ORLANDO, Fla. -- The ANNIKA Foundation - golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam's charitable organization - announces 3M will sponsor its ANNIKA Award, ANNIKA Intercollegiate and global series of ANNIKA Invitational junior tournaments.
Since 2007 the ANNIKA Foundation has had two parallel missions: 1) teaching children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and 2) offering aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. The new partnership with 3M reflects both organizations' dedication to empowering the next generation, especially women and girls.
"3M and Annika are a natural fit as we both represent excellence, integrity, and competitiveness," said 3M Chairman, President and CEO Inge Thulin. "I am personally 100 percent committed to this partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation as Annika is an ideal global citizen with whom to align our global company."
"We're honored to welcome 3M as a sponsor of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, ANNIKA Award and our series of Invitational tournaments," said Annika, an eight-time Rolex Player of the Year Award winner and the first and only woman to shoot 59 in an LPGA event. "We share similar passions for giving back and through our partnership, 3M will be crucial to bringing even greater success to these Foundation initiatives."
3M will be the Presenting Sponsor of the ANNIKA Award. Created earlier this year, it will be given to the most outstanding NCAA Division I female golfer beginning in 2014. The winner will also receive an exemption into the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA Tour's major championships.
The Haskins Commission will oversee ANNIKA Award voting from players, coaches and media. For the last 42 years it has presented the Haskins Award to the most outstanding Division I male golfer.
Annika will present her namesake award at a gala reception during the inaugural ANNIKA Intercollegiate, September 27-30, 2014. 3M will be the Presenting Sponsor of the tournament.
Co-founded by the ANNIKA Foundation and Golfweek - official media partner of the ANNIKA Award - the 12-team, 54-hole, stroke-play event will take place at Orlando's Reunion Resort. Programs scheduled to compete include the last three national champions (USC, Alabama and UCLA, respectively), Arizona, Duke, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Stanford and Arizona State.
Annika won seven collegiate tournaments during her career at the University of Arizona, including the 1991 NCAA Championship. That same year, she was NCAA Co-Player of the Year and named to the Women's All-America team. In 1992, she was Pac-10 champion and finished second in the NCAA Championships before turning pro.
The ANNIKA Foundation is also dedicated to creating worldwide opportunities for promising juniors to hone their games. Each year, its ANNIKA Invitational junior tournaments are held in the U.S., China and Sweden. 3M will be an Official Sponsor of all three events.
In 2009 the ANNIKA Foundation created the ANNIKA Invitational USA with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). A field of top U.S. and international players is annually treated to a golf clinic and education seminars conducted by Annika and her team. The event has been recognized by the AJGA as its Newcomer of the Year (2009), Invitational of the Year (2010) and Best Media (2011) award winner.
Founded in 2011, the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills is held on the Annika Course at China's Mission Hills Resort. It is the country's first all-girls junior golf event. The champion receives an exemption into the Ladies European Tour's (LET) Mission Hills World Ladies Championship, and the top three finishers are invited to compete in the ANNIKA Invitational USA.
The inaugural ANNIKA Invitational Europe was held in Summer 2012 in Linkoping, Sweden. Modeled after the ANNIKA Invitational USA, the event features 78 of the best female European golfers competing over 54 holes. In 2013, it moved to Landskrona Golf Club in Landskrona, Sweden. The champion earns an LET exemption into the Helsingborg Open, and the top three finishers are invited to compete in the ANNIKA Invitational USA.
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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.
Jacqueline Berry, 3M