The American Junior Golf Association announces a new Memorial Day girls’ Open tournament, in the Under Armour® / Albane Valenzuela Girls Championship which will be hosted at Longbow Golf Club near Phoenix, May 27-30.
Valenzuela joins fellow LPGA Tour players Annika Sorenstam, Alison Lee, Sung Hyun Park, Se Ri Pak, Stacy Lewis, and Marina Alex, in lending her name to a top junior golf tournament in 2021.
The Under Armour® / Albane Valenzuela Girls Championship will offer a minimum of 120 Rolex AJGA Rankings points and be recognized by the World Amateur Golf Rankings. The practice round and a qualifier will take place Thursday, May 27 and offer 54 holes from Friday-Sunday, May 28-30.
“We are extremely excited to offer a highly-competitive opportunity for girls with leadership from Albane,” said Jason Etzen, AJGA chief business officer. “With support from partners Under Armour® and Longbow Golf Club, this tournament continues to expand critical playing opportunities for girls. We are excited to celebrate a strong female role model who is passionate about giving back.”
The youngest athlete and one of three amateurs to qualify to represent Switzerland in the 2016 Olympics, Valenzuela compiled a successful junior, college and amateur resume.
She is a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur finalist, won the 2013, 2014, 2015 Swiss Ladies and Junior Order of Merit, tied for low amateur at the 2016 ANA Inspiration, was low amateur at the 2019 Evian Championship, won the 2015 Spanish International Amateur, and 2014 Swiss International Amateur.
At Stanford, she won Pac-12 Women’s Golfer of the Year as a junior – first in Cardinal history. She was a Golfweek First Team All-American, three-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree and ANNIKA Award finalist, and she graduated with honors from Stanford in 2020.
As a junior golfer, Valenzuela competed for Team Europe on the 2015 PING Junior Solheim Cup, won the 2015 Doral Publix Junior Classic and 2015 Junior Orange Bowl, and competed in the Evian Masters Junior Cup in 2012.
Born in the United States, Valenzuela spent her early years in Mexico, starting with golf at age 3, before the family relocated to Switzerland. She speaks four languages (English, French, Spanish and German) and her decision to turn pro in 2019 reflected her aspiration to return to the Olympics, now scheduled in 2021. As a nod to her junior golf career which spanned three continents, Valenzuela will offer her AJGA tournament exemptions to players from Switzerland, Mexico, and France, where she has citizenship.
Golf is an important part of Valenzuela’s family story - Valenzuela’s father, Alberto, represented Mexico as an amateur and was an All-Pac-10 golfer at UCLA, and her brother, Alexis, is a member of the golf team at SMU. Her determination to give back with an AJGA event traces back to the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2017.
I’m so honored to partner with Under Armour® and bring an AJGA Girls Championship to the schedule this year. Junior golf, and the AJGA in particular, played such an important role in helping to shape who I am as a player and person. Giving back through the sport of golf has always been a focus for me, and this tournament will be a great opportunity for international players to showcase their skills. I can’t wait to welcome some of the best junior female golfers in the world to Arizona in May.
Longbow Golf Club first hosted the AJGA in 2004 during Easter, one of the most competitive weekends on the AJGA’s spring schedule. A longtime supporter of women’s golf and host of the Symetra Tour’s Founders Tribute in August, Longbow’s Easter AJGA event remembers LPGA player Heather Farr who lost her battle with breast cancer at age 28. The course was celebrated as a “Top 20 Course” by Golf Magazine and “Top 100 Resort Course” and “One of the Top 20 You Can Play in Arizona” by Golfweek.