It’s becoming quite the habit, although she insists it’s still anything but a comeback.
For the third time this year, Annika Sorenstam will put her game on display, this time teeing off on home soil for the first time in 13 years. Annika has announced that she will play alongside PGA Tour stalwart and major champion Henrik Stenson in the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik and Annika at Vallda Golf & Country Club in Gothenburg, Sweden from June 10-13, 2021.
During her 16-year Hall of Fame career, Annika amassed 89 worldwide victories, including ten Major Championships before retiring in 2008 to start a family. The 50-year-old was initially announced as a non-playing host alongside Stenson for the inaugural edition of the event, scheduled to take place at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm in 2020. However, that initial playing was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans have seen a bit of the LPGA Hall of Fame member in recent months. In January, Annika joined the celebrity division of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. At the time, she called her game “rusty” but almost all the current LPGA Tour players in that field stopped and watched her hit balls on the range.
The following month, at her home club of Lake Nona, Annika played again, this time officially, at the Gainbridge LPGA where she made the cut.
Now the former Solheim Cup captain will return to action in Sweden following her last appearance on home soil at the 2008 Scandinavian TPC in Stockholm. Annika’s decision to join the field of 78 men and 78 women brings a new level of excitement to the innovative mixed tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Ladies European Tour. With a prize fund of €1,000,000 for the entire field and Official World Ranking points on offer for both Tours, plus Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points for European Tour members, and Race to Costa Del Sol and Solheim Cup points for the Ladies European Tour, fans can register their interest to watch two of Sweden’s greatest golfers in action here.
“I’m excited to tee it up at the Scandinavian Mixed and to be back playing competitively in my home country of Sweden for the first time in 13 years,” Annika said. “Since retiring in 2008 I have dedicated a lot of my time to the ANNIKA Foundation, which hosts seven global events for junior girls each year including the ANNIKA Invitational Europe which will be at Isaberg Golf Club in Sweden following this year’s tournament, so I felt like it was a perfect opportunity to actually play in this historic event bringing women and men together in a combined professional tournament.
“It is another way to bring our game to the younger generation in Sweden and for those watching around the world, showcasing that golf is truly a game for everyone.”
Stenson, a 6-time PGA Tour and 11-time European Tour winner, including the 2016 Open Championship, added: “I’m delighted that Annika, one of the greatest golfers the world has ever seen, will be teeing it up at Vallda this June. It’s going to be a great week and I’m sure a real thrill for all of the players in the field to have someone of Annika’s stature playing in the tournament. I can’t wait to see the dynamics of having both men and women going head-to-head for the same trophy and putting it all on the line come Sunday afternoon.
“Our hope is that through the Scandinavian Mixed, and many other golf tournaments, Annika and myself can help inspire the next generation of golfers in Sweden and around the world. The Henrik Stenson Foundation is committed to helping children with a dream by providing the initial spark to start them on their mission in life, with our initial focus on Paragolf and junior golf, delivering international events and scholarships highlighting the inclusive nature of our game."