ORLANDO, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam - who won 89 events worldwide during her Hall-of-Fame career, more than any female golfer in history - will be honored at the PGA TOUR's 2014 Memorial Tournament.
Each year the Memorial Tournament is themed around a person, living or dead, who has contributed to the game of golf. Tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus established the tradition as a way to celebrate the achievements of the sport's greats.
The honoree is selected by the Captain's Club, a group of statesmen who act independently of the tournament organization, but who also advise on player invitations and the conduct of the event generally.
"I am incredibly humbled and honored to have been selected by the Captain's Club," says Annika, whose 72 LPGA victories included 10 major championships. "In a playing career filled with many great accolades, this recognition from Mr. Nicklaus and the Memorial Tournament ranks among the very best. I can't wait to visit Muirfield Village next year."
Annika was a dominant force in women's golf during her 15-year career. She collected a record eight Rolex Player of the Year Awards, and added a record six Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average. Annika holds the record for the lowest scoring average in a season (68.6969 in 2004). She is the only female golfer to cross the $20 million mark in career earnings.
Along her record career path, Annika accomplished a variety of other significant milestones in golf. In 2001, she became the first woman to break the 60 barrier, firing a 13-under 59 in the second round of the Standard Register PING, which remains the lowest round in LPGA history. From 2001-2005, Annika won 43 times and finished in the top-three nearly 70 percent of the time. This remarkable stretch also included 11 wins in 2002, tying Mickey Wright's single-season LPGA victory mark.
In 2003, Annika competed in the Bank of America Colonial at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, becoming the first woman to appear in a PGA TOUR event since Hall of Famer Babe Zaharias in 1945 at the Los Angeles Open. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame later that year.
Since stepping away from competitive golf in 2008, Annika has turned her attention to raising her two young children and building her ANNIKA-branded businesses. They include the ANNIKA Foundation, ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Course Design and more.
About the ANNIKA Academy
The ANNIKA Academy (www.theannikaacademy.com) is a state-of-the-art, "boutique" golf school at Reunion Resort, near Orlando, Fla. It opened in 2007 as a way to share Annika's passion for golf, fitness and nutrition, along with her personal team of coaches. Their simple techniques allow players of any age, gender or skill level to reach their potential by transferring more energy and power from the gym to the course. The Academy is a Certified Callaway Performance Center with two spacious hitting booths that offer custom club fitting and video swing analysis. Complete with a modern fitness facility, conference room, and full-service locker rooms, the Academy provides individualized golf instruction, personalized fitness and nutrition programs, and custom corporate packages. Guests can play with Annika or learn the proven winning approach she established with her world renowned team of instructors.
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.
About ANNIKA Course Design
Annika's course design philosophy is shaped by more than 20 years of international travel and competition on the world's best golf courses. Capturing the landscape's natural character and crafting an environmentally-friendly layout is paramount. She has received acclaim for a global menu of designs in the U.S., China, Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia, Canada, Korea and the Philippines. Learn more at www.annikasorenstam.com/Course_design.htm.