The Rolex Annika Major Award has become one of the most coveted recognitions in the women’s game.
Patty Tavatankit, the recipient of the Rolex Annika Major Award in 2021, who also captured the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award that same year, said that winning the Rolex Annika Major Award meant most to her after a breakout season that saw her win her first major title.
Established in 2014, the Rolex Annika Major Award was named after 10-time major champion, Annika Sorenstam. Each year, the award is given to the player with the best record in the season’s major championships. Points are awarded to players who finish inside the top 10 in the majors, but in order to qualify, a player must also have won at least one of the five majors - The Chevron Championship, U.S. Women’s Open presented by Promedica, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Amundi Evian Championship, or AIG Women’s Open.
A rookie in 2021, Tavatanakit earned the Rolex Annika Major Award in large part with her victory at The Chevron Championship. Following her breakout win, she recorded a T5 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club and a T7 at the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie to edge out a group of 13 players who were eligible for the award at the season’s final major.
With her win, Tavatanakit joined the likes of Michelle Wie West (2014), Inbee Park (2015), Lydia Ko (2016), So Yeon Ryu (2017), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018) and Jin Young Ko (2019). The award was not presented in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2022, the top female golfers in the world will have a chance to vie for the Rolex Annika Major Award at some of the premier venues in golf.
In April, the Chevron Championship returns to Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, the site of Tavatanakit’s victory, for the final playing of the championship before it relocates to the Houston, Texas area in 2023.
In May, the U.S. Women’s Open returns to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina where Yuka Saso will defend her title.
In June, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be held for the first time at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland where Nelly Korda is defending champion.
In July, the Amundi Evian Championship returns to Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France where Minjee Lee will defend.
And finally, in August, the AIG Women’s Open will be staged, for the first time, at Muirfield in Scotland, where Anna Nordqvist will look to defend her title.
The Rolex Annika Major Award has come to mean much more to players. With time, the award has grown from simply recognizing a player’s ability to contend in majors to also becoming an opportunity for major champions to etch their names alongside the greats of today, and yesterday, with the award being named after arguably the greatest woman to ever play.
And so, as the major season begins with The Chevron Championship, so begins the chase to capture one of the most prestigious awards in women’s golf - the Rolex Annika Major Award.