World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam is among professional golf’s most accomplished female players. She won 72 LPGA Tour events, including 10 major championships and 82 international matches. She was the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer for 263 weeks. She is also the only female golfer to shoot a 59 in an LPGA Tour event. She was also a member of the European Solheim Cup team eight times.
Annika Sörenstam was born in Sweden in 1970. She began playing golf at the age of 12 and turned professional in 1992. She quickly became one of the most successful golfers on the LPGA Tour, winning her first major in 1995.
A dominant force on the LPGA Tour for nearly two decades, Sörenstam won the Player of the Year award eight times and the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average six times. She also won the LPGA Tour Championship a record eight times.
In 2003, Sörenstam became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. She played in the Colonial Open in Fort Worth, Texas, and shot a 1-over par 71 in the first round. She missed the cut by four strokes the next day.
Her decision to play in the Colonial Open was met with mixed reactions. Some people praised her for breaking the gender barrier, while others criticized her for taking away a spot from a male golfer. Sorenstam herself said that she was trying to challenge herself and see how she would stack up against the best golfers in the world.
Sörenstam’s performance at the Colonial Open was respectable, but she could not make the cut. However, her participation in the event made history and paved the way for other female golfers to compete at the sport’s highest level.
Annika Sörenstam retired from professional golf in 2008 and has since become a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, launching her wine brand Annika Vineyards Chardonnay, a joint venture between Sörenstam and Wente Vineyards. She is also a Rolex brand Testimonee and a commentator for the Golf Channel.