Suzann Pettersen will be celebrating her Safeway Classic victory with a group of fellow LPGA Tour pros in her hometown of Oslo, Norway this weekend when she hosts the second-annual Suzann Pro Challenge.
The two-day event will benefit Right to Play, an organization whose mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.
While the inaugural event featured a star-studded field that included Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa and then-ranked No. 1 Yani Tseng, Pettersen put a new twist on this year’s event and created a ‘continental competition’ format with teams of two representing four continents.
Pettersen and LPGA Tour rookie Marita Engzelius will represent Team Norway, Sandra Gal and Beatriz Recari will represent Team Europe, Yani Tseng and Ai Miyazato will represent Team Asia, while Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda represent Team USA.
“I wanted to create some buzz around golf in Norway and to combine this with a great charity cause makes it even more special,” said Pettersen. “I love kids and I want try to help kids around the world to have the same opportunities as we had growing up: the right to play!”
Pettersen has been a proud Ambassador for Right To Play since 2009 and has raised more than $90,000 for the charity’s program in Mozambique. She was able to see the benefits of her fundraising firsthand when she visited six schools in the region following the inaugural Suzann Pro Challenge, an experience she ranks with high significance.
“I had a fantastic trip down after last year's event,” said Pettersen. “Having seen the projects in person and spending time with the kids, it makes you just want to do even more. It felt like the most meaningful thing that I have done in my life at the time, and it probably still is.
“So for me to able to bring competitors and friends to Norway, show them Norway, give the crowd back home a sense of kind of who I'm dealing with week in and week out is like a great combination and it's for a good cause.”
Now in her 11th season on the LPGA Tour, Pettersen says professional athletes have the perfect platform to help change the world.
“I feel that the older I get the more important it is to give back,” said Pettersen. “We are so fortunate to do what we do and if we can use our position to help make a difference then we should do it.”
Topics: Pettersen, Suzann