- Big Break Atlantis Competitor
Current Residence: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.
Home Course: Quicksilver Golf Club, Pittsburgh, Pa.
College: University of Washington
Profession: Professional Golfer; Spokesperson
“Only we can dictate when the narration of our story will cease.”
That is the motto of Anya Alvarez, an intense competitor on the golf course who has a truly inspirational story off the course.
Golf has been a part of Alvarez her entire life. Her father is a longtime PGA of America teaching professional, and introduced her to the game at age 3.
“I played a lot of different sports growing up, but golf has always been my first love,” said Alvarez. “The golf course literally is my second home and the game has taught me a lot about life over the years.”
It was very early when she realized how much of a role golf would play in her life. At the age of 9, Alvarez was sexually abused by a family friend. The man worked for her father at their home golf course in New Mexico.
“It took a long time for me to dissociate from golf what I went through, because a lot of that happened at the golf course where I grew up. It was a source of a lot of pain for me. “Now, I am able to use golf as an outlet instead of seeing it as a source of pain.”
Through the support of her family and her friends, she was able to put her life back together, piece by piece. She always knew deep down that she wanted to be a professional golfer, but as she grew older and came to grips with her past, her perspective on golf and her dreams changed.
“I actually considered turning pro before college, but looking back on it, mentally speaking, I wasn’t prepared for it or knew what being a pro really meant. After four years of college and doing a lot of growing up, I realized that being a professional golfer could not only mean playing with the best in the world, but also it could give me the platform to speak out about my past.”
Alvarez is accomplishing both goals. She turned professional immediately following graduation in 2011, then qualified and made the cut at her first tournament, which also happens to be the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. She is a rookie on the LPGA’s developmental tour – Symetra Tour – in 2012, competing a full schedule. She also is speaking out about her past, educating parents and children to help prevent sexual abuse, and is a spokesperson for the KidSafe Foundation.
“If I can get through to just one parent or child through my association in golf, then my dreams are coming true.”
For Alvarez, competing on Big Break Atlantis could make her one step closer to realizing her dreams.