ANNIKA Award: Spring Watch List for 2021-22
28 Mar 2022
by Golfweek

see also: ANNIKA Award, Haskins Foundation / ANNIKA Award

Women’s golf is at the forefront this week as the top players in the world meet for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, to be played at Champions Retreat Golf Club and Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The ANNIKA Award
As an amateur event and not a college event, the ANWA doesn’t figure into the selection of the ANNIKA Award, but the tournament will still showcase many of the college game’s best, like top-ranked Rose Zhang and her Stanford teammate Rachel Heck, who has now won eight titles with the Cardinal.

The ANNIKA Award honors the player of the year in women’s college golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the college golf media.

The players are listed alphabetically. Players on the ANNIKA Award Watch List were selected by a panel of Golfweek and Golf Channel writers.

* * * * *

Amari Avery, USC: Welcome to the lineup, Amari Avery. The first-semester freshman from Riverside, California, finished sixth at the Lamkin Invitational in her debut with the team, then won her next to starts at the ICON Invitational and the Gold Rush. That has shades of LPGA player and former Trojan Annie Park, who ended her first semester at USC with a postseason sweep.

Carolina Lopez-Chacarra, Wake Forest: The freshman from Spain’s spring-opening victory at the UCF Challenge was head-turning as she went 19 under to do it. At the next tournament, the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, she was back at the top and picked up her second individual title. Since getting her feet wet in her college golf debut at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, Chacarra hasn’t finished outside the top 17.

Hannah Darling, South Carolina: Made an immediate impact for a rebuilt Gamecocks roster by opening the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in September with a bogey-free round of 66 and then going on to finish second at that event. Most recently she was T-2 at the Valspar Augusta Invitational.

Alexandra Forsterling, Arizona State: The Sun Devil senior is making the most of her last year in the desert, having finished inside the top 10 in four of five spring starts so far. Most recently, she was third at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and picked up her second individual title at the PING/ASU Invitational.

Rachel Heck, Stanford: Heck returned this season after winning the ANNIKA Award with a dominant freshman campaign. It was a bit of a slow fall for the Stanford sophomore, but this spring, Heck has won two of three starts to reach eight career titles for the Cardinal which is just one shy of the program record.

Cindy Kou, USC: Kou began her career at USC this fall with a third-place finish at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate then backed it up with another top-5 finish a month later at the Windy City Collegiate. She has picked up two more top-5 finishes this spring at the ICON Invitational and the Gold Rush.

Aline Krauter, Stanford: The senior from Germany is a steady presence for Stanford, having played the entire fall season without finishing outside the top 10.

Rachel Kuehn, Wake Forest: The junior got back in the winner’s circle at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in California, which featured a deep field of talent from both sides of the country. That’s career title No. 4 for Kuehn, and her second this season.

Ingrid Lindblad, LSU: Lindblad is arguably the most consistent player in women’s college golf and one of the top-ranked players on the East Coast. Lindblad, a junior from Sweden, has now won eight times as a Tiger. In addition to all the individual titles, she has 21 top-10 finishes in 26 starts and has only ever finished outside the top 25 in two starts.

Emily Mahar, Virginia Tech: The Australian is an often-overlooked player in women’s college golf, but her game has carried her to top-5 finishes in each of her last four college starts.

Natasha Andrea Oon, San Jose State: The senior has been a strong leader on the course for San Jose State, logging three top-3 finishes so far this spring. She has finished runner-up twice this season.

Calynne Rosholt, Arizona State: Rosholt always seems to be in the mix this spring, with a top-3 finish in the loaded Darius Rucker Intercollegiate field being the most recent example.

Emma Spitz, UCLA: Spitz finished the fall season with a tie for second at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview and most recently tied for sixth at the Lamkin Invitational.

Beatrice Wallin, Florida State: Wallin returned for her senior season with the Seminoles despite having status on the Epson Tour this spring. The talented Swede missed much of the fall season at LPGA Q-School but has finished T-5, T-7, T-2 so far this spring.

Rose Zhang, Stanford: Zhang is the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings as well as the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She did exactly as expected upon arriving at Stanford, which was win her first three starts out of the gate. She has finished fourth, second and second this spring.


Created in 2014, the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel is annually given to the top female U.S. collegiate golfer; the winner voted on by college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media. Named for and presented by Annika Sorenstam, the award was created in partnership with the Haskins Foundation and ANNIKA Foundation to acknowledge the top female golfer at the end of the season and to match the Haskins Award presented by Stifel, which acknowledges the top male Division I collegiate golfer.

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