Annika Sorenstam has spent her share of time on the golf course, and next week she’ll be at Edgewood as one of the most anticipated players of this year’s American Century Championship.
“I’ve been practicing a little bit but really haven’t been on a golf course too much this year. So feels great to be out here and really starting to play a little bit,” Sorenstam said.
Though she is a first-time ACC player, Sorenstam is no stranger to Lake Tahoe.
“The reason I’m playing this is I spend a lot of time here in Lake Tahoe. As a matter of fact, this is our second home. We spend three to four months here. So, the last few years I’ve been a spectator on the 17th hole. So I’m very aware of the tournament and the stature of it and this year the tournament really reached out to my camp and asked if I wanted to play,” Sorenstam said.
The Swedish-born player retired from professional golfing in 2008 and during her career had 89 worldwide victories including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships. Though her past success on the golf course, Sorenstam is not convinced she’ll just roll over next weeks competition.
“I have to tell you, in playing this last few holes today, this is not an easy golf course. And it’s impressive how well they do out here. I mean, this is not what they do for a living. This is kind of what they do for fun,” Sorenstam said on Wednesday. “It will be interesting to see how my game stacks up to these world renowned athletes and actors, et cetera. It’s a fun format.”
She admits her game may have dropped off in the last six years and is expecting a 250-yard long-game, with the elevation in mind. According to ACC veteran John Elway, some participants can hit the ball a little farther.
“I mean, especially up at altitude where Tahoe is, you have guys that can hit it 350-yards at times,” Elway said.
Despite the difference in yardage and being away from competitive golfing for a few years, Elway still considers Sorenstam a major competitor.
“Not knowing how much she’s been able to play, but also in playing golf for her is probably like riding a bike. So, knowing she’s going to be the one to beat, and realize with her history and the great career that she had on that, she’s definitely going to be the one to beat,” Elway said.
Sorenstam considers herself a conservative player who plays to her strengths and will be looking for some birdies and a few eagles on the par 4s and 5s. She wants to stay away from the big numbers, but keeps in mind this tournament is really about having fun and is looking forward to knowing who she’ll be partnered with.