The next Annika


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Shortly after Anna Nordqvist won the McDonald’s LPGA Championship last month, Henri Reis received a call from Terry McNamara, the former caddie for Reis’ most famous pupil, Annika Sorenstam.

“He said, ‘Now you can tell Annika that you’ve won one more major than she has,’ ” said Reis, Nordqvist’s swing coach.

Reis, who has been working with Nordqvist since February, is still waiting for the right time to use that line with the retired Sorenstam, who is expecting her first child in September. Reis teaches at The ANNIKA Academy in Orlando, which is where Nordqvist spent a week in February fine-tuning her short game and swing for her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, which includes a major title and three top-20 finishes in seven starts.

Could she add a 12th major title to Reis’ resume – Reis won 10 with Sorenstam – at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open?

“I think she can be a great player,” said Reis, who taught Sorenstam from the time she was a junior until she retired last year. “She’s got big potential. I think she’s stronger mentally than Annika was at the same age, but the swing is not the same.”

The 22-year-old Nordqvist, who grew up idolizing Sorenstam, exhibits many of the same characteristics as the Hall of Famer, says Reis.

“She’s very stubborn, very organized,” said Reis. “After our first few sessions, she sent me 20 pages of notes with pictures about the things we were worked on. She wants to win very badly, same as Annika.”