Mariajo Uribe has played in nine AIG Women's Opens. Here, we take a look back at her tournament debut in 2008 at Sunningdale.
After winning the US Women’s Amateur in 2007, a whole world of possibilities opened up for Uribe. The talented 17-year-old from Colombia was the first player from Latin America to win the title, and the prizes that came with it proved very special.
“It was such a special moment for me to win the US Women’s Amateur and I was so excited to be able to play the four majors,” Uribe said. “Then when I found out that I could play the AIG Women’s Open, it was definitely an amazing feeling.”
Yet despite the elation that came with her victory, there nearly proved a hiccup in Uribe’s plan to play the AIG Women’s Open.
“It was a tough decision (to play),” Uribe said. “I wasn’t able to defend my title as reigning US Amateur Champion, because that was the same week of the Women’s Open. But it was a no-brainer for me to decide to go to Sunningdale instead and I don’t regret my decision, it was everything I could expect from a Women’s Open.”
“It was something that stuck with me forever.” Mariajo Uribe
Uribe, who was won over $2m on the LPGA Tour and placed inside the Top-35 of all five majors, was greeted with stunning weather and a star grouping for her AIG Women’s Open debut.
“Luckily it was in Sunningdale with good weather, so it wasn’t too much of a shock to play my first,” she said. “Sunningdale was an amazing course, and it’s probably my favourite Women’s Open course until now.
“I played with Sophie Gustafson, who was an amazing player, I grew up watching her play, so it was a really cool experience. I was a little nervous but l’d been playing the whole year in majors so by then I was used to it.”
While Uribe got to play with a legend of the AIG Women’s Open in her debut, her outstanding memory from the event proved to be a lesson she has never forgotten.
“I remember from that tournament hole number two, I think it’s a par-5,” she said. “It was so, so firm and I just remember my coach was caddying for me, and we had between 190 and 200 yards or something and we had to play like a 9-iron.
“It would legitimately bounce 60 yards short of the green, and it went over (the back). So I’m like, ‘this is links golf for you’, even though it was not a links course entirely, but it was something that stuck with me forever. So every time I play a British Open, I remember to make sure to give myself enough space before the green because you get pretty big bounces.”
Uribe has a career-best finish of T22 at the AIG Women’s Open, achieved in 2013 at St Andrews, and finished T67 last year at Woburn.