A strong field of Canadian players, an elite player from Singapore and the 2019 champion are among the headliners of the ninth Women’s Porter Cup golf tournament, which begins Wednesday at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
Each of the top four players in last summer’s Canada Women’s Amateur Championship will compete in the field of 53 at the Lewiston course. They include Canadian champion Lauren Zaretsky, who hails from the Toronto area and is moving to Texas Tech University in the fall.
“Team Canada is back in full swing this year,” said Tournament Director Janelle DiGregorio. “We have four from their amateur squad and another five or six from their junior squad. We are very happy to have them with us again year after year.”
The 54-hole event runs through Friday and is open to the public.
The top-ranked player in the field is 23-year-old Aloysa Margiela Atienza from Singapore, who will compete in her first-ever event in the United States. She is ranked 254th in the world amateur golf rankings, has just won a major tournament in Singapore and finished second at the South East Asia Games in Vietnam.
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2019 Porter Cup winner Jackie Rogowicz, 23, returns. She is a former Penn State star.
The Porter Cup has had some success developing the national amateur event by inviting several players from college teams that year, including Purdue, Michigan State and Penn State.
“A more team-centric approach has really helped us and created more awareness and excitement,” said DiGregorio. “In my opinion, the field is the best it’s been in a long time.”
Other top Canadians who have competed include Canada National Team amateurs Taylor Kehoe, Brookie Rivers, Celeste Dao and Sarah-Eve Rheaume. Kehoe, who placed eighth at Niagara Falls in 2019, will travel to Alabama in the fall. Nicole Gal and Angela Arora finished second and third respectively at last summer’s Canadian Championships.
Another top Canadian is Katie Cranston, an Auburn commitee who won the Dustin Johnson World Junior Event in South Carolina in March.
Among Western New Yorkers in this field are Marina Heister of Olean and Niagara University, Elena Lopez of Clarence and Quinnipiac, and Victoria Leach of Clarence.
Defending champion Kan Bunnabodee of Thailand and Purdue University is not back.
“It was the first time since the beginning of Covid that she was able to go back and visit her family,” DiGregorio said. “We didn’t get all the internationals we wanted this year, but there was a good reason for that.”