Tanco Holds on to Claim Victory at ANNIKA Invitational
Two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year gets first win of the season
REUNION, Fla. — Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., pulled away from the field on the back nine of Reunion Resort's Independence Course to claim the title at the ANNIKA Invitational with a tournament-total 5-under-par 211. Laetitia Beck of Caesarea, Israel, the co-leader at the start of the round, posted a 2-under-par 214 to finish in second place.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play event played at Reunion Resort, home of the ANNIKA Academy. The girls-only field played the par-72 Independence (Watson) Course at 6,420 yards. The 72-player field featured 21 Rolex Junior All-Americans and players from 14 states and eight foreign countries.
After firing a 6-under-par 66 in the second round for a share of the lead, Tanco continued her strong play and birdied No. 1. Playing conservatively for the remainder of the round, Tanco recorded 12 pars on the day. Both girls made the turn tied at even, but Tanco separated herself after Beck made bogey on Nos. 10, 11 and 12. She took control of the tournament with a three-shot lead on No. 13, and ended the day at even-par 72. With her first win of the year, the two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year is well on her way to filling her 2010 goals.
“I want to be player of the year again and keep winning tournaments,” Tanco said.
With this win, Tanco adds a fourth Invitational title to her name. She was privileged to play for a legend of the game and hugged the hall of famer as she walked off No. 18 green.
“It means a lot because it's such an honor to have Annika sponsoring this tournament,” Tanco said. “I'm very happy, I played really well and it feels good to win another invitational.”
Tanco's next tournament will be the AJGA Junior at Innisbrook, an event she won in 2009.
Finishing in third place with an even-par 216 was Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J. Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla., claimed the fourth spot with a 2-over-par 218. Tied in fifth place were Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., and Ashlan Ramsey of Bradenton Fla., each with a 5-over-par 221.
The event is owned and operated by the ANNIKA Foundation, which teaches children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offers aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. A primary focus for the ANNIKA Foundation is to identify the greatest needs and opportunities to make an impact by developing sports and physical fitness programs for kids. A key focus is to provide resources that increase participation and access where it is not currently available or affordable, and promote awareness for the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the ANNIKA Invitational, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (586) 295-4470.