Meet the Girls: The greatest female golfer Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam Fact File:
Name: Annika Sorenstam
Date of birth: 09/10/1970
Turned professional: 1992
About Annika Sorenstam:
Annika is known for being one of the greatest female golfers of all time after amassing a number of wins, awards and achievements over her 16 year professional career.
As an overview Sorenstam turned pro in 1992 and spent 1993 playing on the Ladies European Tour when she then turned her attention to the LPGA Tour for the 1994 season where she went on to win seventy two times including ten major titles.
In total throughout her career Annika notched up 89 wins worldwide.
Annika started her team Europe Solheim Cup journey in 1994 and played in every event until 2007, and played on 2 winning teams.
Throughout her Solheim Cup career Annika played in 37 matched and racked up twenty four points in total for team Europe, Laura Davies holds the current record of most points won with twenty five.
After being a vice captain in 2015, Annika will take the reigns and captain the European team in 2017 at Des Moines Golf Country Club in Iowa. After the controversy in 2015 between Suzann Pettersen and Alison Lee we’re sure Annika is hoping for a smoother week.
In 1995 Sorenstam won her first LPGA title and major championship by winning the Women’s US Open. The Swede went onto win another 9 major championships. Fittingly her final major victory came at the US Women’s Open 11 years later at the Trump National Golf Club.
Sorenstam won the event a total of 3 times, also prevailing in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the LPGA Championship to win both titles 3 times each.
Royal Lytham & St Annes was the setting for her only win at the Women’s British Open giving her the total of 10 major victories. The most convincing of these wins came at the Kraft Nabisco Championship when Sorenstam finished 8 shots clear of the rest of the field.
Shooting the magic 59
In the second round at the Moon Valley Country Club, Annika Sorenstam shot the lowest round in LPGA history, becoming the first woman in history to break 60. Following the feat Sorenstam acquired the nickname Ms. 59.
Her round included 13 birdies and no bogeys whilst hitting every green in regulation and only missing one fairway in a near perfect round.
Shooting 69 and 68 in the final two rounds, she defeated Se Ri Pak by two shots to pick up her 25th LPGA tour victory.
Memorable year: 2003 playing Colonial
In 2003, Annika was the first women in 58 years to play in at PGA event when she tee’d it up at the Bank of America Colonial event. Sorenstam who was 32 at the time, missed the cut by four shots and the trophy was lifted by American Kenny Perry.
As you can imagine it was met with some controversy with Vijay Singh threatening to pull out of the event if she played and US pro Scott Hoch said “Most guys hope she plays well and that what comes out of this is that she realises she can’t compete against the men.”
Tiger Woods came to Annika’s defence saying “It would be fairer if she could play four or five tournaments – then you could judge on those results and she’ll get on a roll. In one tournament a lot can go wrong”
Phil Mickelson also said “Guys who are having a tough time with this are thinking this is the men’s tour. It’s not. It’s the best tour, for the best players.”
Revisit her first tee shot with this video courtesy of the PGA Tour.
Moment to forget – Solheim Cup 2000
The Solheim is never without some controversy and Annika found herself right in the middle of her own in 2000 at Loch Lomond.
Annika and Janice Moodie were in a touch and go battle with Americans Pat Hurst and Kelly Robbins who were one up after 12 holes. As the 13th hole progressed this is where the match took a turn for the worse.
Up at the green Annika played her shot, a 25 foot chip which rolled into the hole leaving the Europeans duo thinking they would halve the hole. As Robbins when back to her ball for the first attempt at the halve she realised Annika’s ball was closer to the hole than hers so Annika had played out of turn.
As in the rules of matchplay Annika’s chip in would not count as the Americans were within in the rules to ask for her to retake her shot.
She missed the chip and Hurst held her 3 foot putt to win the hole and eventually win the match 2&1. With some tears on the green, Annika spoke to the press and said “It is sad to see that the ugly part of them came out because both Pat and Kelly are the nicest they have. And it is just sad to see that – that they don’t even have sportsmanship.”