The 2017 ANA Inspiration will feature an amateur field of six, all of whom are current or past AJGA players. The LPGA's first major begins March 30 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. The field will compete on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, which hosted the final round of the AJGA's ANA Junior Inspiration March 26.
The field also includes 10 past Rolex Junior Players of the Year, including all award winners since 2011.
Below, find out more about each amateur playing this weekend:
Li, a 14-year-old from Redwood Shores, California, earned an exemption through her victory at the ANA Junior Inspiration, where she carded a 3-under-par 213 to win by four strokes. Winning is nothing new for Li, who won the 2016 Junior PGA Championship and was a member of the 2016 Junior Ryder Cup team for the United States. Li is currently No. 2 in the AJGA Rankings. In 2014 at age 11, Li became the youngest person to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, a record previously held by AJGA alum and ANA Inspiration past champion Lexi Thompson who also competed as a amateur.
Tavatanakit was named the 2016 Rolex Junior Player of the Year after an incredible season. The UCLA commit won two AJGA Invitationals in 2016, including The PING Invitational and the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Tavatanakit has also won the AJGA's L.A Open twice (in 2014 and 2015) and finished runner-up in ANA Junior Inspiration. The ANA Inspiration is the high school senior's second professional appearance since the 2016 Honda LPGA Thailand.
Originally from Yongin-Si, South Korea, Seong seeks a fifth victory since 2015. She won the U.S. Girls Junior in 2015 and 2016 and became the first woman in history to win the U.S. Girls Junior and U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in the same season. Seong also won the AJGA's 2016 ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior after birdieing the first hole in a sudden-death playoff. The Class of 2018 junior is currently No. 9 in the AJGA Rankings.
O’Sullivan, formerly the top-ranked amateur in the world, will compete in her eighth LPGA Tour event since graduating from high school in 2016. She made history when she won the 2015 Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club and became the youngest player to win a Symetra Tour event (age 16). She also became the third woman to win on the Symetra Tour or LPGA Tour before age 17. During her AJGA career, O'Sullivan was a four-time Rolex Junior All-American, including Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2015 and will begin at Duke University in the fall. She won three AJGA events (2015 PING Heather Farr Classic, 2015 Rolex Girls Junior Championship, 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions) and was a three-time Wyndham Cup West Team participant. She was also a member of the 2014 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup and 2015 PING Junior Solheim Cup U.S. teams.
The ANA Inspiration will be the LPGA TOUR debut for this No. 7-ranked amateur. Since joining the University of South Carolina women's golf team, Dambaugh has compiled a long list of accolades. In her junior season, she broke the school record for single-season scoring average, career scoring average and all-time junior scoring average. Dambaugh finished in the top-10at both AJGA events she played as a junior and was a member of the 2011 Wyndham Cup East Team. She also competed in three U.S. Junior Girls Championships (2010, 2011 and 2012), annually reaching the Round of 32.
A freshman at the University of Stanford, Lee will compete in the ANA Inspiration as an amateur for the second year in a row. The Hermosa Beach, California, native was a four-time, first-team Rolex Junior All-American and 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the year. She competed on the Wyndham Cup West Team three times and won two consecutive Invitationals during her junior year: the 2014 Rolex Tournament of Champions and the 2014 Yani Tseng Invitational presented by the Swinging Skirts. At Stanford, Lee has won three tournaments and has finished second in two.