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  • Writer's pictureANNIKA Foundation

October Featured Player: Alyaa Abdulghany

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

A junior at the University of Southern California, Alyaa Abdulghany is our October Featured Player. Ranked No. 72 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, she boasts an impressive resume both on and off the course. After five top-10 finishes last season, including her first collegiate win at the Battle at the Rock, Alyaa competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. More recently, she finished 4th in the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and won the SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship this past summer. We spoke with Alyaa shortly after USC competed in the ANNIKA Intercollegiate last month.

Where are you from?

Born - Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Lives - Newport Beach, CA

What is your favorite T.V. Show?

Good tie between The Vampire Diaries and Into the Badlands.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Black Eyed Peas

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring and why?

1. Book (I can’t go anywhere without a book to read)

2. My mother (She’s my rock and will keep me sane)

3. Phone (Listen to music; hopefully get some service to get off the island LOL)

What is your favorite Holiday and why?

Christmas because I love the decorations & the Xmas Spirit. (Presents are a bonus)

How do you spend your free time outside of golf?

Reading a book or spending time with family

Who is your biggest role model and why?

Myself 10 years from now; I want to always strive to be a better me in every aspect I can (fitness, knowledgeability, EQ, etc.)

Do you have any hidden talents?

I play the piano and guitar

What is your greatest memory while playing college golf so far?

East Lake Cup 2017 & 2018

Why did you start playing golf?

I was not a very outgoing kid growing up and golf fits my introverted nature very well. I also love going out to the course or practicing because it was, and still is, very serene for me.

Besides the skills of the game, what has golf taught you?

Patience, character, how to think outside the box

Do you have any advice to share with aspiring female golfers who are just starting to play the game?

1. Strive for your goals, but never let those goals become a burden.

2. The things you want will never come to you easily.

How do you balance the life of a student-athlete?

It’s always about finding the time for everything. Time management is crucial to balancing academics and sports.

You had a great season of golf this summer with a top-5 finish at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and a win at the SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship. How do you feel going into the season after this summer and your first event?

It’s great seeing myself post some good numbers through the summer, but this upcoming season is going to be a different monster. We’re always going to put our best foot forward, prepare for each tournament as best we can, and try to put some good finishes on the record.

Part of our mission is “More Than Golf” which is meant to emphasize the importance of being active and healthy off the course and following your dreams no matter what they are. Why do you think this is important for young girls to be taught and aware of this today?

Golf is a microcosm of life. There are so many valuable lessons to learn and to equip us in our daily lives. It has taught me the importance of nutrition, exercise, my values as a person, and so much more.

What changes, if any, do you think can be made to further support women’s golf?

Equity across all spectrum's of the game, from tournament purses to media advertising to giving back to future generations; it’s self-explanatory. We’re taking a step forward in the right direction but it’s not enough and we need to push even further.

Can you share some of your goals for this season?

1. Posting better finishes with each tournament; improvement, and growth as we continue throughout the season.

2. Hopefully, we can win a college tournament through the fall or spring semester.

Alyaa has played in four ANNIKA events, including three appearances at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M with USC. She tied her best finish this year at the event with T29th. Currently studying business administration, Alyaa hopes to play professional golf after graduating but is also considering graduate school or an internship. Alyaa shared with us that golf has taught her so many valuable lessons. “This sport of hitting a white ball into a white hole has changed my life.”

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