Michigan State University
Valentina Rossi will represent Team Argentina in the 2021 Spirit International. We spent some time getting to know Valentina during a recent interview. Here’s what she had to share with the Spirit Golf Association.
The Spirit: You have represented Argentina for most of your junior/amateur career. What has been your favorite experience in international team competition thus far?
Rossi: Representing Argentina is incredible and always a lot of fun. I think my best experiences were the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland, and the South America Junior Team Championship that was played in Argentina. Having the support of many people, family and friends was a unique experience.
The Spirit: How much confidence did you gain finishing second in the Argentina Amateur two years in a row?
Rossi: Playing many tournaments in Argentina and finishing second in the Argentina Amateur ranking two years in a row really helped me qualify to play international competitions and gain more experience for my future. Winning the Argentina Amateur Championship is one of the most meaningful events in my amateur career.
The Spirit: Participating in the Annika Invitational 6 times is a special achievement. How were you able to formulate that type of consistency at a young age?
Rossi: I am very thankful for having the opportunity to play the Annika Invitational 6 times around the world. I am also really grateful that they have taken the tournament to Latin America, it is a great incentive for women’s golf throughout the region. During my junior career, it was awesome all the support I received from my coaches, my family, and also the Argentina Association, they for sure helped me to get better each year.
The Spirit: You played eight events in your freshman season, and were an essential part of Michigan State’s 2021 Big Ten Championship. How would you rate your freshman season?
Rossi: If I have to look for one word to describe my freshman season would be awesome. Although the fall season got cancelled due to covid, the spring was something incredible. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to play in the Big Ten Championship, and to have won with my team, I really don’t have words to describe what I live that week. And also after finishing my season having the experience of playing regionals and nations, I think it was a great end of season.
The Spirit: You made it to the semifinals of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur just a year after your Michigan State teammate and fellow Spirit competitor, Valery Plata, earned a semifinal appearance at the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur. What does that say about the impact your team has had at Michigan State so far?
Rossi: Making it to the semifinals in the US Amateur after Valery in 2020 definitely made a big impact on our team and made us feel that we could do it too. It shows us that we can achieve the goals we set ourselves, and that with effort we can get where we want.
The Spirit: You also finished 15th at the 2021 Michigan Women’s Open. What did you gain in that professional experience?
Rossi: Playing in the Michigan Women’s Open was a really nice and fun experience. It was during this past summer before the US Am, looking what I achieved on the US Am, I think this tournament was an incredible preparation for what was coming next.
The Spirit: What is your favorite dish from Argentina?
Rossi: My favourite dish from Argentina is asado (similar to barbecue), and the truth is that I haven’t been home since January and I miss it a lot.
The Spirit: Who was your biggest role model growing up?
Rossi: I think that one of my biggest role model growing up is Annika. I always really like her confidence and being able to meet her during the Annika Invitationals was inspiring for me as a young player.
The Spirit: What was it like to get the call that you would represent Argentina in the 2021 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship?
Rossi: When I got the call to represent Argentina in the Spirit I was so happy. I called Valery because I knew she was playing and we started screaming and celebrating on the phone. She always tells me how great the event is, so I am really excited to be there this year.
The Spirit: How important is it for federations to continue to support international team competition?
Rossi: The federations are a really important support for our careers. From hosting tournaments to helping develop our skills the federation helps turn dreams of college golf and professional careers into reality.