She was the most dominating female golfer of her time and now her legacy will continue through the young stars who follow in her footsteps. Annika Sorenstam won 90 international tournaments as a professional, including 72 official LPGA tournaments and ten major championships. Beginning in 2014, the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s golfer will win The ANNIKA Award.
The ANNIKA Foundation, in conjunction with the Haskins Commission, have created this award to honor the best of the best in women’s collegiate golf. The Haskins Commission governs the Haskins Award, which is presented annually to the top men’s player in college golf. For 41 years, this coveted trophy has honored the late Fred Haskins, a teaching pro who instilled the values of amateur golf to generations of youthful competitors.
Annika, an eight-time Rolex LPGA Player of the Year, said the relationship between her foundation and the Haskins Commission is a natural one. “The Haskins Award has been a prestigious accolade recognizing the best male collegiate players for over 40 years. I am thrilled to work with the Haskins Commission to create The ANNIKA Award to similarly honor the best collegiate female golfers.”
The winner of the Haskins Award is decided by a vote of college golfers and media members who cover the collegiate game and the commission will create a similar voting process for The ANNIKA Award. The Haskins Award winner receives an automatic exemption into the Greenbrier Classic and future recipients of The ANNIKA Award will be given an exemption into the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which is a major championship on the LPGA Tour.
The ANNIKA Foundation and Golfweek magazine – official media partner of The ANNIKA Award – are also finalizing plans for a major women’s college tournament to be played in Orlando, Fla. Annika, a former college star at the University of Arizona, hopes to attract many of the top college teams in the country starting in 2014.
“College golf meant a lot to me and helped get my career going in the right direction. And my Foundation provides playing opportunities globally to juniors who are passionate about the game. Therefore, creating a first-class invitational tournament for the best women’s teams to kick off the college golf season is a natural progression,” said Annika Sorenstam.