First Annika Invitational outside US set for China

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HAIKOU, China Annika Sorenstam announced that the first ever junior girls-only tournament to be held in China will take place on the Annika Course at Mission Hills Dongguan in Aug. 2011.

To be organized by Mission Hills China in collaboration with the Annika Foundation, the Annika Invitational at Mission Hills will be a 54-hole stroke-play tournament open to junior female golfers aged 12 to 18 years old of all nationalities in Asia, with a handicap of 24 and below. The top three finishers of the Championship Division will earn entry into the Annika Invitational in the United States – the award-winning American Junior Golf Association event played annually in Orlando, Florida. 

The Annika Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Sorenstam in 2007, created the inaugural Annika Invitational in 2009 at the Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla., home of the Annika Academy. The tournament attracts the top junior female golfers from around the world and is known for Sorenstam’s hands-on involvement in all tournament activities, including clinics and educational sessions for the participants. 

The Annika Invitational at Mission Hills will be modelled similarly and will see Sorenstam and staff of her foundation equally involved with the junior golfers.

 “I am very pleased to be working with Mission Hills to help grow the game in China. Mission Hills has done an incredible job developing the game there and we are happy we can work together to support our foundation’s objectives, which are to offer opportunities to junior golfers and to get children living active, healthy lifestyles,” said Sorenstam. “We hope the first internationally played Annika Invitational at Mission Hills will leave a lasting legacy to develop future generations of female golfers here in China.”

Tenniel Chu, Executive Director, Mission Hills China, added, “Mission Hills has a longstanding commitment to the development of golf in Asia and the Annika Invitational is a continuation of that commitment. We look forward to working with Annika, an old friend of Mission Hills, in ensuring that young girls from around the region will learn more about enjoying an active lifestyle and reaching the next level of golf.”

The announcement took place during the inaugural Mission Hills Star Trophy at Mission Hills Haikou. The ground-breaking Star Trophy brings together 20 superstar celebrities and 20 of the world’s biggest golfing names for the first event of its kind ever played in Asia. In addition to the pro-celebrity team event, the professionals will compete for Asia’s richest individual golfing prize of $1.28 million.

“We are excited that Mission Hills will host the first ever Annika Invitational event outside of the US next year. We are delighted to have announced the historic tournament and the joint partnership between the Annika Foundation with Mission Hills in the presence of so many distinguished guests,” said Chu.