35 ANNIKA Alumnae in 2020 ANA Inspiration
This week, the best women will tee it up in golf’s first major, the 49th ANA Inspiration held at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course of Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. Originally scheduled for April 2-5, the tournament was postponed due to the pandemic.
Our 35 ANNIKA alumnae are led by World No. 2 Danielle Kang and World No. 3 Nelly Korda. Both have had outstanding seasons so far, especially since the return of the LPGA after cancellations due to COVID-19. Kang won back-to-back tournaments starting with the inaugural Drive On Championship played at the end of July. She also finished T5 at the AIG Women’s British Open played a few weeks ago in Scotland. Korda is coming off a T3 finish at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Also coming in hot after her win in Arkansas is ANNIKA Foundation and LSU alum, Austin Ernst. The 2011 NCAA individual champion claimed her second victory on the LPGA last week after firing a final round 8-under for a two-stroke victory over Anna Nordqvist.
All six amateurs competing this week have played in ANNIKA Foundation events. Coming off a dominant summer is top-ranked player Rose Zhang. The California native has only played in three events this year but has claimed two wins, the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur and Rolex Girls Junior Championship in back to back weeks, along with a solo third place finish at January’s ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex. Another top-ranked amateur competing is 2019 U.S. Women’s Am champion Gabriela Ruffels. The USC senior also finished runner-up to Zhang at this year’s championship. Other amateurs competing this week are 2018 ANNIKA Invitational USA champion Lei Ye, Olivia Mehaffey, Emilia Migliaccio and Kaitlyn Papp.
ANNIKA alumnae LPGA rookies who made the elite field are Andrea Lee, Yealimi Noh, 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate individual champion Patty Tavatanakit, two-time ANNIKA Award winner Leona Maguire and Esther Hensleit.
Other ANNIKA alumnae who will be competing this week are Celine Boutier, Nicole Broch Larsen, Maria Fassi, Kristen Gillman, Jaye Marie Green, Megan Khang, Cheyenne Knight, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Jessica Korda, Bronte Law, Yu Liu, Gaby Lopez, Stephanie Meadow, Annie Park, Sarah Schmelzel, Linnea Strom, Emma Talley, Charlotte Thomas, Maria Fernanda Torres, Lindsey Weaver and Angel Yin.
We wish the best of luck to all our former ANNIKA competitors playing this week and will be cheering everyone on!