Montgomery Ferreira of University Place, Wash., along with 39 other elite junior golfers from around the world, was selected to compete in 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 27-April 2, 2017.
Ferreira opened the 54-hole qualifier with a strong 2-over par 74, but fell back on the final two rounds.
The 40 juniors, including Ferreira, earned entry into the ANA Junior Inspiration tournament, an official American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Invitational. Top junior talent from around the world qualified through the “ANA Priority Mileage” point system based on the AJGA Rankings, with 11 spots given to the top qualifiers in ANA’s gateway cities. The qualifier was held March 23-26, 2017 at the same country club venue as the iconic LPGA major tournament. The juniors were paired with LPGA Legends during the final round on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course.
Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, Calif. won the qualifier, and is the only junior player of the 40 to advance to the ANA Inspiration. Li, 14, had previously qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open when she was just 11-years-old.
Ferreira made her AJGA Invitational debut at the ANA Junior Inspiration. The 14-year-old has competed in six AJGA events since 2015, earning top finishes of T7 at the 2016 Core Golf Academy Junior All-Star and Sunriver Junior Open. Ferreira, 14, is in the eighth grade at St. Charles Borromeo School in Tacoma, Wash. She’s the defending champion in the girls 12-13 division WJGA Western Open.
“There are a lot of great players in the Northwest,” Ferreira said, “and many of them could be here. I was just fortunate to play well in a couple AJGA events and earned the spot (in the qualifier).”
The 11 ANA North American gateway cities in addition to Seattle are Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Vancouver, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Houston, Honolulu and Mexico City. Ferreira represented her home city proudly as she was the only junior in the field from Washington.
“What I like about Tacoma is how the senior players are so welcoming of us juniors,” Ferreira said. “Mrs. Pat Harbottle (a member of the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame) is such an inspiration to me and just treats me like a normal person. I love golfing with her. I am going to miss Kenny Still (the Tacoma native and former Ryder Cupper and PGA Tour player who passed away on March 19) – whatever came out of his mouth always made me smile. I was lucky to have met him.”
Montgomery is the younger sister of Jordan Ferreira, who won the 2014 Washington State Women’s Amateur and is now a senior on the Notre Dame University women’s golf team.
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.”
Sorenstam sent a personalized video message to Montgomery, congratulating her on qualifying for the ANA Junior Inspiration: https://hkstrategies.egnyte.com/fl/yWqwkaVbzV.
For more information about the ANA Junior Inspiration including the full field of 40, visit the AJGA tournament website.