PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s not very often two golfers from the same small town in Colombia find themselves playing together on tour.
“It’s kind of a big deal, kind of intimidating to be with them (top LPGA golfers) on the same side of the ropes, but it’s really nice to be here with my friend,” Valery Plata, who plays for Michigan State University, said.
She and longtime friend — and 12-year LPGA Tour veteran — Mariajo Uribe are both playing in the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont this week.
“I’m really excited that she’s here now, and I’ve been helping her out, finding a caddy and figuring out what she’s doing every tournament,” Uribe said. “It just feels like a little sister to me.”
Uribe has known Plata since she was just 9 years old and has been her mentor ever since.
“I always knew the potential that she had from growing up. I think college has really helped her. In MSU, she’s become more confident and she’s a little bit of an introvert, so she feels now a little more on her own skin, more comfortable, and I’m really happy to see that and the golf game showing,” Uribe said.
Plata has already made her mark at the college level as the 2020 Big Ten player of the year. This week, the All-American golfer ready to step up her game at her second-straight appearance at the Meijer LPGA Classic as a sponsor exemption.
“Having a good week here is proof that you can be out here with these girls, so it’s great it’s a confidence booster and also a great opportunity to learn,” Plata said.
Tournament play will also feature two-time Classic winner Brooke Henderson and Minjee Lee, ranked No. 1 in the world.