As we get into the swing of spring, let’s introduce April’s featured player, Cory Lopez. The 16-year old has competed in two ANNIKA Invitationals out of the four-tournament series – twice at the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex and twice at the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America. Her best result was last year in Latin America, when she finished T6. More recently, she won last month’s inaugural Major Champions Invitational. Lopez, of Monterrey, Mexico, shot a final round 7-under-par 65, the lowest round of her career.
We spoke with Cory recently and got to know her and her game a little better. Here’s what she had to say.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
Maria Fassi because she gives 100 percent in everything she works on and she is very humble.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What is your favorite holiday?
If you could play in one professional event this year, what would it be and why?
Evian Championship because the place, course and people are amazing.
How do you juggle playing golf while being in school?
My school supports me a lot. I just tell them when I´ll be going to tournaments and I just have to do the work before or after the tournament. My friends help me by teaching me the lessons I have missed.
Why do you think girls should start playing golf?
Because it teaches you a lot about life. It gives you the opportunity to travel all around the world and to make international friendships.
How/why did you start playing golf?
My family and I were at the beach. My siblings were playing golf with plastic clubs and I liked watching them. One day I started playing with them, and that night we went to play mini golf. That was when I started playing.
What was your favorite golf tournament you have played in so far?
I don´t have a favorite one, I like a lot of them. But one of my favorites is the Texas vs Mexico Cup. It´s a tournament in which Texas and Mexico compete three days in matches to see who wins the cup.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring female golfers who are just starting to play the game?
Yes, I would definitely tell them to enjoy every step of the way. Learn from every experience and give the best you have in every single tournament.
What do you think can be done to continue growing the game of golf in other countries outside the U.S.?
I think tournaments in which you play matches representing a team are a great example of growing the game. It doesn’t just help by making people play, but they can also see what the game is about and see the talent they have.
Do you have any plans yet for after you graduate high school? If so what are they?
Yes, I´ll be playing golf for the University of Arkansas. After I graduate, I want to play on the LPGA.
Congratulations on winning the Major Champions Invitational. We are so glad we could be there to watch you compete. Tell us about what was going through you mind in the final round.
I was just trying to enjoy it all. I was hitting the ball solid and putting well. I wasn´t thinking on the final hole. I just wanted to give myself the opportunity to make birdies. Finishing the first nine holes, I thought I had the opportunity to win, but I just kept playing and realized I won only after finishing the round.
What is your favorite part about playing in junior golf tournaments?
Learning from the best players all around the world, making friendships, traveling and gaining new experiences in every tournament.
Any other words of encouragement or advice you would like to share about the game with young golfers?
Set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them. Try to be a better player than the one you were yesterday. And always remember to do what makes you happy.
When Cory is not playing basketball with her friends or studying history (her favorite subject) you can most likely find her on the golf course. Currently ranked 35th in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Cory advocates for goal setting, saying it’s very important to have something to work toward. One of her main goals for this season is to be named an AJGA Rolex All American for the second year in a row. Set to graduate in 2020, Cory has committed to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
We look forward to continuing to watch Cory excel in her golf career. Based on her resume, it doesn’t seem like she is stopping anytime soon.
Follow us @annika_Fdn and learn more about our other Featured Players here.