Annika Sorenstam is getting her own LPGA event starting in 2023
Annika Sorenstam walks off the third green during the final round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in July.
Annika Sorenstam is making another return to the LPGA. Only this one is going to be outside the ropes.
On Tuesday, the LPGA and the Pelican Women’s Championship announced that the World Golf Hall of Famer will become the host of its event starting next year at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla., outside of Tampa. The tournament will continue to be played in November and will be called The Annika driven by Gainbridge at Pelican.
“It is an incredible honor to host one of the premier events on the LPGA Tour schedule at Pelican Golf Club, a world-class facility, alongside my good friends at Gainbridge,” Sorenstam said in a press release. “Giving back to the game I love and mentoring the game’s next generation of players have always been at the forefront of everything we do. I’m excited to kick off this great new partnership and elevate this tournament to new heights on the LPGA Tour.”
More tournament details for the 2023 event—with an expected purse increase—will be announced after this year’s event Nov. 10-13.
“We look forward to this championship continuing to raise the bar and elevate the LPGA to new heights,” said LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan.
Pelican G.C. has hosted the Pelican Women’s Championship since 2020 and has quickly become a venue that attracts one of the best fields on tour. Sei Young Kim won the inaugural event, and Nelly Korda defeated Kim, Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko in a playoff to win last year.
Gainbridge has served as a title sponsor of an LPGA tournament for the past three years. Sorenstam, 51, played in the Gainbridge LPGA in 2021 at Lake Nona Golf in Orlando, making her first official LPGA start in 13 years. She has played in two more LPGA events in 2022, including the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles after qualifying by winning the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
Sorenstam won more than 90 tournaments around the world during her 15-year career, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 major championships. She won eight LPGA Rolex Player of the Year awards, remains the only LPGA player ever to shoot 59 and is still the LPGA’s all-time money leader with more than $22 million in earnings.
Since her retirement in 2008, Sorenstam has become active with her foundation in promoting various grow the game efforts. She has lent her name to junior and college tournaments before now doing the same on the LPGA Tour.