in, by far they ever played in. The people from Augusta are just fantastic, couldn’t have made this better.

“It’s not only one of the biggest golf tournaments, it’s one of the biggest women’s sporting events.”

Pano, a two-time Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals winner at Augusta National, had said years ago that her dream was to be the first woman to play in a tournament at Augusta National.

She almost made it.

“I definitely learned a lot about fundamentals,” she said. “A lot of positives to take away from this week, just one negative.”