Palm Beach Gardens (CBS12) — 14 year old Alexa Pano has traveled the world playing golf, but this week she's taking on some of the best players in the world right here at home. The home of the Honda Classic has become the home to the American Juniors Golf Association's Tour.
Pano grew up watching the Honda Classic, and practices regularly on the Champion Course whenever she's home, so it's a refreshing feeling playing at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
"It's nice being comfortable with the course," admits Pano. "And knowing a lot about it."
Pano made headlines at her first LPGA Tour event in Japan back in 2016, at age 11. She's won the Drive Chip and Putt Contest in Augusta, Georgia twice. But one of her favorite early career moments was in France this past summer, when she helped Team USA win the Junior Ryder Cup.
"The Junior Ryder Cup was definitely the greatest thing I ever played in," says Pano with a smile."Being on a (winning) team with literally my best friends was just an amazing experience."
Pano is already preparing for her next big milestone, and her performance at this week's home tournament could go a long way in helping her crack the top 60 of Amateur female golfers. That would earn her a spot in the upcoming inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship, to be played at the home of the Masters in April.
"The course is amazing obviously," reflects Pano. "It's just the history of the course that makes it even more special."
And golf fans can look forward to watching Pano create more history of her own.