By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
TWO of the Bahamas’ elite junior golfers are once again participating in a top regional tournament aimed at developing the game among young ladies.
Haylie Turnquest and Sophie Anand are representing the Bahamas at the ANNIKA Invitational, Latin America, hosted at the Tortugas Country Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Founded in 1930, it is one of the country’s oldest clubs and is well-known for both its great golf course and polo-oriented sports centre.
Both golfers continue a stellar 2018 season which also saw them represent the Bahamas at the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships among other events. Turnquest secured fifth place in the girls’ 18-under division with a score of 248 (+32) and Anand finished fifth in the girls’ 13-15 division with a score of 248 (+32).
Turnquest, the 2017 and 2018 BGF junior girls national champion, was also the top finisher for Team Bahamas at the Carribean Amateur Golf Championships and concluded her four-round total in 11th place.
The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organisation – is hosting 54 of the region’s best junior girls at the third annual event. Competitors aged 13-18 hailing from 18 different countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean are scheduled to compete through November 4.
At stake are World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points, with the winner receiving an exemption into the 2019 South American Amateur Championship, to be held in Santiago, Chile.
The top-three finishers will also receive exemptions into the 2019 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St Augustine, Florida. “Argentina enjoys a rich golf history and we’re very excited to return for the third ANNIKA Invitational Latin America,” said Sorenstam in a press release.
“In recent years, we’ve seen more and more accomplished players emerging from Latin America and we’re honoured to give the region’s best girls a platform to showcase their considerable skills.”
Sorenstam will be intimately involved and onsite for the championship. Some scheduled activities are a clinic for competitors during which she’ll share her “winning approach” philosophy, a gala dinner and an awards presentation.
The ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to growing the game of golf around the world. It annually hosts six girls-only invitational tournaments on five continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, the ANNIKA Invitational Europe (Sweden), ANNIKA Invitational Mission Hills (China), the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America (Argentina) and, new for 2018, the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia (New Zealand).
The Foundation also runs the ANNIKA Cup, ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M and bestows the prestigious ANNIKA Award presented by 3M to NCAA Division I’s best female golfer.