Manuela Carbajo Re, 17, of Argentina, received a full exemption into the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship after finishing among the top eight golfers at the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, which was conducted in her home country. This marks her first appearance in an individual USGA championship. Christina Lance caught up with her following her match-play victory on Wednesday to find out more about her experiences here in the United States.
How many times have you come to the States?
Seven. Two per year since four years ago.
Is it always to play golf?
Yes, always to play golf and to improve my game here, because here it’s a lot of girls who play very, very good. And it’s a great level of golf, so that’s helped me to grow.
How did you end up here at this championship?
I played in the [Women’s] World Amateur Team Championship in Argentina last year. I got the eighth position, and that’s the reason why they sent me mail that I am in this tournament. I am really happy being here. I really wanted to play this tournament. Last year, I tried to qualify but I didn’t. But I am very happy being here.
The organization and everything is perfect. I really like the sweets inside, in the locker room. It’s a great tournament!
How did first hear about the Girls’ Junior and USGA championships in Argentina?
I knew that the U.S. Junior was here maybe because Victoria Tanco (a fellow Argentinean golfer) came here four or five years ago. And when I was playing the AJGA [events], I talked with the other girls and made relationships with them.
This is your first USGA championship, right?
Yes, this is my first, and I’m going to play the [Women’s] Amateur in two weeks more. But this is my first and I really like it. I also was an alternate of the  Women’s Open.
I saw the Women’s Open ball marker on your hat. What was that experience like?
I really enjoyed staying with the players in the locker room. It was very fun. I didn’t play, just an alternate. But I’m going to try and qualify well next year.
How long is the travel from Argentina?
12 hours, but I live five hours away from Buenos Aires, so I have to go by car five hours or six, and then I have to come here 12 hours more, with connection flights. So it’s pretty long.
How long do you stay when you come?
I come here for one and a half months to play tournaments. I return home after this, but I come back just one week for the Amateur.
When you’re home in Argentina, do you play a lot of golf?
Yes, I practice a lot and I play a national championship there. I really enjoy it. I really enjoy golf, so I enjoy playing it anywhere.
You represented your home country at the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Buenos Aires. What was that like?
It was my best tournament because I played well. My team was great and it was great. I really love Victoria and Martina (Gavier) who played with me there. We were a great team, but the three didn’t play as well as we wanted. But all the people there helped us on every shot. It was great, my best tournament. I have very good remembrances from there.
What are your future plans?
College here. I don’t know where yet, but I have decided to come here to the States. I have visited three, but I have to visit more.
Do you want to be a professional golfer?
Maybe someday, but first I’m going to college and study my degree. I will try – I wish. It depends on how many hours I practice and how I feel in the process.
What are you going to study?
Something of art. I play saxophone, but I like to act and express myself. I really love that. If I study something like that, it will be awesome.