ANNIKA Foundation and The R&A Partner to Create New Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship
Inaugural Edition Will Be Played September 3-6, 2020 in Argentina
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – has partnered with The R&A to create the new Women’s Amateur Latin America championship.
The event will debut September 3-6, 2020 at Pilar Golf Club in Buenos Aires and replace the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America on the ANNIKA Foundation circuit of global tournaments. Via the Women’s Amateur Latin America, the region’s most talented golfers will now have an opportunity to earn an exemption into the AIG Women’s British Women’s Open.
“It is important for us to provide the very best women’s amateur golfers in Latin America with opportunities to compete and excel at the very highest level as part of our drive to grow and develop golf in key regions around the world,” says Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. “We have seen how the Latin America Amateur Championship has unearthed talents such as Joaquin Niemann and Alvaro Ortiz and so we look forward to working with the ANNIKA Foundation to replicating this success and identifying the next generation of golfers in the women’s game in the years to come.”
“This is an incredibly exciting elevation of the ANNIKA Foundation’s partnership with The R&A and marks a major milestone for our global circuit of girls’ golf championships,” adds Annika. “Not only are we furthering our influence in a region that we feel holds great promise for growth but offering the winner a place in the AIG Women’s British Open speaks to the great strides we’ve made since our first ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in 2016. This is a big day for golf in Latin America and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
The format for the championship will be 72 holes of stroke play and 60 players will be invited to participate based on their position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®).
Likely competitors include Argentina’s Agustina Zeballos, who won the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America last year, and Paraguay’s Sofia Garcia, a junior at Texas Tech who has won several NCAA events. Both are currently ranked in the top 20 positions of WAGR®.
Mark Lawrie, Director – Latin America and Caribbean at The R&A, says, “It is an exciting time for women’s amateur golf in Latin America and we believe that this event will be very important for elite golfers to develop their skills and gain valuable experience, while also inspiring young golfers to reach the very highest level.”
The Women’s Amateur Latin America presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation follows the successful introduction of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship by The R&A in 2018.
The ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to growing the game of golf around the world. It annually hosts six girls-only invitational tournaments on five continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, the ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup (Sweden), ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills (China), ANNIKA Invitational Australasia (New Zealand) and Women’s Amateur Latin America (Argentina). At the college level, each year it hosts the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M and bestows the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel to the most outstanding female Division I golfer as voted on by peers, coaches and media.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 60 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. Twenty-eight alumnae competed in the 2019 ANA Inspiration.
About The R&A
The 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 British 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 36 million golfers in 144 countries and with the consent of 159 organisations from amateur and professional golf.
The R&A merged with the Ladies’ Golf Union in 2017 and now 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 boy’s golf. The R&A works with IMG to stage the Women’s British Open and with the European Tour to stage the Senior Open.
The R&A is aiming to invest £200 million in developing golf over the next decade and supports the growth of the sport internationally, including the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. For more information, visit www.randa.org.