SA Teams tees off in WATC today

The SA Team of Sandra Winter (Captain), Connie Chen, Kim Williams and Kelli Shean enjoy the opening ceremony which took place yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 19 October). The SA Girls tee off today at 10h40 at the Olivos Golf Club.

2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship – a preview Compiled by Pete Kowalski for the IGF.

RECORD NUMBER OF TEAMS – A total of 53 teams are competing in the 24th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, topping the previous high of 48 from Puerto Rico (2004) and Australia (2008).

FIRST TIME PARTICIPANTS – Guam, Nigeria, Slovenia and the United Republic of Tanzania are making their first appearances in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championships.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – Sweden is vying to become the first team to win back-to-back Espirito Santo Trophies since the USA won in 1988 and 1990. The Swedes are the only nation to finish in the top 10 in all 23 previous Women’s World Amateur Team Championships. Their sole returning player from the victory in 2008 in Australia is Caroline Hedwall, the 2010 NCAA Division I individual champion (playing for Oklahoma State University). Hedwall was also the low individual scorer in the 2008 Espirito Santo championship. With another team victory, Sweden would have three gold medals in the competition, second only to the 13 victories of the USA, which has not won since 1998.

HOST NATION – Argentina is playing in its 22nd Espirito Santo competition. The best finish for the Argentine women is fifth place in 1970. The team placed eighth in 1972 at The Hindu Country Club in Buenos Aires, the last time the World Amateur was contested in Argentina. The last host nation to win the Espirito Santo Trophy was South Africa in 2006. South Africa (2006), USA (1980) and France (1964) are the only host nations to win the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Additionally, Maria Olivera, who had played on 10 consecutive Argentine Espirito Santo teams from 1990-2008, is not a member of the 2010 team.

CLOSE TO HOMERonnie Damm, the golf course superintendent at Olivos Golf Club, played in the World Amateur Team Championship for Argentina in New Zealand in 1990.

SECOND TIME, SECOND TEAM – The USA’s Jessica Korda, the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur, is playing in her second Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Her first appearance was as a 13-year-old playing for the Czech Republic in South Africa in 2006.

COLLEGIATE ALL-AMERICANS – Five members of the National Golf Coaches Association All-America First-Team are participating in the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship: Carlota Ciganda of Spain and Juliana Murcia of Colombia (at Arizona State University), Cydney Clanton of the USA (at Auburn University), Hedwall of Sweden (at Oklahoma State University) and Marta Silva of Spain (at University of Georgia). Kelli Shean of South Africa (University of Arkansas) was a second-team selection. Honorable mention choices who are playing: Jennifer Kirby of Canada (University of Alabama), Sara-Maude Juneau of Canada (University of Louisville), Lisa McCloskey of Colombia (then at Pepperdine University) and Sally Watson of Scotland (Stanford University).

YOUNGEST – The youngest players in the field are 13 years old. Marijosse Navarro of Mexico just celebrated her birthday in September and Lydia Ko of New Zealand turned 13 in April.

OLDEST – At 62, Beatriz de Arenas of Guatemala is the oldest of the competitors, and is representing her country for the seventh time as a player. A painter/artist by trade, she is a 10-time national champion.

2010 CURTIS CUP RE-VISITED – Five members of the Great Britain and Ireland team and two members of the USA team from the 2010 Curtis Cup Match are representing their countries at the 2010 World Amateur. Watson of Scotland, Holly Clyburn of England and twins Leonaand Lisa McGuire and Danielle McVeigh of Ireland were on the team that was defeated by the USA, represented by Korda and Clanton, at Essex County Club near Boston, Mass., this summer. Watson also played in the 2008 Match.

Storylines By Country


Stefanie Endstrasser is a senior at the University of South California and was a member of their NCAA Division I Women’s Team Championship in 2008. At 23 years old, this is her fourth Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.


Laura Gonzalez-Escallon was a member of Purdue University’s 2010 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Championship team. Born in Bogota, Colombia, she also won the 2010 Big Ten Conference individual championship.


The Brazilians are, arguably, the most veteran of all of the teams with two players (Mariana de Biase and Patricia Carvalho) marking their fifth Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Their third player – Isadora Stapff – is making her first appearance.


Marina Dornikova is serving as the team captain for the fourth time. She played on the Czech Republic’s 1994 and 1996 Espirito Santo teams.


Juliana Murcia, who graduated from Arizona State University this spring, won the 2010 Edith Cummings Munson Golf Award from the National Golf Coaches Association. The award is given to an upperclassman who is an NCGA All-American Scholar and an NCGA All-American. She graduated with a 3.83 grade point average, majoring in art with an emphasis on sculpture.

Lisa McCloskey, who holds dual citizenship in the USA, was an All-American at Pepperdine University but transferred to the University of Southern California over the summer. She was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. She has lived in Colombia, Venezuela, the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Italy.


Maria Jose Ferro, a lawyer in Quito, is playing in her third Espirito Santo competition.


Linda Hendriksson hails from the town of Tornio in Lapland. Tornio is 100 kilometers from the Polar Circle and Hendriksson could be the player who lives the farthest from the equator!


Rose Cunliffe is the team’s playing captain. She holds a full-time job as the financial controller for the Guam Visitor’s Bureau.


Giulia Molinaro grew up in Kenya, where her parents owned a safari camp in the Tsavo East. She is an American college player at Arizona State University.

Laura Benazzo is serving as the team’s captain for the 12th time. Her best memories are Italy’s silver-medal performances in 1996 (only two strokes behind Korea) and 1998.

Anna Roscio is playing in her first World Amateur but she just returned a truly memorable golf event – the 2010 Ryder Cup. She is the long-time girlfriend of European Ryder Cup team member Eduardo Molinari, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion, and accompanied him on the trip. She was won the 2007 Italian Match Play and the 2009 Italian Stroke Play events.


Ji-Hee Kim, 16, was the low amateur at the 2010 World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup and the 2010 Australian Women’s Open.


Sisters Mara and Krista Puisite and Laura Jansone are teammates at the World Amateur for the second time. They helped Latvia finish 29th in 2008 in Australia. Mara and Krista are college teammates at Texas State University. Jansone graduated from East Tennessee State University in the spring of 2010.


Captain Floris van Imhoff has participated in 12 European and two World Curling Championships.


Captain Geir Ove Berg held a world record in ski flying in 1976. In addition, he was the head coach of the national ski jumping team. This is his fourth Espirito Santo competition as captain.

Rachel Raastad has earned five trophies in couples’ ballroom dancing, and says her favorite dance is the Tango.


Louise Kenney is a primary school teacher in Dunfermline. She shot an 8-under-par score at Troon in April.


Kelli Shean was a member of South Africa’s gold-medal team in 2006. At the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, she fired a first-round 70 at Oakmont Country Club and was just one stroke off the lead. She finished tied for 65th.


Captain Macarena Campomanes played in three Espirito Santo competitions and twice Spain won the championship (1986 and 1992). She made a 3-meter putt in 1992 to help Spain secure the gold medal, which is her most memorable golf moment.


Martin de Gannes is the playing captain at age 20. She is a college player at Pepperdine University in the USA. She has represented Trinidad and Tobago 20 times in international competition. In May and June of this year, she lived in Argentina to fulfill academic requirements.


Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., turns 18 on the first day of the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship (20 October). The 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion is a college player at Pepperdine University.

Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla., was a member of the victorious USA team at the 2010 Copa de las Americas, which was played at Olivios and Buenos Aires Golf Clubs. She was the runner-up to Kang at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Her father, Petr, was the 1998 Australian Open singles champion in tennis.

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