When asked about who is the best male or female player without a Major, Annika said Ai Miyazato as she has won 8 times on the LPGA Tour and has had a great deal of success in her native Japan. She is not a long hitter but she takes advantage of the strengths that she does have in her golf game and Annika would like to see Miyazato earn her first Major win soon.
She is surprised that Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have never won a Major and she is also surprised that you can be World #1 without winning a Major. She said that there is a part of her that thinks that you should not or cannot be World #1 if you have never won a Major. Donald is a very consistent player and given that fact, Annika thinks that Donald is more likely than Westwood to earn his first Major win.
Jessica Korda and Angela Stanford are the only Americans to win in the first seven tournaments of the 2012 LPGA Tour and it is always important for the LPGA Tour that Americans are successful because the tour is based in the United States. That being said, she would love to see Europeans win on the 2012 LPGA Tour and with a lot of events left in the season, there are plenty of opportunities for Americans and Europeans to win this year.
Yani Tseng is the player who is dominating the LPGA Tour right now but because you see several American players being marketed aggressively, many would think that they are challenging Yani for dominance when in reality they are not.
If she could draft a player based who has the brightest future and the biggest potential to win Majors and other tournaments, Annika said Rory McIlroy because of what he has already accomplished and because of all of the great qualities he has as a golfer and as a person. She also mentioned Yani Tseng but Annika added that women on average tend to have shorter careers than the men so she mentioned Rory in part because it is more likely that he will have a longer career and more chances to win. Bubba Watson is a third player that Annika mentioned as she is excited about his potential after winning The Masters.
Lexi Thompson is conducting a contest to pick her prom date where you have be a member of the military between the ages of 18-20. When Annika was asked about the prom, she said that Sweden does not have a tradition like the prom. Annika also said that she thinks that what Lexi is doing with this contest is a great idea.
On the question of a Major hangover, Annika said that winning a Major Championship may not change the person but it certainly changes one’s life as the demands on your time increase significantly. Bubba Watson has already talked about those demands and when you are a Major Champion, you have an obligation to fulfilling at least some of those new demands. She certainly knows from personal experience what it is like to live up to the obligations of being a Major Champion.
Major Champions run the gamut from Tiger Woods who has won numerous Majors and Trevor Immelman who has not won since the 2008 Masters. It is a real challenge to maintain the drive and the hunger to win after winning that first Major and she hopes that Bubba Watson will be able to keep that hunger to win more.
It is exciting to see Seve Ballesteros’ son Javier enter his first pro event at the same course where his father Seve made his pro debut in 1974. She was not initially aware that Javier was such a great player but she is very impressed and excited about what he is doing.
When asked about the idea of Augusta National hosting a women’s tournament, Annika started by saying that when the Augusta National agreed to host men’s and women’s golf in the 1996 Olympics, it was a very exciting idea and it was unfortunate that it ultimately did not happen. She has been fortunate enough to play Augusta National in the past and of course she would support the idea of a women’s event there because it would be a sign of how far the women’s game has come. When asked if a tournament at Augusta National could bring her out of retirement, Annika jokingly asked if there were pro-am spots before indicating that no, an event there would not get her out of retirement.