The ANA Junior Inspiration and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) announced Brittany Kwon of Bremerton, Wash. and Central Kitsap High School as the 2019 Seattle Gateway City Qualifier. In her honor, ANA’s Gateway City Grant has made a financial contribution to support the Washington Junior Golf Association.
The ANA Junior Inspiration, a partnership between the AJGA and All Nippon Airways (ANA) – Japan’s largest 5-star airline – will be held March 28-31, 2019, at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Kwon, along with 47 other top-ranked junior girls from around the world, earned entry into the ANA Junior Inspiration, an official AJGA Invitational.
Kwon recently won the 2018 Kyle Stanley Championship by Transamerica in Gig Harbor, Washington. She is also a three-time Washington State Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year, a two-time Washington Junior Golf Association state champion and a three-time WIAA 3A High School State champion. Kwon was also named the 2018 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year. This will be the junior’s first appearance at ANA Junior Inspiration.
“It is truly an honor to be Seattle’s Gateway City qualifier for the ANA Inspiration” said Kwon. “I want to thank the WJGA for all the lessons I’ve learned throughout my years as a junior golfer. WJGA has given me some of my most cherished memories and friendships that I will hold onto forever. This organization has developed me into the player that I am today and I can’t thank them enough.”
The winner of the ANA Junior Inspiration will receive an invitation for the final amateur exemption in the ANA Inspiration, the first LPGA major tournament of the year.
Junior golfers, such as Kwon, 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 gateway cities of Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington D.C.
The field will be tested for 36 holes on the Pete Dye Challenge Course before playing the final round 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.
After qualifying as a representative of one of ANA’s gateway cities, each qualifier chose a local golf association in their area to receive a $5,000 grant from the ANA Junior Inspiration to support the growth and development of junior golf. Kwon selected the Washington Junior Golf Association.
Since the Gateway City Grant program began in 2017, the ANA Junior Inspiration has donated $165,000 to local golf associations throughout the country.
“Playing in the ANA Junior Inspiration is an incredible opportunity for the top female junior golfers in the world,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “The AJGA is proud to continue its partnership with ANA to create a truly unique week that showcases the past, present and future of women’s golf. To compete for a major opportunity as a teenager, while also receiving mentorship from an LPGA Legend and impacting the next generation of girls, truly creates a legacy.”
About the ANA Inspiration
The ANA Inspiration is golf’s first major and 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, please visit ANAinspiration.com or call 760-834-8872.