It’s almost April, which means the LPGA’s first major championship of the season is upon us. The field is super-strong, consisting of past major and tournament champions, the top 60 on the money list, and even some of the world’s best amateurs. Many of our ANNIKA Invitational alumnae play each year and 2018 is no different, as the ANNIKA Foundation will be represented by 24 competitors.
The 72-hole tournament, which has been played for more than 40 years, will take place this week from March 29 – April 1 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Eighteen professional players in the field have played in ANNIKA events, including major champion Danielle Kang and 2016 ANNIKA Award presented by 3M winner, Bronte Law.
Angel Yin will also be competing this week. Yin, who captured her first professional title at the end of last year in the Ladies European Tour OMEGA Dubai Ladies Classic, played in the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex for four consecutive years beginning in 2012. She won the event in 2015 and began her rookie year on the LPGA Tour two years later.
The Korda sisters will also both play this week. Jessica competed in the 2009 and 2010 ANNIKA Invitational USAs before turning professional a year later, while Nelly played in 3 ANNIKA Invitationals ending in 2015. She began her rookie year on the LPGA Tour in 2017.
Other professionals who are past ANNIKA participants are Aditi Ashok, Laetitia Beck, Gaby Lopez, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Austin Ernst, Jaye Marie Green, Emily K. Pedersen, Mariah Stackhouse, Megan Khang, Emma Talley, Lindsey Weaver, Nicole Broch Larsen and Erynne Lee.
The six ANNIKA amateurs playing this week are Lucy Li (runner-up at 2018 AI USA), Maria Fassi (two-time ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Champ), Sophia Schubert (three-time AI USA participant), Albane Valenzuela (2017 ANNIKA Intercollegiate participant) and Lilia Vu (four-time ANNIKA participant).
Rose Zhang took the last spot in the field after winning the ANA Junior Inspiration this past weekend. She has played in the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex the past two years.
Good luck to all the competitors in the first major of the year!