Trail-Blazer Annika to Make PNC Father Son Challenge History

Orlando, Florida, United States: Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam is set to become the first female professional to compete in the PNC Father Son Challenge.

Widely regarded as one of the best female golfers in history, Sorenstam will compete at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Orlando, Grande Lakes alongside her father Tom, and fellow Major champions, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson from December 5-8.

Sorenstam is a 10-time Major champion, 90-time winner worldwide and eight-time Solheim Cup player as well as captaining Team Europe in the biennial contest.

This is not the first time that Sorenstam has broken new ground. In 2001, the Hall of Famer made history by becoming the first female to shoot 59 in competition, a feat that has not since been matched. In 2003, she became the first woman since 1945 to tee it up alongside her male counterparts on the PGA Tour. More recently, she announced she would co-host a mixed stroke play tournament with Henrik Stenson.

Sorenstam said: “I can’t wait to play with my dad at the PNC Father Son Challenge. He introduced my sister and me to the game and has been there providing support to us ever since. To tee it up with him in such a special televised event with so many of golf’s global icons really means a lot. We will have fun.”

Sorenstam is the latest star name to confirm a place in the tournament, which has seen as many as 25 World Golf Hall of Fame members participate over the 21-year history for the total purse of US$1.08 million. 

The winning team of the two-day, 36-hole scramble will also receive the Willie Park Trophy, in memory of the father and son British Open champions Willie Park Sr and Willie Park Jr.

Alastair Johnston, Executive Chairman, PNC Father Son Challenge, said: “Annika is a real trail-blazer of the game of golf and we are excited to welcome her to make history at this year’s event. The tournament regularly hosts some of the most iconic male champions and it is fitting that we add perhaps the most successful female golfer of all time to our field. We look forward to welcoming her and Tom.”

Jon Miller, President of Programming, NBC Sports Group, said: “Annika is one of the greatest golfers of all-time and a true ambassador to the sport. Our viewers will cherish watching Annika revive her competitive juices inside the ropes alongside her father against many other of the game’s legendary players and their families.”

To qualify for the PNC Father Son Challenge, players must have won a Major championship or The Players Championship. Their partner must not hold a PGA Tour card. 

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