LOS ANGELES • World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will compete in her first LPGA Tour event in 13 years later this month at her home course in Florida.
The LPGA Tour announced on Tuesday that the Swede had committed to play in the Feb 25-28 Gainbridge LPGA event at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida.
“I’ve thought about it since I heard that the event was coming to Lake Nona where we have lived for years,” the 50-year-old said. “The members keep asking me to play and I figured, why not?”
Sorenstam stepped away from competition to start a family in 2008, suspending a brilliant career that included 72 wins on the LPGA Tour and 10 Majors.
Only Kathy Whitworth (88) and Mickey Wright (82) have more wins on the LPGA Tour than Sorenstam. The eight-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year’s last victory came at the 2008 Michelob Ultra Open at the Kingsmill Resort.
“A lot has changed for the better during that time, most notably the birth of our two children. Ava (11 years old) and Will (eight) are excited to see ‘Mama’ play,” Sorenstam said. “I have to admit if this tournament hadn’t moved to our home course, it never would have crossed my mind to enter.
“But it makes sense to do so, not just because it will be a ‘home game,’ but also because my goal, schedule permitting, is to play in the US Senior Women’s Open later this summer.
“To work towards that goal, I have realised that I need more tournament reps to have a chance to reach my potential. I’m not expecting much, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Last month, Sorenstam played in the celebrity division of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Orlando.
In 2003, she became the first woman to play in a men’s PGA Tour event for 58 years. She missed the cut at Colonial.
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