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Plata Chases More History at Augusta

Valery Plata made history when she won the inaugural Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation last November. 

Now the Colombian has her sights set on another entry in the annals of golf. Plata is hoping to become the first Colombian winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur – played from 30 March to 2 April.

History Maker

The 20-year-old edged out countrywoman María José Marin Negrete at Pilar Golf Club in Buenos Aires in November to become the first woman to win the Women’s Amateur Latin America title. 

They were the only two players to break par for 72 holes, with Plata’s 12-under-par total of 276 (69, 68, 68 and 71) good enough for a one-shot victory.

Plata began the final round two shots behind Marin Negrete, and had fallen another two shots adrift after 11 holes. However, the Michigan State student never gave up.

She recalled, “It was a very difficult day and the wind was tough, but even when I was four strokes behind Majo, I promised myself I would not give up until the very end and luckily things turned in my favour.” 

Marin Negrete then made consecutive bogeys, while Plata went birdie/eagle to move one shot in front. They went level after the 15th thanks to a Plata bogey only for Marin Negrete to drop a crucial shot at the next. Two solid pars saw Plata not only lift the title, but book spots in the ANWA, the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield and the Amundi Evian Championship

Major Dreams

“I always dreamed of playing in one major and now I am going to participate in two. I still do not believe it,” she added.

"I want to thank The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation for this great opportunity which they have given to all the players in our region,” Plata said upon receiving the trophy.

Plata, the only Colombian competing at Augusta National, will drive down Magnolia Lane next week with extra confidence after closing out 2021 with a victory. 

She celebrated New Year’s eve with victory in the Patriot All-America Invitational at the Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park in Arizona. Plata birdied the final hole to run out a three-shot winner. It was her third win as a Michigan State player, and one of two 2021 victories including the Indiana Invitational.

The business student is the number one South American player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® at 43rd, 40 spots ahead of Marin Negrete.

The Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation aims to unearth emerging talent and provide a pathway for the region’s elite women amateurs to the international stage.