ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Another First for Trail-Blazing Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam has been named as the first female Vice President of the Association of Golf Writers.

London, England: Golfing legend Annika Sorenstam has added another chapter to her illustrious career in accepting an invitation to become the first female Vice President of the Association of Golf Writers (AGW).

Across her career, the Swede has won 10 Majors and over 90 professional tournaments around the world, in addition to representing Europe in eight Solheim Cups.

The Association has previously recognised Sorenstam’s playing feats by awarding her AGW Golfer of the Year honours in 2003 and 2005. It was also in 2003 that she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Since her retirement from the professional game, Sorenstam has been involved in a series of different roles, starting with course design and the opening of her Annika Academy in Florida. The Academy provides opportunities in women’s golf at junior, collegiate and professional levels besides putting an emphasis on health. Over 600 girls from 60 countries play in the Academy’s seven global events.

In 2012, Sorenstam founded the ANNIKA Invitational Europe, an annual amateur tournament in Sweden for European girls aged under 18. Two years later, the LPGA established an annual Rolex Annika Major Award in her honour.

Moving on to 2015, Sorenstam was among seven women to become honorary members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A).

Since 2020, she has hosted the joint DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed Championship while, in 2021, it was announced that she would have her own LPGA tournament – the ANNIKA Driven by Gainbridge at Pelican (November 9-12, 2023).

More recently, Sorenstam was re-elected as President of the International Golf Federation for a further two years from January 1, 2023.

This latest honour from the AGW will see Sorenstam join the following list of golfing legends: Sir Michael Bonallack, Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Langer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

Sorenstam said: “I’m very honoured to be named the first female Vice President of the Association of Golf Writers. As a past recipient of their awards for my play back in 2003 and 2005, I’ve always respected and appreciated their collective work on behalf of our sport.

“Of course, I’ve known Lewine Mair, the first female President of the Association, for many years.”

Mair is a long-time respected golf writer and, in 2007, she created AGW history in becoming the first woman to be appointed Chairperson of the Association. Last year, she became the first woman President of the AGW and in July this year Mair, along with fellow female AGW colleagues Liz Kahn and Nuria Pastor, became the first women to be honoured with Life Membership of the Association.

Mair said: “Annika is such a special person to have as an AGW Vice-President, and not just because of her 10 glorious Majors.

“The Annika I first met was a shy student (University of Arizona) who had been given an invitation to the 1992 Standard Register Ping event at the Moon Valley Golf Club in Phoenix.

“At the start of the first day, the car park attendant had turned her away because he thought she was too young to be in the field. By lunchtime, she had returned a 67 and, after she had told me a bit about the round, I asked if she had a specific golfing ambition. What I thought she said, and what she had in fact said, was as follows: ‘It’s to score in the 50s’.

“Nine years later, on what had become an annual trip to Moon Valley, she had a winning tally which included a 59. In her own quiet way, she has rejoiced in the title of ‘Miss 59’ ever since.

“For another highlight, there was the PGA Tour’s 2003 Colonial tournament when, playing from the same tees as the men, she opened with a 71. Kenny Perry, the tournament winner, could not have given a more disarming summation of her performance. ‘In days to come, I’ll be known as the man who won Annika’s tournament’.”

The AGW was founded in 1938 with the goal of working closely with those who administer and promote golf to improve the working conditions of those reporting on the game.

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