ROGERS, Ark. – The Wal-Mart Northwest Arkansas Championship has announced its 2020 sponsor exemptions. Three current Razorback student-athletes as well as a junior golf standout joins the 2020 NWA Championship tournament field.
The sponsor exemptions have been extended to current Razorbacks Ela Anacona, Maria Hoyos, and Brooke Matthews, as well as junior golfer Alexa Pano.
They will be competing against 156 of the world’s best female golfers August 24-30 at the Pinnacle County Club.
“We are delighted to welcome Ela, Maria, Brooke, and Alexa to this year’s tournament field,” stated Donna Morris, Walmart Executive Vice President, and Chief People Officer. “One of the core missions of the #NWAChampionship is to empower others and provide greater opportunities for women. We look forward to providing these talented amateurs a valuable opportunity to test their games against the top female golfers in the world.”
- Ela Anacona, a sophomore hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was the top-ranked member of the 2019-2020 Razorback women’s golf team, notching top-25 finishes in four of six events. Prior to her collegiate career, Ela was the top-ranked Argentinean amateur for three consecutive years, with impressive finishes at both the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America event and the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.
- Maria Hoyos joined the Razorback team from Pereira, Colombia, and is entering her senior season this fall. Maria’s best performance of the season came at the IJGA Collegiate Invitational, where she finished tied for tenth. As a junior golfer, Maria was named an AJGA All-American.
- Brooke Matthews, a native of Rogers, Arkansas, and graduate of Rogers High School, completed her redshirt sophomore season this past year. During her collegiate career, Brooke was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, the Golfweek All-American Honorable Mention list and a WGCA All-American Scholar.
“So many of our players have the dream of playing at the next level, so receiving an exemption and having the opportunity to compete against the top professionals in the game is a tremendous opportunity,” said Shauna Taylor, University of Arkansas Women’s Head Golf Coach. “We cannot thank Walmart, P&G, and the tournament enough for their ongoing support, which year after year proves invaluable to our program and our student-athletes.”
In addition to the Razorback student-athletes, Alexa Pano has also received an exemption to compete in the 2020 NWA Championship.
She is a 15-year-old standout junior golfer, with over 60 tournament victories in her young career. Alexa competed in her first LPGA Tour event at age 13 and was the youngest player in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. Alexa was also featured in the 2013 documentary film, The Short Game.
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