Jan 27, 2010 5:23 PM
Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam has been named the honorary chair for the 2011 U.S. Women's Open, to be conducted at The Broadmoor, July 4-10. The Broadmoor was the site of Sorenstam's first U.S. Women's Open victory in front of a record-setting crowd in 1995.
"I am extremely honored to be able to serve in this role with the USGA," said Sorenstam. "The U.S. Women's Open is our premier championship and when I won at the Broadmoor in 1995, it was my first professional victory in the United States. Both the championship and the venue will always hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to going back."
As honorary chair, Sorenstam will help promote the championship and appear at the ticket launch press conference in 2010. She will also host an exhibition during the week of the championship in which she will provide tips and demonstrate golf shots for spectators.
"We approached Annika to serve in this capacity because we wanted to honor her accomplishments at past USGA championships and her connection to the 1995 U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor," said Stephen Bartolin, Jr., president and CEO of The Broadmoor.
During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, Sorenstam rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women's golf was played, viewed and covered. She has 89 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA, 10 of which are major championships, including the 1995, 1996, and 2006 US Women's Open titles. She earned a record eight Rolex LPGA Player-of-the-Year awards; a record-tying eight money list titles; six Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average; was named Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year eight times and became the first player in LPGA history to cross the $22-million mark in earnings. She played on eight Solheim Cup teams and was inducted into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame in 2003.
Sorenstam stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses. These include the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Financial Group, ANNIKA Course Design which currently has eight projects worldwide, the ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, signature high-end wines with Wente Vineyards, a fragrance with SA Fragrances, and an online retail shop, shopannika.com. In 2007 Sorenstam started the ANNIKA Foundation 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. In 2008, Sorenstam was named an Ambassador of the United States Golf Association, and in 2009, she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Federation. In this role, Sorenstam supported the successful efforts to have golf added to the 2016 Olympic Games.