Industry News

Annika Foundation salutes Fassi

2018 WGCA First-Team All-American Won Six Tournaments in 2017-18, Including the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M

(ORLANDO, Fla.) The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – congratulates Arkansas junior Maria Fassi for winning the 2018 ANNIKA Award presented by 3M.

A native of Pachuca, Mexico, Fassi was recognized for her outstanding 2017-18 season in a vote by fellow players, coaches and golf media. She kicked off her brilliant campaign by successfully defending her individual title at the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational presented by 3M in Minnesota. This was followed by five more victories, recognition as a First-Team WGCA All-American and SEC Women’s Player of the Year honors.

Fassi accepted the ANNIKA Award on Wednesday evening at Golf Channel studios during Golf Central. She will be more formally honored at the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, Sept. 16-19 at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn. As ANNIKA Award winner, Fassi also receives an exemption into the 2018 Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fifth major, Sept. 13-16 in Evian, France. 

“I’m really happy to win the ANNIKA Award, and beyond blessed to be a part of the University of Arkansas and to represent Mexico,” says Fassi, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek / Sagarin amateur golf standings and has played in three consecutive U.S. Women’s Opens. “It means so much that this award is coming from my peers, coaches and players. I want to soak it all in and enjoy it, but then keep working hard and get ready for next season.”

As the fifth winner of the ANNIKA Award, Fassi joins an illustrious list of previous recipients: Duke’s Leona Maguire (2015 and 2017), and UCLA Bruins Alison Lee (2014) and Bronte Law (2016).

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho and UCLA junior Lilia Vu were the other finalists for the 2018 ANNIKA Award.

“Maria enjoyed a wonderful season, starting back in September with a successful defense of her individual title at our ANNIKA Intercollegiate while also leading Arkansas to the team victory,” says Annika, winner of the 1991 NCAA Championship while a freshman at the University of Arizona. “I’ve gotten to know her a bit over the last few years and she certainly embodies all the attributes one wants to see in a student-athlete. We’re very proud to add her to the list of ANNIKA Award winners.”

The ANNIKA Award is an ANNIKA Foundation initiative. Oversight is provided by the Fred Haskins Commission, a 501(c)(3) organization in Columbus, Ga., which for more than 45 years has given the Haskins Award to the most outstanding male collegiate golfer.

Annika enjoyed an exceptional NCAA career at the University of Arizona. She won seven collegiate tournaments in 1991, including the NCAA Championship, and capped off an All-American season by being named the NCAA Co-Player of the Year. In 1992, she was Pac-10 champion and finished second in the NCAA Championship. She turned pro that same year.

Beyond the ANNIKA Award and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, the ANNIKA Foundation manages five junior tournaments – the ANNIKA Invitational USA in St. Augustine, Fla.; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; and, in association with The R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina.

Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 32 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. Twenty-four alumnae competed in the 2018 ANA Inspiration.

For more information, please visit www.annikafoundation.org.

About the ANNIKA Foundation

Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation (www.annikafoundation.org) to provide opportunities in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. The Foundation has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.

It annually conducts five major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; and, in association with The R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina. In 2013, the Foundation’s reach extended to the collegiate ranks with the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M (awarded to most outstanding female NCAA Division I golfer) and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M (12 team, 54-hole event in Minnesota). SPARK grants to schools, financial support of Healthy 100 Kids, endowing an AJGA ACE Grant, and the “Share My Passion” Golf Clinics are other areas of emphasis.

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