Susana Benavides and Vicky Villanueva had familiar faces in the gallery at the Lady Buckeye

Last weekend, the Ohio State women’s golf team concluded its regular season with a win on home territory at Scarlet Course. But for freshman Susana Benavides and sophomore Vicky Villanueva, the opportunity to compete in Columbus brought another comfort on the golf course – the watchful eye of their mothers.

Traveling from South America, Mrs. Benavides, whose name is also Susana, and Rosanna Villanueva made the trip to Buckeye country to watch their daughters help secure a win at their annual tournament.

Susana, a native of Cochabamba, Bolivia, concluded the tournament in a tie for sixth place, while Vicky, from Chacabuco, Argentina, tied for 17th.

But for the pair, the opportunity to compete in front of their mothers was just as rewarding as the team’s 14-stroke win.

“All the girls have their parents [at tournaments] and Vicky and I are always hanging out with each and supporting each other because we don’t have our families here,” Susana said. “It’s nice to actually have the people you love right next to you.”

The miles between the mother and daughters may be difficult, but Mrs. Benavides believes it is worth the miles apart.

“We are happy,” she said through Susana’s translation, “because they are going after their dream and they are trying to get to where they want to be. We support it because we think this is where she ought to be and it’s a huge opportunity for both of them to be here.”

Despite the distance, Vicky and Susana find ways to stay in touch with their mothers.

“We South Americans are really close to our mothers,” Susana said. “They are like our best friends. If Vicky and I aren’t talking to each other we’re on the phone with our mothers. We are on the phone like five or six times a day at least.”

Constant hugs and kisses are a staple of the mother-daughter relationship in South America, and Mrs. Villanueva admits to missing the affection. But even though she is a continent away, she knows Vicky and the rest of the Buckeyes are well cared for.

“Every time she comes here she feels like I’m in the right place,” Vicky said. “The coaches care for us very much and we have everything that we need. She’s happy. It’s like we are the coaches’ daughters and she feels we are in good hands.”

Read: “Family Ties: YSU Coach Schwartz and Buckeye Granddaughter Rachel Rohanna”