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Jan. 11, 2018

Preview: ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex

Amanda Linner is the top returning finisher after a runner-up in 2017.

The ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex will provide one of the strongest female fields in junior golf for the 10th time.

The World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire will host the tournament, which marks the first AJGA event at the venue since 2002.

The all-female field consists of 72 players, including 17 of the top-25 girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and six of the top 10. Sixteen states and 15 foreign countries are represented at the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex. The field has combined to produce 25 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 20 AJGA champions.

The top returning finisher from last year’s event is runner-up Amanda Linnér, who went on to win the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational Europe. Valeria Sofia Pacheco, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America champion, is also in the field.

Lucy Li and Rachel Heck, the top-two players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, respectively, will participate. Li won both The PING Invitational and Rolex Tournament of Champions in 2017, while Heck is the reigning 2017 Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

Historically, champions of the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex have found success at the collegiate and professional level. Alison Lee won her first AJGA Invitational at the 2012 event and has since gone on to earn 11 top-10 LPGA finishes. Angel Yin won the Invitational in 2015 and earned her first professional victory in a playoff at the 2017 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on the Ladies European Tour. Both players have also represented Team USA at the Solheim Cup.

This year’s champion will once again receive an exemption into a Symetra Tour event. Brooke Seay, the champion of the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, finished T29 at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic last March.

The practice round will take place on Friday, January 12, while tournament rounds will run from Saturday, January 13, to Monday, January 15.