16 / GOLFER / Bradenton, Fla.
This is an article from the Aug. 2, 2010 issue
Achievements: Splitting time between her native Buenos Aires and Bradenton, Fla., home base for the IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy, this high school junior was the American Junior Golf Association player of the year in 2008 and '09, and is No. 2 in the AJGA rankings. She was a junior world champion in '07, the Rolex Girls Junior champion in '08 and has qualified for the U.S. Women's Open three times.
First Steps: A golfer since age six, Victoria won her first junior tournament at seven and had a handicap of seven by the time she was 10. "When I was six, the only thing I liked was putting," recalls Victoria. "After I won closest-to-the-pin at a tournament when I was seven, that's when I started practicing everything."
Evokes: Tiger Woods. "When Tiger gets ahead by two, he pushes it to five," says Kevin Collins, one of Victoria's coaches in Bradenton. "She seems to have that type of an edge to her. When she really needs to put together a score to win a tournament, she's able to do it."
Coach's Comment: "She has a very different mind-set than most junior golfers," says Collins. "Her swing was pretty funky two years ago, but even with that she still manages to get the ball in the hole. She's done a wonderful job of building a more fundamentally sound golf swing."
What's Next: Victoria can participate in junior tournaments until she turns 19, at which point she'll have to choose between college golf and the LPGA. "I want to be the best golfer in the world," she says.