American Alexandra Swayne surprised everyone this Thursday at Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires, by signing a card of 66 strokes (-6) and taking the exclusive leadership of the Women’s Amateur Latin America (WALA), a tournament presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation, two hits from its escort, the Argentine María Cabanillas.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and living in the Virgin Islands, Swayne is ranked 226th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and this year she classified two of the great events in women’s golf: the US Women’s Open and the US Women’s Amateur.
“Winning this tournament would mean a lot, although if I don’t I will become a professional, but I would very much like to continue representing my country, it is something that means a lot to me and my family. In fact, my plan was to become a professional before, but I wanted to wait to be able to play this great championship, ”said Swayne, 21, winner of the 2021 Caribbean Amateur Championship in Puerto Rico.
Is that the award for the WALA champion is impressive for an amateur event: playing two of the five Majors of women’s golf, the AIG Women’s Open and The Amundi Evian Championship.
“I was a little nervous before starting the round, on the putting green I was forcing the shot, but when I started to play the round I freed myself and started hitting with ease. From the fairway I was able to play a lot with the second shot wedge and had a lot of easy putts. The course was very playable, I hit many fairways and the greens were slower than we practiced, ”added the former Clemson University student, who will compete in the qualifying school to enter the Ladies European Tour.
A 2015 Drive, Chip & Putt Champion at Augusta National, Swayne reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s Western Amateur 2021.
For its part, Cabanillas had 9 almost perfect first holes and quickly climbed to the top with five under par. However, his putter got cold on the return run and with the bogey on par 4 of 18 (three putts) he finished his round with 68 strokes (-4).
“I am very happy, I played very well all day, especially in the first leg. I started very solid from tee to green, I gave myself a lot of birdie chances that I was able to make five under par in the first 9 holes. I tried to stay calm because one is aware that this is a very big tournament. It’s a shame on the 18th that I made three putts but I’m very happy with my game, especially with the 100-yard shots to the flag, ”said the player from Chapelco Golf & Resort, San Martín de los Andes, in Argentine Patagonia.
“The support I have is important, there are all the high-performance teachers from the AAG and that is the best thing about this week, I try not to think too much about being local so that I do not play against the pressure,” added the recent winner of the National Championship for Strokes, who still evaluates several offers from different universities in the United States to continue her academic and sports career.
This Friday the second round of a championship will be played in which only 12 players were able to finish the opening day under par. The first departure will be at 8.30am (Argentina time) and the last at 11.40am. The organization determined that the starting order is according to the position in the WAGR.
Also, at 12 noon. (ARG) a press conference will be held at the Pilar Golf club house with the presence of Mark Lawrie, Director The R&A for Latin America and the Caribbean.