María José Marin opens four-shot lead at Women's Amateur Latin America Championship
María José Marin (WALA photo)
María José Marin (WALA photo)

María José Marin of Colombia holds a four shot lead going into tomorrow’s final round of the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation.

The 16-year-old, who was joint leader overnight with Vanessa Gilly, carded a third-round 68, four-under-par, at Pilar Golf to move into the outright lead for the first time in the championship on a 10-under-par total of 206.

“I had a really good start to my round after making birdies on the second and fourth holes. I felt confident going into the back nine and although I bogeyed the last, I was really happy with the round,” said Marin.

“I have a good feeling about tomorrow. I have been playing well all week so I will stick to the same strategy that has worked so far. I need to remain patient and then we’ll see what happens.”

After setting the low round record for the championship with a 65 in yesterday’s second round, Marin was in impressive form once again, rolling in three birdies on the front nine to go out in 33.

The Colombian picked up two further shots on the 14th and 15th holes with back-to-back birdies but stumbled to a bogey on the last on what was otherwise a notable performance.

Marin will hope that memories of last year’s final round in which she surrendered a healthy lead to eventual winner Valery Plata have faded away as she aims to lift the trophy for the first time and become the second champion from Colombia.

Hopes of a home win rest with Valentina Rossi after the Argentinian also posted a round of 68 to leave her in second place on a six-under par total of 210.

The 21-year-old, who is a past winner of the Argentina Women’s Amateur championship, made gains quickly in the round with two birdies in a row on the 2nd and 3rd holes before picking up another shot at the par-5 7th. Birdies at the 10th and 16th also followed but Rossi endured a similar fate to Marin with a bogey at the 18th.

“I played really solid today and feel confident about my game so I’m really happy. I know I had a bogey on the last hole but I feel that I am still in a good position going into the final round tomorrow,” said Rossi.

“I’ve got a new coach and think that my game and performances are progressing. My goal was to be in that final group tomorrow and it’s going to be fun playing with Maria. Hopefully we will make lots of birdies!”

Ana Isabel Gonzalez Cantu of Mexico is one shot further back on three-under-par after signing off for a one-over-par 73, while her compatriot Vania Alicia Simont moved into fourth place on two-under-par with a round of 70.

Brazilian Nina Rissi Miozzo is on one-under-par with overnight joint leader Gilly now sitting on level par for the championship after the Venezuelan struggled to round of 78.

The Women’s Amateur Latin America championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation follows the successful introduction of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship by The R&A in 2018. Its aim is to strengthen the pathway to the very highest levels of golf by providing a platform for the region’s best women’s amateur golfers to compete against each other.

The winner of the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship will earn exemptions into three major championships, including the AIG Women’s Open, Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship, as well as the Women’s Amateur Championship and the Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex.

Results: Women's Latin America Amateur
1ArgentinaValentina RossiArgentina100071-71-68-69=279
2ColombiaMaria Jose MarinColombia70073-65-68-74=280
3PeruDaniela BallesterosPeru50071-72-74-66=283
4MexicoVania SimontMexico50074-70-70-70=284
5VenezuelaVanessa GillyVenezuela50071-67-78-70=286

View full results for Women's Latin America Amateur

ABOUT THE Women's Latin America Amateur

Introduced in 2021, this tournament was created by the R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation. The 72-hole stroke play event will have a select field of 60 players, with invitations given based on World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). The winner will receive an exemption into the Women's British Open.

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