Maria Fassi seizes first pro title close to her Arkansas roots

Two eagles in the span of three holes vaulted Maria Fassi to her first professional title. The former Arkansas standout went wire-to-wire at the Cooper Communities NWA Classic on the Women’s All Pro Tour in Bella Vista, Arkansas, about 30 minutes from the Razorbacks’ home course, the Blessings Golf Club. Fassi won the individual NCAA Championship there last spring.

Fassi, who began her career on the LPGA just over one year ago, closed with a 68 in the final round to post a 14-under 274, finishing four shots ahead of amateur hotshot Alexa Pano.

Fassi took home $7,500 for her efforts. Pano secured her second Symetra Tour start of the year from a strong WAPT finish.

Fassi’s first eagle came on the par-5 eighth hole when she sunk a 20-foot putt. On the par-4 10th, she holed out from 50 yards for a second eagle.

The LPGA is scheduled to restart in late July with back-to-back events in Toledo, Ohio. Fassi took a share of 13th at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, the last event the LPGA conducted back in mid-February.

While Fassi was the star inside the ropes at Bella Vista, she wasn’t the only name locals will remember for years to come. Ana Paula Valdes, a recent Clemson graduate who also hails from Mexico, saved a woman from drowning after a practice around earlier this week. Valdes ultimately withdrew from the competition, but her heroic efforts were, understandably, the talk of the tournament.

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