Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada, won in a playoff last Tuesday to take the top spot at the Hilton Grand Vacations Annika Invitational at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, earning a spot in the amateur field of the LPGA’s season-opening Tournament of Champions event at nearby Lake Nona Golf & Country Club.
The 14th-annual tournament featured 72 elite female juniors, including 29 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 13 of the top 25 players in the girls AJGA rankings.
Wilson trailed Anna Davis of Spring Valley, California, heading into the final round of the 54-hole event. She closed that gap with the help of eagles on Nos. 7 and 13, however, and when both players made birdie on the last to finish at 12-under-par 207, they returned to the tee at the par-5 18th hole to begin sudden-death play.
After hitting her second shot short of water, Wilson ran her next shot in from 75 yards for another eagle, and claimed the victory when Davis was not able to hole out from left of the green.
“I knew I did not want to hit it into the water on the right,” said Wilson, who was a first-team Junior All-American in 2021. “My goal was to hit it left and I accidentally snap-hooked my drive meaning I had to lay up. I wanted to be safe and get a birdie out of it, but I am really happy I got the eagle out of it instead.
“To win this invitational feels great because I have never won an invitational before and to have Annika (Sörenstam) here to watch makes it extra special.”