Colombia's Valery Plata Named Maiden WALA Champion
The battle of the Colombians came down to the final hole at the inaugural Women’s Amateur Latin America, with Valery Plata making a five-foot par putt to edge out Maria Jose Marin Negrete by one stroke. The event, a collaboration between The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation, featured the top 58 female amateurs from Latin America and the Caribbean, with players vying for exemptions into the 2022 AIG Women’s Open and Amundi Evian Championships.
After an uneventful front nine on Sunday, fireworks began to fly on the back as Plata made birdie on No. 12 and eagle on No. 13, paired with bogeys on each hole from Marin Negrete. The two traded blows the remainder of the round with Plata sealing the deal on No. 18 to finish at 12-under-par 276 and securing two major starts in 2022.
Finishing in third was Valentina Rossi after a final round of 5-over-par 77, to finish at even par 288 for the championship.
Following the success of the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America, founded in 2016, the WALA has been well received in the region and has drawn media attention from around Latin America. In addition to the two major starts, the champion will also receive an exemption into the South American Amateur Open and the top three finishers will earn slots in the Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex.
Final Results: https://walagolf.com/leaderboard/T20211027-888/