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  • Writer's pictureANNIKA Foundation

In-Form Maria Olivero Secures Early Lead at Women's Amateur Latin America Championship


15 November 2023, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Argentina’s Maria Olivero continued her excellent form to lead the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation after the opening day at Pilar Golf.


Olivero, the oldest player in the field at the age of 49, signed for a superb seven-under-par 65 – after finishing with four straight birdies – and claim a two-shot advantage over compatriot Ela Anacona.


In the second group of the day, Olivero expertly handled the warm and breezy conditions on her championship debut and maintained the form that saw her win the Argentine Women’s Stroke Play for the 11th time on Saturday.


A field of 59 talented players representing 13 different countries are competing in the 72-hole stroke play championship, being staged for the third time at the venue north of Buenos Aires in Argentina.


Olivero, who tied the lowest score in championship history, has Anacona for company near the top after the 23-year-old closed with four birdies in her last six holes. The University of Arkansas student posted a 67 as she looks to build on two top-15 finishes in the championship.


A group of five players are well-placed on two-under-par – Emily Odwin from Barbados, Mexico’s Vania Alicia Simont, Venezuela’s Vanessa Gilly, Catalina Monroy from Colombia and Holly McLean, the first player from the Cayman Islands to compete in the championship. Defending champion Valentina Rossi recorded a one-over-par 73.


The champion this week will play alongside the stars of women´s professional golf from around the world in three major championships next year – the AIG Women’s Open, The Chevron Championship and The Amundi Evian Championship.


She will also compete in The Women’s Amateur Championship and The Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex in 2024.


The Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation follows the successful introduction of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship by The R&A in 2018.


Its aim is to strengthen the pathway to the very highest levels of golf by providing a platform for the region’s best women’s amateur golfers to compete against each other, with 22 players in the field this week under the age of 18.


Key Quotes


Maria Olivero, Argentina (-7)

“For me, I wanted four-under-par this morning because I was talking about that. Four under was enough for me. So I was very pleased with my finish, you can’t do better than that.


“I’m like the mum here, most of them can be my child! I want to play well so they don’t laugh and show that I can perform.


“I think I have a chance now, but I want to take it day-by-day and not look forward so much. I want to keep playing well, keep scoring and put the ball where it should be on the greens.”


Ela Anacona, Argentina (-5)

“It’s always hard to start a tournament like this with all the expectations, but I think I managed it well so I’m happy with the way I played.


“My ball striking was the best part of my game today. I struck many balls close to the hole. The course is playing very close to what it was playing last year. It’s very windy and it’s getting harder.”


Vanessa Gilly, Venezuela (-2)

“I felt really solid with my game. I started off with not great ball striking but was then able to figure it out. I’m taking the positives from tomorrow and can build from there.


“It’s my third appearance in this championship and I think my game has grown mentally. It would be so big for Venezuela if I could win and I feel proud to be near the top of the leaderboard."


For more information, please visit walagolf.com



The Women's Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation


The Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation was established to nurture talent and provide a pathway for the region’s elite women amateurs to the international stage and the opportunity to play in three major championships.


The third edition of the region's premier women's amateur championship is being played at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 15-18 November 2023. The 2023 champion will earn exemptions into the AIG Women's Open, The Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship. The winner will also receive an exemption into The Women’s Amateur Championship and the top three, an exemption into The Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex (given age eligibility).


For more information, please visit the championship website.


Past Champions

Year    Host                              Champion                

2021    Pilar Golf, Argentina      Valery Plata (COL)

2022    Pilar Golf, Argentina      Valentina Rossi (ARG)    


About The R&AThe R&A group of companies was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open, golf’s original championship, and developing the sport. The World Golf Museum in St Andrews is part of The R&A group.


Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 61 million golfers engaged in the sport in 145 countries and with the consent of 164 organizations from amateur and professional golf.


The R&A has responsibility for running a series of world class amateur events and international matches in women’s and girls’ as well as men’s and boys’ golf. The R&A stages the AIG Women’s Open and works with the DP World Tour to stage the Senior Open presented by Rolex.


The R&A is committed to investing £200 million over ten years in developing golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally, including the development and management of sustainable golf facilities.

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