Maria Verchenova (born 27th March 1986, in Moscow) is a Russian professional golfer. She is 5'9" tall and the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour.
From 1992 until 2002 Maria attended the Ballet School ‘Inspiration’ in Moscow. The stage for a dancing career seemed to be set. But everything changed at age twelve during a family vacation in Czech Republic, where she was first introduced to the game of golf. Despite a lack of golfing opportunities in Russia during her childhood, Maria fell for and took to the game thanks to her father.
Prior to turning pro, Maria Verchenova collected several Amateur Championship titles in Europe, before turning professional in December 2006. At the age of 18 she won the 2004 Russian Amateur Championship. In 2005 she picked up a few more non-professional titles at the Austrian, Latvian and Slovenian Amateur Championships, before turning professional on 1st December 2006.
Maria managed a top 10 finish during her rookie season of 2007.
She managed to finish fifth at the Tenerife Open in June 2008. The following month, she qualified for her first major competition, the Women's British Open, and rounded off her breakthrough year by competing at the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates in December 2008.
In 2009 Maria finished joint 8th in the Dubai Ladies Pro-Am at the Emirates Golf Club and joint 12th in the Lalla Meryem Cup at the Soleil Golf Course, Morocco.
Maria says of herself: "I always like to bring something extra special to the golf course, so if I’m wearing sexier, more stylish stuff like a shorter skirt or a nice tennis-style dress and people notice then great."
In 2010 Maria competed in 13 European tournaments and has featured in 4 tournaments so far in 2011.
Tomorrow, Maria will be competing in the 'European Nations Cup' at the La Sella Golf Resort, Alicante, Spain. Maria finished joint 9th in this tournament 12 months ago.