Perfect weather conditions on the first day of the Women´s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation. Alexandra Swayne surprised everyone at Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires, when she returned a scorecard with 66 strokes, six-under-par, and she is the solo leader. Maria Cabanillas sits two strokes behind Alexandra.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Virgin Islands’ resident is the number 226 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). This year she qualified to two of the biggest stages in women’s golf: the US Women´s Open and the Women´s Amateur. She also made it to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Western Amateur.
“It means so much to win this tournament. I know that after this I’m starting my professional career, so it’s just jump started. It’s always great to serve my country and represent them, so I’m looking forward to hopefully playing for them again as well as playing in events and representing them as well,” said Swayne, 21, winner of the 2021 Caribbean Amateur Championship in Puerto Rico. The prize for the winner of the WALA is quite impressive for an amateur event: an exemption into two of the five majors in women’s golf (AIG Women´s Open and The Amundi Evian Championship).
“I was a little nervous on the putting green and I was forcing all my putts, but when I went to the actual holes, I was able to let go and putt free. I had a lot of wedge shots in, so I was able to make some easy putts and go from there. Pick great lines and was able to leave it pretty close,” said the former Clemson University student athlete who will travel to Spain to play the LET q-school. She won
Meanwhile, Cabanillas played the front nine to perfection, swiftly climbing to the top of the leader board at five under par. But her putter went cold on the back nine and with bogey on the par-4, 18th hole she finished her round at 4-under-par, 68.
“I’m very happy, I played well all day especially on the front nine. I played solid tee to green, gave myself many birdie chances to finish five under. I tried to stay calm because I know this is a big tournament. It’s a pity I three-putted the last hole, but overall, I’m happy with my game, especially my shots from 100 yards to the hole,” said the player from Chapelco Golf & Resort, in San Martín de los Andes, in Argentina’s Patagonia.
“I have a lot of support from my coaches and that is one of the best things this week. I try not to think too much about being one of the local players to avoid feeling more pressure,” said the winner of the National Stroke Play Championship who is considering proposals from different schools in the United States.
Only twelve players scored under par on Thursday. The second round of the championship will be played on Friday; the first tee time is set at 8:30 a.m. and the last at 11:40, local time. Players will tee off according to their position in the WAGR.
- For more information on the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship, visit: www.walagolf.com
- To see the tee times for this friday, visit: TEE TIMES
- To follow the scoring, visti: LEADERBOARD