Montgomery Ferreira of University Place, Wash. has been selected to compete in the ANA Junior Inspiration, a qualifier for the chance to earn a spot in the opening LPGA major championship of the season, the ANA Inspiration held at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., March 22-25, 2018.
Ferreira will be making her second appearance at the ANA Junior Inspiration, having been selected for last year’s qualifier as well. The 15-year-old freshman at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma has two top-five AJGA finishes and won the 2016 Washington Junior Golf Association Western Open Championship.
“There are a lot of great golfers in the Northwest,” said Ferreira, “and many of them could be here. I was just fortunate to play well in some events and earn the spot.”
The qualifier’s invitation-only field will be tested for 36 holes on the Pete Dye Challenge Course before playing the final round of the qualifier on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course with LPGA Legends. During the final round, each pairings group will feature one LPGA legend and two juniors. Juniors will compete for the stroke-play title and participate in a fun competition among pairings groups in a best-ball format with the legends.
Ferreira is one of only 48 of the top junior girls in the world selected for entry into the ANA Junior Inspiration, an official AJGA Invitational. Juniors, such as Ferreira, qualified through the “ANA Priority Mileage” point system, which is based on the Rolex AJGA Rankings, with 11 spots given to the top qualifiers in ANA’s (All Nippon Airways) gateway cities of Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington D.C.
After qualifying as a representative of one of ANA’s gateway cities, each junior chose a golf association to receive a $5,000 grant from the ANA Junior Inspiration. Ferreira chose to give the Gateway City Grant to the golf association that helped her grow into the golfer she is today, the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA).
“I have been playing WJGA tournaments since I was 8-years-old,” Ferreira said. “I still remember playing in my very first golf tournament at a WJGA event. The WJGA does an amazing job of supporting junior golfers and providing opportunities for competition in my state which is why I have chosen them to receive a $5,000 grant.”
“We are extremely thankful for the generous gift from Montgomery, ANA and AJGA,” said WJGA Executive Director Tyler Johnsen. “To be recognized and selected by one of our junior members is truly special and this grant will go a long way in supporting girls’ golf in our state of Washington. The ANA Junior Inspiration is a unique event; unlike any other in junior golf. To have the opportunity to compete on a major championship course, play a competitive round with an LPGA legend, and potentially earn a spot in the LPGA’s premier major championship has created a remarkable opportunity to bring more girls into the game.”
Ferreira credits Johnsen with creating opportunities for young players. “I like the direction he’s taken the WJGA,” she said. “More 36-hole tournaments, and more opportunities to earn AJGA status.”
Montgomery is the younger sister of Jordan Ferreira, who won the 2014 Washington State Women’s Amateur.
LPGA legend and three-time ANA Inspiration champion Annika Sorenstam said, “If I was a junior golfer competing now, this type of event and opportunity would definitely inspire me. Mission Hills Country Club is a very special place. I know what it’s like to win there, but just getting a chance to sample the tournament atmosphere will have powerful impact on the careers of these young players.”
Since the Gateway City Grant program began in 2017, the ANA Junior Inspiration has donated $110,000 to local golf associations throughout the country.
About the ANA Inspiration
The ANA Inspiration is one of the LPGA Tour’s most prestigious events. Previously known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the tournament was founded in 1972 by David Foster and Dinah Shore and earned the designation as a major championship in 1983. Contested at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. since its inception, the ANA Inspiration holds the distinction of being the second oldest golf tournament continuously held at the same course. For many, the event is most distinguished by one of golf’s most beloved traditions: the champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond, located adjacent to the 18th green. In 1988, the first champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond was taken by Amy Alcott, and since has become one of the most anticipated and memorable traditions in golf. For more information on the ANA Inspiration, visit ANAinspiration.com or call 760-834-8872.