FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 4, 2019
Arkansas’s Maria Fassi Repeats as Winner of the ANNIKA Award Presented by Stifel
Seven Wins in 2018-19 Capped by the 2019 NCAA Championship
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – congratulates Arkansas senior Maria Fassi on becoming the first back-to-back winner of the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel.
Fassi ended her outstanding seven-win season by capturing the NCAA Championship in her final collegiate start, shooting rounds of 72-71-68 to take the title by four strokes. The native of Pachura, Mexico was once again recognized in a vote by fellow players, coaches and golf media. Fassi accepted the ANNIKA Award on Tuesday evening at Golf Channel studios during Golf Central.
As the 2018 and 2019 ANNIKA Award winner, she has received exemptions into the 2019 and 2020 Evian Championships, respectively. The two-time, first-team WGCA All-American made her professional debut at last week’s U.S. Women’s Open, finishing an impressive T-12. Fassi finished her amateur career ranked No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“We are honored to welcome Maria as the first back-to-back winner of the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel,” says Annika, who was the winner of 1991 NCAA Championship while a freshman at the University of Arizona. “She’s a fantastic young lady and we look forward to following her as she begins what promises to be a very successful professional career.”
The two-time SEC Women’s Golfer of the Year and runner up in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur is the fourth golfer to win the ANNIKA Award. Other members of this illustrious club are Duke’s Leona Maguire (2015 and 2017), and UCLA’s Alison Lee (2014) and Bronte Law (2016).
Wake Forest senior Jennifer Kupcho and Florida State freshman Frida Kinhult were the other finalists for the 2019 ANNIKA Award.
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.
The ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to growing the game of golf around the world. It annually hosts six girls-only invitational tournaments on five continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, the ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup (Sweden), ANNIKA Invitational Mission Hills (China), the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America (Uruguay) and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia (New Zealand). At the college level, it hosts the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M every year in Minnesota.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 45 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. Twenty-eight alumnae competed in the 2019 ANA Inspiration.
For more information, please visit www.annikafoundation.org.
About the ANNIKA Foundation
Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation 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 six major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida; 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 and ANNIKA Invitational Australasia. In 2013, the Foundation’s reach extended to the collegiate ranks with the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel (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.