AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta National Golf Club is the home of the Masters Tournament and a place golf fans flock to each year.
Rick Franza is the Dean of the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta University and is a huge golf fan.
“The eighties is when I really started following golf. Nicklaus winning the ’86 Masters was kind of one of those moments,” said Franza.
So, like most golf fans, Franza went to experience the tournament firsthand.
“It was the third round in 1989. The first time was particularly unbelievable. I think the first time anyone walks on that place, it’s an amazing moment,” said Franza.
Franza has been to the Masters about half a dozen times.
In fact, he enjoyed his time at Augusta National Golf Club so much, he named his daughter after it.
“Her first name is Augusta, and so her full name is Augusta Jayne. Her friends are always surprised, or other people in her class, when they do the first day of class and read off the names, because everyone knows her as A.J. When they hear her name’s Augusta, they tend to be surprised,” said Franza.
“I think I was in first grade when I want to start going by Augusta and people were like, ‘that’s weird, what does that even mean,’ and then I was like, ‘it’s some golf tournament that my dad really likes,” said Augusta.
Two years before Augusta was born, Franza’s wife was pregnant with their older daughter. They were watching the Masters on TV when they got the idea for the name.
They had already decided to give their first daughter a family name, so when they had the opportunity to name their second daughter Augusta, the decision was easy.
“It’s become a big deal. Ever since, people are always like, ‘what does A.J. stand for,’ and I tell them and they say, “wow, that’s so pretty,” and I’m like, ‘yeah, my dad just really likes golf,'” said Augusta.
While she may be named after Augusta National Golf Club, she’s never actually been to visit her namesake.
“I’m really hoping that I can go this year. If anybody has any extra tickets, please let me know. I’m actually graduating from Kennesaw State University this May; actually on May 11. So, this would be a really great grad present if anybody has any extra tickets,” said Augusta.