St. Augustine, FL (AJGA): The 12th annual ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex wrapped up Monday crowning Benedetta Moresco of Caldogno, Vicenza, Italy, a first time AJGA champion. Moresco shot a three-day tournament total of 4-under-par 212, becoming the first Italian champion of the ANNIKA Invitational USA.
The University of Alabama verbal commit carded five birdies in the final round for a 1-under-par 71. She added to her impressive first and second rounds of 1-under-par 71 and 2-under-par 70 in pursuit of her 4-under-par 212 tournament total.
As the 2020 ANNIKA Invitational USA champion, Moresco receives an exemption into the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, held in Winter Haven, Florida this March, through the AJGA’s partnership with the Symetra Tour. Moresco is the first of three Symetra Tour exemption winners in 2020.
Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, finished solo second at 2-under-par 214. The Stanford University commit’s impressive second round, 3-under-par 69, placed her in the final grouping heading into the final round.
Rose Zhang of Irvine, California; Paris Hilinski of Los Angeles; and Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey, finished T3 with a tournament total of 1-over-par 217.
Reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Zhang, finished the weekend with rounds of 74-70-73 for her 1-over-par 217. The Stanford University verbal commit is coming off an impressive 2019 AJGA invitational run, finishing within the top-3 at each of her four starts. Zhang is currently No. 1 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Hilinski made her first AJGA start since 2018 this weekend. She carded rounds of 72-71-74 to finish T3 at 1-over-par 217.
Ganne kicked off 2020 with her best finish since 2018. The 2019 Honorable Mention Rolex Junior All-American put together rounds of 73-71-73 to finish T3 at 1-over-par 217. Ganne is currently No. 32 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
The three-day tournament was highlighted by a clinic with Annika Sorenstam who shared stories of her iconic career and game tips with the 72-player field. The AJGA and ANNIKA Foundation also partnered with the First Tee of North Florida to host a clinic for local First Tee participants hosted by the AJGA juniors and Annika.
About the AJGA The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 7,000 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.