CHAMPIONS
Sorenstam Involved in Game, But Not Playing Much July 9, 2016 | San Martin, Calif. By Ron Driscoll, USGA

Annika Sorenstam, seen here conducting a clinic prior to the 2011 Women's Open, continues to be an ambassador for the game. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

U.S. Women's Open Home

It has been 10 years since Annika Sorenstam last won the U.S. Women’s Open, her third, and it will be five years before she is eligible to compete in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. But competitive golf is not a priority these days for the World Golf Hall of Famer and mother of two.

“I don’t play very much, maybe once a week or so,” said Sorenstam, 45, with husband Mike McGee and children Ava, 6, and William, 5, in tow as she walked the grounds at CordeValle on Saturday. “I’ve had my golf, and I love what I do now.”

Among her enterprises are course design, apparel and golf commentary. Her Annika Foundation also conducts six golf tournaments around the world. The foundation counts 28 players in this week’s Women’s Open field – 13 professionals and 15 amateurs – who have competed in Annika events since the first one was contested in 2009.

“We’ll be in Sweden in three weeks, and we have an event in Argentina in October,” said Sorenstam, who also won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1995 and 1996. “We also just launched a new app called Fundu. I keep finding things I enjoy doing, so there’s, what do they say, no rest for the weary.”

Sorenstam, who will make an appearance in the Women’s Open merchandise tent at 10 a.m. on Sunday, is happy with what she is seeing from the LPGA Tour.

“The Tour is very healthy; [Commissioner] Mike Whan has done an excellent job,” said Sorenstam. “I thought the KPMG [Women’s PGA] was exciting with Brooke [Henderson’s] win, and look at everything Lydia [Ko] has done in a short period of time, and Ariya Jutanugarn. … They’re teenagers. Everyone talks about a global game, but I think they have capitalized on it very well.”

When asked about the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, which will debut in 2018 for players 50 and older, Sorenstam mock-retorted, “Not yet! It’s so far off I can’t even think that far. But it’s exciting – I’m glad the USGA is taking that step. There are a lot of women who want to play.”

And perhaps, in 2021, a certain three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion will find the time to join that contingent.

Ron Driscoll is a manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org.