In an exciting definition, Valery Plata entered the history of Women’s Amateur Latin America presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation after winning the title in the first edition of the championship. that developed in Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires (Argentina). The 20-year-old Colombian presented a card of 71 strokes (-1) and with a total of 276 (-12), she outscored her compatriot María José Marín Negrete, leader after 54 holes.
– Valentina Peña Orozco (@ valentinapena98) November 21, 2021
“I’m happy, I still don’t realize what I did, how big this win is. It was a very difficult day, the wind played a lot. When I was four strokes behind Majo, with these harsh conditions, I promised myself not to lower my arms until the end and luckily things turned out, ”said the player who emerged from the Bucaramanga Country Club and with the second best ranking in the entire field this week (60).
“The balance is very positive, I had a regular season the first three tournaments, but afterwards I improved my game a lot. I came to this week at that good moment in my process and I think that was key to winning the championship. I always dreamed of playing one Major and now I’m going to participate in two. I still don’t think so, ”added the Michigan State University student enthusiastically, who by her victory at WALA secured a place in two of the five Majors in women’s golf: AIG Women’s Open and The Amundi Evian Championship.
“I’m very happy, I still don’t realize how important it is, I was four strokes behind, but I never lowered my arms, it was a very patient day.” 🇨🇴@plata_valery talks about what it means to be the first champion in the history of the #WalaGolf. ⛳
— Golf Channel LA (@GolfChannelLA) November 21, 2021
It was a real hand in hand among the Colombians in a day of intense heat and a lot of wind in Buenos Aires. The story seemed to tilt in favor of ‘Majo’, who came out two strokes ahead and extended that difference to four at the 12th tee. But the pressure in golf is always a deciding factor in this instance and even more so for a girl. only 15 years old.
A couple of errors by Marín Negrete (12 and 13) and a birdie / eagle streak (12 and 13) for Plata gave him the necessary touch of excitement at the end of the tournament. Valery’s bogey on 15 allowed ‘Majo’ to share the lead, but he immediately needed 3 putts on 16 and was back at one. Nothing changed neither in par 3 of 17 nor in the difficult par 4 of 18 and the victory went to the Santander, who was trained with Pedro Russi, coach of Mariajo Uribe (like Plata born in Bucaramanga), champion of the US Women ´s Amateur 2007.
For Marín Negrete, beyond the bitter taste of defeat, it was an unforgettable week in which he was able to confirm the good moment that his short career is going through.
“I felt very good, the shots to the green and from the tee worked well. The wind was the strongest of the week and I think that complicated my strategy a bit, but I am leaving with very good feelings ”, he expressed with the same smile with which he arrived in Buenos Aires.
Among the local players, Valentina Rossi finished in third position and secured her place in the next edition of WALA. Argentina had a difficult finish, closed with 77 shots (+5) and a total of 288 shots (even). Therefore, only two players finished under par: Plata and Marín Negrete.
The first edition of Women’s Amateur Latin America has ended, a championship that will undoubtedly be a hinge in the history of amateur women’s golf. As Annika Sörenstam mentioned in the press conference on Saturday: “when people come together with the same goal and with the same passion, it generates something special and that is happening with this tournament”. Perfect words that summarize what the championship means not only for the 58 players who participated this year but for the thousands of girls who dream of leaving a mark in this sport.
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Colombian Valery Plata made history in golf: she won the Women’s Amateur Latin America