One of the most iconic players in the history of golf, Annika Sorenstam, will be returning to Mission Hills Country Club in April, this time to serve as honorary host for the celebrity pro-am for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a tournament she won three times.
The 10-time major Champion will not only play in the tournament's pro-am, but also provide a legendary presence throughout the week as the top players in the world converge on Rancho Mirage hoping to add their name to the list of prestigious winners of golf's first major of the year.
Tickets for the 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship, being held April 1-7, are now on sale and are priced from $15 for the celebrity pro-am hosted by Annika, to $25 for any one-day ticket (valid Thursday to Sunday of Championship) and $225 for a weeklong badge with Clubhouse valet parking . The ultimate all-inclusive experience, the 18th Green Suites built on the water, is also on sale. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.KNCgolf.com or by calling 760-324-4546.
"The Kraft Nabisco Championship has such a rich history and I'm honored to be able to play a role in its equally exciting future," said the Hall of Famer. "While I have remained very busy with my young family and business interests since I stopped playing competitively, I will always miss the thrill of tournament week at a major championship. I'm looking forward to being back on the golf course at Mission Hills, spending time with the other players, fans, sponsors and some of my celebrity friends doing whatever I can to contribute to another exciting championship."
Some of the celebrities scheduled to appear this year are Ray Romano, Craig T. Nelson, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Haysbert, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Cheech Marin, Alice Cooper, Joe Theismann, Scott Wolf and Ron Perlman.
In addition to her role as honorary host of the Kraft Nabisco Championship Celebrity pro-am, Annika will do some television work with the Golf Channel and play an important role in the fundraising efforts benefiting F.I.N.D. Food Bank, the tournament's designated charity.
"As a three-time champion of this tournament, Annika will go down as one of the greatest champions in Kraft Nabisco Championship history and we are thrilled to have her back," said Gabe Codding, Tournament Director of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. "I know that Annika's presence during tournament week will serve as an inspiration to the players in the field and provide a constant reminder of this major championship's great traditions."
About the Kraft Nabisco Championship
The Kraft Nabisco Championship is golf's first major and one of the LPGA Tour's most prestigious events. Founded in 1972 by David Foster and Dinah Shore, the Kraft Nabisco Championship earned the designation as a major tournament in 1983. Contested at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., since its inception, the Championship holds the distinction of being the second oldest golf tournament continuously held at the same course.
For many, the event is most distinguished by one of golf's most beloved traditions: the champion's leap into Poppie's Pond, located adjacent to the 18th green. In 1988, the first champion's leap into Poppie's Pond was taken by Amy Alcott, and since has become one of the most anticipated and memorable traditions in golf. For more information on the Kraft Nabisco Championship, please visit www.KNCGolf.com
About Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is North America's fourth largest consumer packaged food and beverage company, with revenues of approximately $19 billion in 2011. Launched as a public and independent company on Oct. 1, 2012, the new Kraft has the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse. The company has an unrivaled portfolio of products in the beverages, cheese, convenient meals and grocery categories. Its iconic brands include Kraft, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Planters and JELL-O. Kraft's 25,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft Foods Group is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 index. For more information, visit www.kraft.com and www.facebook.com/kraft.
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About IMG Golf
IMG Golf is the market leader in the sport with 50 years of experience and now nearly 500 staff working in different aspects of the golf business worldwide. This involves talent representation where the business started and IMG now works with over 100 of the best male and female players from over 30 countries. IMG owns, manages and stages more than 50 golf tournaments a year on every continent and on every Tour including Majors and World Golf Championships, along with special events and over 150 VIP golf days a year worldwide. IMG Golf is involved in every aspect of the game offering its partners a 360° fully integrated service and its core businesses include Media (with IMG Media in partnership with the European Tour and the Asian Tour via European Tour Productions and Asian Tour Media) and Golfing World as well as digital and social media, Golf Course Design and Management, Sales and Advisory Services, Corporate and Federation Consulting, Hospitality, Academies, Licensing, Publishing, Speakers, Broadcasters, Bid Consultancy, Corporate and Individual Brand Development. Golf was IMG's first sport and remains at the heart of IMG's global business.
After a 15-year Hall of Fame career Annika stepped away from competitive golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, including the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Financial Group, ANNIKA Course Design, ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, and signature high-end wines. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation to teach children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offer aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. The Foundation partnered with SPARK, the leading physical education program for schools and helped create the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum with The First Tee. The Foundation annually conducts four major golf events for junior girls; the ANNIKA Invitational AJGA tournament in Orlando, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden.
Brian Robin, Brener Zwikel & Associates
Dave Haggith, IMG Golf