Dixie Women's Amateur Preview
A full field of 109 players is set to tee it up at Woodlands CC<br>(Dixie amateur photo)
A full field of 109 players is set to tee it up at Woodlands CC
(Dixie amateur photo)

TAMARAC, FL (December 18, 2017) - Golf conditions are generally always favorable in South Florida, especially in the dead of winter. It’s why players congregate here for tournaments like the Dixie Women’s Amateur, an elite amateur event that draws the top juniors, college players and mid-amateurs from around the world to compete. Here are five storylines to consider for this year’s event:

Returning to defend

The good thing about winning the Dixie when you’re 15 is you get a lot of chances to defend. But that’s kind of the way Yujeong Son’s whole junior-golf career has played out anyway. Son, who lives in Norman, Okla., won the Oklahoma Women’s Amateur in 2014 at the age of the 13, becoming the youngest player to claim that event. She went on to win the next two state amateurs. Since we last saw her at the 2016 Dixie, Son has also won the Kathy Whitworth Invitational, a prestigious all-girls event in Fort Worth, Texas, put on by the Hall of Famer herself, and the AJGA’s Swinging Skirts Invitational.

Top 100 players

There are seven players from the top 100 spots in the Golfweek/ Women's Rankings in the Dixie field. Arkansas juniors Dylan Kim and Maria Fassi top that list (see more on that below) at No. 11 and 17, respectively, while a third Razorback teammate, Cara Gorlei, checks in at No. 92. North Carolina State's Naomi Ko, Northwestern’s Stephanie Lau, UCLA’s Patty Tavatanakit (a freshman who was formerly the country’s top-ranked junior), and Louisville’s Molly Skapik are also on that list.

Arkansas trio

When the Razorbacks got Dylan Kim this fall, a transfer from Baylor, things really began looking up for a team that has climbed higher and higher in the rankings under Shauna Estes-Taylor’s leadership. Kim is a program changer – she’s a powerful player with a buttery swing who works hard. With her in the lineup, Arkansas won three of four fall tournaments, and tied an NCAA scoring record in the first tournament of the season. Any one of the Arkansas players could walk away with the Dixie title this week. Maria Fassi finished T-3 at the Canadian Women’s Amateur to end the summer then logged two college victories, and Cara Gorlei won this summer’s South African Women’s Amateur.

Bringing the heat

If there’s one under-the-radar player worth watching this week, it’s Jessica Dreesbeimdieke. She’s a senior on the University of Denver team that won two tournaments and crushed program scoring records this fall. Dreesbeimdieke is an athletic player – checking in at 5 feet, 10 inches tall – who can get hot and score. Born in Namibia but now a Florida resident, Dreesbeimdieke is a player capable of stringing together a lot of birdies with little notice. That happened in the opening round of the Florida Women’s Amateur this summer, when she threw out a 6-under 66 to start the tournament. Denver head coach Lindsey Kuhle says her ranking doesn’t reflect that scoring ability and earlier this season called her the player “who can always produce a low round and is always going to help us.” Denver teammates Mary Weinstein and Camille Enright are also in the field.

Alexa Pano, child star

If Pano’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she was one of the stars of the film “The Short Game” back in 2013. Far from letting that be her legacy, though, Pano is starting to creep up the leaderboard in top amateur events despite being only 13 years old. Last year, she tied for sixth at last year’s Dixie, followed it with a tie for third at the South Atlantic Amateur (also known as the Sally), then ended this winter tournament circuit by winning the Jones/Doherty Championship. She also made match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur over the summer.

For a complete list of players competing in the Dixie Women's Amateur, click here.

ABOUT THE Dixie Women's Amateur

**The field is full and additional applicants will be put on the wait list; go to the invitation request form to apply

72-hole stroke invitational women's stroke play event played at Palm Aire Country Club. Field consists of former Dixie Amateur Champions, and women from around the world invited by the Tournament Committee. (You may request an invitation at Tournament takes on extra importance as one of the last major international amateur events to be played before the Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA) determines their ranking-based exemption list. The field limit will be 108 players. Field is cut after 54 holes to the low 66 players and ties.

View Complete Tournament Information

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