Annika Award winner will now earn spot in Evian

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The winner of the Annika Award Presented by 3M, given to the college player of the year in women’s golf, will now earn a spot in the year’s final major championship.

LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam announced Monday on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive that, beginning this year, the winner of the award will receive an exemption to play the Evian Championship in France in September.

“It gives me goose bumps,” Sorenstam said. “It shows how we can all work together to inspire the next generation. This is a wonderful platform for us and for young ladies to have their dreams come true.”

The Annika Foundation and the Haskins Commission established the award in 2014, with UCLA’s Alison Lee winning the inaugural honor and Duke’s Leona Maguire winning it last year. This year’s winner will be announced on Golf Channel on June 7. The winner is selected by a vote of college players, coaches and media.

“It’s not necessarily a performance award,” Sorenstam said. “It’s more how you are as a teammate. It’s about how you are received by your peers, the media and the coaches. Of course, they are good players. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s about what you give back to the team, what you give back to golf. It’s a character award as well as performance.”