The Women's Amateur Latin America Championship Celebrates its Second Edition at Pilar Golf
In less than 24 hours, 60 players will begin their pursuit of a dream win when the Women's Amateur Latin America championship (WALA) begins at Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires, Argentina. With the memory still alive of Valery Plata's historic victory on this same stage just one year ago, the championship organized by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation has quickly become a great goal for the region’s best amateur women golfers.
"Challenge," "dream," "expectation," "aspirational," "unforgettable" and "desire" are some of the terms that the players competing in the championship chose when they were asked to describe it in a single word.
The championship holds added significance for competitors due to the accolades beyond a trophy and coveted World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) points that will be awarded to the winner.
The 2022 WALA champion will play alongside the stars of women's professional golf in three Majors next year: The Chevron Championship (April 20-23 at The Club at Carlton Woods, United States), The Amundi Evian Championship (July 27-30 at the Evian Resort Golf Club, France), and the AIG Women's Open (August 10-13 at Walton Heath Golf Club, England).
“The victory changed my life without a doubt, I was able to play two Majors and it made me grow as a player. It was the best victory of my career and it is something I will never forget,” said 2021 champion, Valery Plata, who will not be here to defend the title because she will be playing the qualifying stages for the LPGA Tour.
A legend of the game will also visit Pilar Golf this week – 10-time Major champion Annika Sorenstam, who will arrive in Buenos Aires this Saturday to offer her traditional golf clinic for competitors.
"She is our benchmark," several of the girls agreed. “Our tournament is growing year after year and the level of competition is getting higher. I am very excited to return to Buenos Aires for this second edition and to meet many of the players who are participating for the first time,” said Annika.
It is clear that the involvement of Annika in the championship is essential, especially because of what she represents in golf around the world – she is a source of inspiration and motivation for thousands of golfers. An example of her greatness is her commitment to generously share her experiences with the new generation of amateur golfers.
Colombian María José Marín is one of the favourites to watch this week; she was close in 2021, finishing runner-up just one stroke behind Plata. “I hope to have a great week like last year, but with a different ending,” said the 16-year-old, who will play for the University of Arkansas.
Both Colombia and Argentina have the largest number of representatives in this second edition of the championship with nine players. The Argentines María Cabanillas, Valentina Rossi and Ela Anancona are local favorites who can bring a first WALA title to the host country.
The 72-hole stroke play championship begins Thursday, November 16 and concludes Sunday, November 20.