ORLANDO, Fla. -- The ANNIKA Intercollegiate, a new college golf tournament co-founded by the ANNIKA Foundation and Golfweek, will be held September 27-30, 2014 at Reunion, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.
The 54-hole, stroke-play event will take place on Reunion's Watson Course and feature 12 teams from the top Division I women's programs. Also scheduled for the tournament weekend is a gala reception during which Annika will present the inaugural ANNIKA Award to the nation's best female player in college golf.
The recently announced ANNIKA Award is the female equivalent of the Haskins Award, which for 42 years has been given to the most outstanding Division I male golfer. Selection is governed by the Haskins Commission of Columbus, Ga., which will oversee the vote of players, coaches and media for both the Haskins and ANNIKA awards.
"This event offers a fantastic platform to expand my Foundation's mission to establish greater playing opportunities for junior and college golfers alike," said Annika, the 1991 NCAA Champion and co-player of the year. "We hold our AJGA invitational on the Watson Course at Reunion every year, so I am excited that many of the girls who competed here as juniors will be able to come back and play with their college teams. We're excited to work with Golfweek to make the ANNIKA Intercollegiate a 'can't miss' kick-off to the NCAA golf season."
"Golfweek is a long-time supporter of college golf," said Golfweek Publisher Jereme Day. "This new tournament, in conjunction with the creation of the ANNIKA Award, embodies our dedication to growing the game and nurturing the LPGA stars of tomorrow."
"Reunion Resort is thrilled to embark on another successful affiliation with Annika," said Sheila C. Johnson, Founder of Salamander Hotels and Resorts. "We share her devotion to promoting golf's myriad positive attributes and are excited to help make this one of the most important tournaments on the women's schedule."
Home to the ANNIKA Academy, Reunion features golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. Managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which was founded by Sheila C. Johnson - a leading advocate of women's sports - Reunion was recently selected as the new headquarters for the North Florida PGA Section. The resort's Watson Course is highlighted by fast, firm fairways, strategically placed bunkers and large greens. It is consistently lauded as one of the Sunshine State's best layouts.
The ANNIKA Foundation conducts four junior tournaments around the globe every year. It also partners with regional and international organizations to promote the importance of fitness and nutrition to healthy childhood development.
For more than three decades, Golfweek has been wholly woven into the fabric of competitive grassroots golf. In addition to providing the industry's most complete coverage of the college game, Golfweek hosts an array of competitive events designed to support golfers of all ages and skill levels, including a comprehensive collegiate series for both men and women.
About the ANNIKA Foundation
Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation (www.annikafoundation.org) as a way 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 has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.
It annually conducts four major golf events for aspiring junior girls, including an award-winning AJGA tournament, ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort 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. The Foundation awards SPARK grants to schools, is a financial supporter of Healthy 100 Kids and has endowed an ACE scholarship with the AJGA. Other key initiatives include ANNIKA Junior Day, the ANNIKA Inspiration Award and scholarships for aspiring Swedish juniors.
Founded in 1975, Golfweek is the most authentic, authoritative and independent voice in golf. Serving enthusiasts who are truly passionate about the game of golf, the Golfweek brand includes Golfweek magazine, Golfweek.com, Golfweek OnDemand, Golfweek Mobile, Golfweek Custom Media, The Golf Wire, The Apparel Wire, The Tour Van, TurfNet.com and TurfNetSports.com. Golfweek is part of Turnstile Media Group, which specializes in developing diverse media platforms that engage and strengthen the communities they serve. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Turnstile Media Group is also the parent of Professional Artist, The Seminole Voice, The Winter Park/Maitland Observer and Turnstile Connect. For additional information about Golfweek, visit Golfweek.com.
About Reunion Resort, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort
Managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which was founded by Sheila C. Johnson, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Reunion Resort is located in Orlando, Florida. The central point of Salamander's innovative collection of Florida golf resorts - which also features Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay and Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast - Reunion Resort is the only location in the world with golf courses designed by the golf greats Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and also features the exclusive ANNIKA Academy by Annika Sörenstam. Reunion Resort features 330 resort accommodations including luxury condominiums, private villas and vacation homes surrounded by 2,300 acres of lush landscape and nature preserve, elegantly appointed meeting space, a full-service boutique spa, multiple pools, slides, water playgrounds and a 1,000-foot lazy river. For additional information call 407-662-1000 or visit www.reunionresort.com. For more information about Salamander Hotels & Resorts, visit www.salamanderhotels.com.