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  • Writer's pictureANNIKA Foundation

Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship – Players to Watch


The Women’s Amateur Latin America championship begins next week and is one of the most exciting and prestigious women’s golf events in the region.


The third edition, to be held at Pilar Golf from 15–18 November, will see top players showcase their talent and strive for the ultimate achievement of competing in three major championships in 2024.


Among the contenders for this year’s championship, presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation, several golfers have displayed exceptional skill and consistency in past competitions.


Nonetheless, golf remains an unpredictable sport and each of the 60 participants will have the chance to fight for the title. It is set to be an exciting four days to see which player will be crowned the champion at the venue in Argentina.


Potential candidates for the title include:


* Valentina Rossi (Argentina) | Michigan State University.


Rossi is the reigning champion – winning in 2022 by a shot from Maria Jose Marin – and comes into this edition with the fond memory of playing in three majors this season. Her best performance in 2023 is a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Palm Beach Regional and she recently represented Argentina in the Pan American Games in Chile.


* Lauren Olivares (Mexico) | North Carolina State University.


Olivares has enjoyed a successful amateur career and has had outstanding performances in US college golf. She has had a great year with a collegiate victory at the Briar’s Creek Invitational and a second-place finish at the NCAA Raleigh Regional. Additionally, she posted a 60 (-11) at the Cougar Classic in September, marking the lowest 18-hole score in the history of women’s NCAA golf.


* Michelle Melandri (Chile).


Melandri has achieved impressive results in national and international tournaments throughout her career and is expected to contend for the title in this edition. In 2023, she has won six World Amateur Golf Ranking events and has represented her country in both the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Abu Dhabi and the Pan American Games in Chile.


* Valentina Bosselmann (Brazil) | University of South Florida (Committed).


A golfer with immense potential, she has shown tremendous growth in recent years and achieved solid results, making her a player to watch in this edition of the tournament. This year, she has won six World Amateur Golf Ranking events, including both the Brazil Women’s Amateur and Brazil Girls’ Junior Championships.


* Ana Murcia (Colombia) | Michigan State University.


One of the most promising players in the field. It will be interesting to follow her and see if she can showcase her talent and potentially surprise more experienced players in the competition. In 2023, she achieved a great victory in the South American Girls’ Junior Championship in Bolivia and came second in the Nico Open in Colombia.


Other names to consider:


* Cristina Ochoa (Colombia) | University of California – Berkeley.


Ochoa was one of the most outstanding figures in previous tournaments, particularly after her memorable victory at the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in 2018. With her consistent game and ability to handle pressure, she has secured several amateur-level victories and is undoubtedly a player to follow closely.


* Cory López (Mexico) | University of Arkansas.


López has demonstrated great talent in national and international competitions and is one of the most accomplished amateur players in the field. She won the Women’s Mexican Amateur in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and also shared individual honours in the 2019 Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan, among other victories. In 2023, she achieved second place in the WAPT Collegiate Series.


* Giovanna Fernández (Paraguay) | University of Arkansas.


Another player with extensive experience at both national and international amateur levels, who possesses all the necessary qualities to contend for the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship title. This year, she achieved a second-place finish at the Ladies National Golf Association Amateur and was the champion of the Brazil Women’s Amateur in 2022.


* Vanessa Gilly (Venezuela) | University of Tennessee.


A player with extensive regional and international experience, which positions her as a serious contender for the title. In recent weeks, she has achieved four top-20 finishes at the collegiate level and finished tied-tenth in the Pan American Games in Chile.


These players represent the overall immense talent who will be competing in the third edition of the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship. It will be a celebration of the growth of women’s golf in the region and an opportunity for them to leave a unique mark on the sport.


The 2023 champion will play alongside the stars of women´s professional golf from around the world in three major championships next year: The Chevron Championship (in April at The Club at Carlton Woods, United States), The Amundi Evian Championship (11–14 July at the Evian Resort Golf Club, France) and the AIG Women´s Open (21–25 August over the Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland).


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