2018 - Maria Fassi, Arkansas
The Arkansas junior dominated in 2017-18 as she won six times, including the NCAA Austin Regional. Fassi finished second at the SEC Championship (losing in a playoff), and prior to the NCAA Championship had no finishes worse than 12th on the season. She was named the 2018 SEC Women’s Golf Player of the Year and a First-Team All American.
Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam presented the trophy to Fassi, “College golf is such a big part of these players’ careers. They work really hard and to celebrate the best player means a lot,” said Sorenstam. “This continues what we do with the ANNIKA Foundation, to help these young girls to fulfill their dreams and keep them going on their career path.”
“It means the world to win the ANNIKA Award,” said Fassi. “I admire Annika, she’s been someone I’ve looked up to since I was a young girl. To win this award and to get it from my peers, the coaches and the media, it means a lot that they thought I was worthy of it. I don’t have words to explain how excited I am and how grateful I am to be receiving this award today.
“We have one mission left to accomplish,” Fassi continued. “We are going to be working on it all year long to accomplish our mission next May.”
“It has been a really fun journey with her, and with our team as well,” said Arkansas women’s golf coach Shauna Taylor. “To watch her win six times this year, and to do it on different conditions and different golf courses, just says a lot about her game and how much she has matured and grown since she stepped on campus.”