Virginia Tech’s Emily Mahar reunites with parents at Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Virginia Tech’s Emily Mahar reunites with parents at Augusta National Women’s Amateur
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The Augusta National Women’s Amateur isn’t just growing the game, it’s bringing families together.

Such is the case with Virginia Tech senior Emily Mahar, who was playing her practice round for the Clemson Invitational last week when she got the call that she needed to pack her bags for Augusta, Georgia, as she was a late addition to the 72-player field. After hanging up, Mahar immediately called her parents, James and Katie, back home in Brisbane, Australia; they, too, needed to quickly pack their bags.

“They’re getting on the plane on their way here,” Mahar said Tuesday at Champions Retreat, which will host Rounds 1-2 before the tournament moves to Augusta National for Saturday’s final round. “… It’s really cool just to share that experience with them. We’ve all been golf fans, so we know a lot about the Masters and Augusta, and now to share that moment with them is super special.”

It will be even more meaningful considering Mahar hasn’t seen her parents in person in about two-and-a-half years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third Augusta National Women’s Amateur takes place this week, with 72 of the top female players in amateur golf.

Remember fellow Aussie Cameron Smith’s emotional victory earlier this month at The Players, when he was reunited with his mom and sister? This week has a chance to produce a similar feel-good story for the Mahars.

“It’s been really difficult,” Mahar said. “Social media, FaceTime, everything’s been really helpful. I got married to a Virginia Tech grad, so I have a new family in Virginia now; that’s been really helpful…”

But nothing beats face-to-face interaction with her parents, who tried to bring some Vegemite on the plane for their daughter, a big fan of the Aussie delicacy, only for TSA to confiscate it from their carry-on.

“Luckily, they were able to buy it on the other side,” Mahar said.

Should Mahar play well this week, that Vegemite will taste even better. But even if she doesn’t, these few days will be well worth it.

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