Dongguan, China: Annika Sorenstam’s drive to grow the game of golf gathered momentum at the fifth ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills.
Sorenstam, regarded as one of the greatest females ever to play the game, mixed with the players at a variety of fun functions.
“It’s been another memorable week at Mission Hills,” enthused the 10-time Major championship winner. “The energy and enthusiasm of the girls was infectious. We continued to build on our Foundation theme of ‘More than Golf’ and from what I saw, everyone had a fantastic week.”
Sorenstam said she was especially impressed by the improving standards. “It’s exciting for me to come back to Mission Hills every year for the ANNIKA Invitational and to witness at first hand the golfing progress that girls around the region are making.
“Based on some of the performances this week, I’m confident that we’ll be hearing about many of these girls making their mark in golf in the years ahead.”
China`s Liu Yan emerged triumphant in the 2015 ANNIKA Invitational. Liu fired rounds of 73, 69 and 72 for a 54-hole total of two-under-par 214 over the Annika Course at Mission Hills. One stroke back in second place was China`s Liu Ruixin while Hou Yu-sang from Chinese Taipei finished third overall and also had the distinction of winning the 15-17 age group division with a three-day aggregate of 216 [72-68-76].
The top three players from the ANNIKA Invitational received berths in the ANNIKA Invitational in the United States. Meanwhile, the overall champion will be invited to play in no fewer than three elite professional ladies championships – the Xiamen Open International 2015, the World Ladies Championship 2016 at Mission Hills Haikou and next year’s Hong Kong Women’s Open.
Tenniel Chu, Mission Hills’ Vice Chairman, said: “Mission Hills is synonymous with junior golf development in China. We are, therefore, delighted to see that the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills continues to go from strength to strength and the gifted junior golfers have unique opportunities to test themselves against international elite women golfers.”
The ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills is the first junior girls-only tournament in China and Asia and the first ANNIKA Invitational event outside United States. It is also counted as part of the World Amateur Golf Ranking System and China Golf Association Junior Ranking System.