It’s an exciting week – the voting for the 2017 ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M is underway, and we are gearing up for the NCAA Championship. Of the five players on Golfweek’s recent ANNIKA Award Watch List, four are headed to Chicago for NCAAs.
Leona Maguire, the 2015 ANNIKA Award recipient, has been in the award conversation for much of the past three seasons. Maguire has had quite the year, claiming the individual title at this year’s ACC Championship along with guiding Duke to the team championship. The Blue Devils fought hard and finished second to top-ranked Stanford at the NCAA Regional. While they did not win, their final round in Albuquerque gave both the team, as well as Leona, great confidence heading into this weekend.
Stanford’s Andrea Lee had a great showing at PAC 12s, finishing in a tie for third. At the Albuquerque Regional, Stanford took home top honors with a 2-over score for the week, seven strokes ahead of Duke. Lee finished second for the Cardinal and 18th overall, capping off a great season highlighted by three wins and five top-10 finishes.
Lilia Vu, ranked third on the most recent watch list, had a tough week at the Lubbock Regional. She was leading by four strokes after the first round but, after struggling a bit in the third round, finished with a 3-over-par tournament total. Coming off four consecutive individual wins, Vu still remains in the hunt for the ANNIKA Award.
Cheyenne Knight, who currently leads her team in scoring average, helped Alabama bring home the win at the Athens Regional. Individually, Knight tied for second with teammate Lauren Stephenson at 5-under par.
While she is currently ranked fifth on the watch list, Jennifer Kupcho should not be overlooked. She most recently took home the individual win at the Columbus Regional. Wake Forest did not advance to the NCAA Championship, but Kupcho will compete as an individual and look to ride her current good form.
Best of luck to all in this week’s NCAA Championship! Be sure to visit www.annikaaward.com to cast your ballot for the 2017 ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M. The winner will be announced live on “Golf Central” at 6 p.m. on June 7.