Part-time Tahoe resident Sorenstam ready for run at ACC title

Annika Sorenstam hits a tee shot on Thursday. (Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

STATELINE, Nev. — While others may have been enjoying coffee and breakfast Tuesday morning, LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam was alone on the practice putting green at Edgewood Tahoe Resort.

While the eight-time player of the year and part-time Lake Tahoe resident says golf is not the most important thing in her life anymore, once she gets inside the ropes, that competitive fire returns.

“I would say once I’m inside the ropes I’m still quite competitive,” Sorenstam said Thursday afternoon after participating in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament celeb-am event. “I like the feel when hitting a good shot and I like the feeling of making a putt. And that I don’t think will ever go away. But I’m having an easier time leaving the course and forgetting about my shots. As a matter of fact, I’ve already forgotten about today’s round because I’m thinking about other things, seeing the kids, what we are having for dinner. Golf is still part of my life, but it’s not that serious. It’s not the most important thing for me anymore.”

Sorenstam is back at the ACC for the first time since 2014 where she tied for second place, and she’s again one of the favorites to take home the title.

But she doesn’t worry about her odds, she leaves that for her husband, Mike.

“My husband was throwing out some odds and I’m not much of a bettor so I didn’t really understand what he was saying, other than I’ve just got to focus on my game,” Sorenstam said. “And I know he has some money on a few people and I think one of them was myself. So I’ve got to focus, I know that.”

Sorenstam knows she’s up against some stiff competition and is keenly aware that she will be one of the shorter players off the tee. But she’s going to try and put pressure on her playing partners by hitting to the greens first.

“I don’t have the distance, but hopefully I can add some other things to it,” Sorenstam said. “I have to have the mindset of trying to hit the fairway, trying to get on the green first, and show them where the flag is.”

Sorenstam and her family split their time between Florida, where they live for about 8-9 months out of the year, and Lake Tahoe where they own a home in Incline Village.

When asked why she chose Tahoe out of any other place in the world, she pointed to the lake.

“This is one of the reasons, obviously the lake, the view, we love the people and we love the seasons,” she said. “There’s a lot of good things to love about Tahoe. I feel we get the best of two worlds. We come here when it’s super hot in Orlando, we enjoy the lake and be part of this event. In the winter, we ski. I really wouldn’t want to change anything.”

She said her family skis mostly at Diamond Peak Ski Resort.

She also said she’d love to see more women in the event, not just from the golf world, but other world-class athletes and thinks they could compete as well.

“These guys here are very good, amazing athletes,” she said. “You look at them, and they’re legit golfers, many of them. They act like pros. They play like pros. It’s hard to tell. If you take a current LPGA player, that person would maybe hit it further and straighter than I’m doing and make some putts. But we don’t have so many here. So I’ve got to carry the flag this time and do my best.”

Sorenstam tees off with two-time champ Tony Tomo and NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher at 11:20 a.m. on Friday in the first round.

The full slate of first round pairings can be found here.

Television schedule

Friday, July 9

2 p.m. — Live, first round of American Century Championship – NBCSN/NBC Sports App

7 p.m. — Encore of the first round

Saturday, July 10

11:30 a.m. — Live second round coverage – NBC /NBC Sports App

7 p.m. — Encore of the second round

Sunday, July 11

11:30 a.m. — Live final round – NBC & NBC Sports App

7 p.m. —Encore of the final round

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