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The Swedish Sensation Annika Sorenstam

Aug 17, 2007
Annika Sorenstam is the Swedish sensation, exploding on to the golf scene with her energetic and expressive approach to the game and sparking the awareness of adolescent girls the world over. With making a name for herself, she has resolutely planted golf in the realm of sports for women and created a standard for women in golf for years to come.

Many people are surprised to learn that Annika did not grow up playing golf. She did not discover the sport until she turned twelve. As a youngster, Annika wanted to be a professional tennis player, and avidly pursued both tennis and badminton.

At the age of sixteen, Annika realized that she would never become a pro tennis player, and traded in her tennis racket for her golf clubs. She had begun taking lessons at fourteen, and decided to pursue golf as her pro sport. She became so obsessed with golf that she would even play in the snow using a bright orange ball! Her goal was to one day win the prestigious U.S. Open.

Annika arrived in the US on a golfing scholarship at the University of Arizona at the age of nineteen. During her first two years of college she won seven collegiate titles. The summer after her sophomore year, Annika was invited to the US Open. While she did not play well, the invitation gave her the realization that she was ready to go pro.

Annika started her pro career in Europe in 1993. She did quite well in this less competitive market, and was named Rookie of the Year her first year as a pro golfer. During this year she also did several tournaments with the LPGA in the US. While she did not win any of these, she did play extremely well, and started to get noticed. She gradually began inching closer and closer to the top. At the age of 24, Annika realized her girlhood dream and won the US Open at the Broadmoor Golf Club near Pikes Peak in Colorado.

From that high, Annika became an instant celebrity. Facing offer after offer for appearances and endorsements, Annika took some time off from golf. After a couple of months of rest, she re-entered the European tour. But the US seemed to be the best place for her game, and she began to blow away the field every time she played on US courses.

After her early success, Annika began to struggle when playing in the majors, both in Europe and in the US. In 2000, Annika began a strict training and exercise regimen, and by the end of 2001 was back at winning tournaments again.

She again made headlines in 2003 when she announced her intention to accept an invitation to play in the PGA Colonial golf tournament, a traditionally all-male field. There was much controversy surrounding her entrance into the tournament, causing Annika's name to reach headlines around the world. She did not qualify for the cut, yet still made a name for herself by playing against some of the world's top male golfers.

Annika was entered into the World Golf Hall of Fame in October of 2003. She was notable for being the first international LPGA player entered. Annika's accomplishments continue to inspire young female golfers around the world. As she heads into 2007, Annika plans to host LPGA tournaments and try her hand at redesigning the Patriots Point Links in Mt. Pleasant, SC. There are many more years of golf left in the spunky Swedish golfer, so you can expect to see the name Annika Sorenstam for many more years!
About the Author
Graham Johns owns and writes regularly for GolfingLife.net where you can read many more articles on all aspects of golf . And go to Well Spoken Audio for a collection of entertaining and informative golfing audiobooks on golf and golfing personalities including Tiger Woods and many others.
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