This week marks the LPGA’s first major of 2017 – the ANA Inspiration. It will take place March 27-April 2 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. It comes as no surprise that ANNIKA Invitational alumnae are well-represented in this year’s field. Out of the six amateurs who qualified, four played in ANNIKA events.
Hannah O’Sullivan, who plans to attend Duke in the fall, competed in two ANNIKA Invitationals. Katelyn Dambaugh, who is currently a senior at the University of South Carolina, played in one ANNIKA Invitational as well as three ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M events. Dambaugh helped the Gamecocks capture the inaugural edition in 2014 and finished in the top-5 individually the following year. Andrea Lee is a four-time ANNIKA Invitational participant beginning in 2012. She is currently a freshman at Stanford University and is ranked first on the watch list for the 2017 ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M. After winning the ANA Junior Inspiration, Lucy Li earned a spot in the LPGA major field. She currently holds records as the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Open. Li played in this years’ ANNIKA Invitational USA back in February for the first time.
Familiar professional names include Simin Feng, Angel Yin and Alison Lee. Simin Feng is only the fourth Chinese player to earn her LPGA Tour card. She was also the first teen and amateur to win on the CLPGA, taking the 2012 Wuhan Orient Masters Challenge. She played in a total of five ANNIKA Invitationals and was the very first ANNIKA Invitational winner in 2009. Angel Yin is playing her first year as a full-time LPGA member. She is a four-time ANNIKA Invitational participant (and 2014 champion). Alison Lee played at UCLA and won the inaugural ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M for her stellar 2013-2014 season. The 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup team member also won the ANNIKA Invitational in 2012.
Other ANNIKA alumnae scheduled to play are Aditi Ashok, Austin Ernst, Danielle Kang, Gaby Lopez, Jessica Korda, Kelly Shon, Laetitia Beck, Megan Khang, and Nelly Korda. It’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more of these girls in the coming years as they represent the next generation of LPGA stars!
Best of luck to all our ANNIKA Alums in the upcoming week. It’s an honor to have watched you grow as amazing golfers and, even more importantly, women. We wish you all the best as your careers continue to reach even greater heights!
Click here to see the entire Player Field for the 2017 ANA Inspiration.