Valentina Bueno, a sophomore member of Lander University's women's golf team, was among 10 female and male golfers who represented Peru in an amateur championship, matching players from nine countries in South America.
The South American Federation of Golf sponsored the Copa los Andes (The Andes Cup) tournament, which was held at the Lagunita Country Club in Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 19-25.
The Peruvian women's team finished tied for third with Paraguay, each team winning 11 points out of a possible 16. Bueno played eight matches on the par 72 course; she won 6, lost one and tied one. Temperatures were in the 90s each day of the tournament but it did not affect her play.
She said she is very happy with her performance, which came less than three months before the start of Lander's golf season. She is also optimistic that she will be chosen to represent Peru in next year's championship, which will be held in Colombia.
She was surprised that the Peruvian Golf Federation selected her for this year's national team. Last summer, she played in a national qualifying tournament in Peru but missed the second event because it conflicted with the start of classes at Lander, where she is majoring in business with an economic and finance emphasis.
According to Bueno, the federation monitors the performance of Peruvian amateurs in the U.S., and she has done well since joining the Lander team last spring. In fact, she has played on two Lander tournament winners.
Bueno is 18 years old and her home is in Trujillo, the second largest city in Peru. She took up golf at the age of 10 and has played in tournaments in Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. In 2009, she won a national match play tournament in Peru. She has also played in the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic in Florida.
"I was attracted to golf because of the challenge; it is a sport where you compete against yourself." She is the only golfer in her family and shoots in the 70s.
Lander golf coach Chipper Bagwell said of Bueno, "She has developed into a pretty good golfer since she came to Lander last year at the age of 17. I'm glad we were able to get her." Bagwell said she works very hard on her game and he described her as very coachable. He added, "I think her best golf is ahead of her."
Does Bueno anticipate a career in professional golf? She's not sure at this point. "It depends on how well I play while I'm in college."