Maria Torres defies hurricane to steer Evian Championship


Hurricane Maria had hammered her native Puerto Rico. The strongest storm to hit the island in 85 years, it left a path of demise and destruction.

“It was actually unhealthy,” Torres explains to CNN. “We did not have energy, every thing was down.”

Quick ahead 12 months and her circumstances may scarcely be extra totally different.

She’s turn into the primary Puerto Rican golfer to earn full-time standing on the LPGA Tour and, on Friday, shot a two-under-par spherical of 69 to share the midway lead within the Evian Championship — the ultimate main of the golf season.

Torres is eight below heading into the weekend, however the profession of this bubbly, likeable 23-year-old nearly did not get off the bottom.

With Puerto Rico ravaged, Torres was struggling to follow forward the LPGA Tour qualifying sequence — often called Q-Faculty.

Thankfully, Torres was capable of journey to the US for the second stage of the method, narrowly progressing earlier than ultimately incomes her card.

Again residence, the nation endured months of energy outages due to harm to {the electrical} grid.

“Like, 10 individuals and we’re staying in a room as a result of we had a generator,” Torres remembers.

“It was type of the expertise of washing your garments along with your arms, I’ve to offer credit score to my aunts, they actually helped rather a lot.”

Torres is on form in the final major of the women's golf season.

Even after becoming a member of the LPGA Tour, it wasn’t all plain crusing. Forward of the Evian Championship, Torres had missed the minimize at 9 of the earlier 12 tournaments, and he or she’s registered simply two top-10 finishes throughout her debut 12 months.

However, on the shores of Lake Geneva, it is all fallen into place. An eagle was the spotlight of a blockbuster day one, whereas 4 birdies Friday took her to the highest of the leaderboard.

Not that Torres is permitting herself to think about the winner’s test of $577,500 simply but.

“I do not wish to go forward, I simply wish to hold taking part in,” she says, though she cracks an enormous smile earlier than admitting, “it might be superior.”

“I am simply in search of alternatives and simply taking part in golf, that is the one factor I can management.”

A victory for Torres may additionally elevate morale for a rustic that’s nonetheless rebuilding.

And she or he is taking part in her half in these restoration efforts, internet hosting a pro-am alongside fellow professional Rafael Campos which raised $600,000 for native charities.

“It was superior, simply seeing a few golfers getting collectively to assist us rebuild out nation,” she added. “It is wonderful. We’re lucky to have buddies who wish to assist us.”

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