Annika Sorenstam - March 22, 2012


This week on Wednesday she and her family celebrated the first birthday of her son Will who was born 3 months premature last year. It has been a long year but it has been so wonderful to see Will grow up. Her family has benefitted a great deal from the Winnie Palmer Hospital and it has been great to see the hospital grow in part because of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

In looking at Tiger Woods, she said that she would not put herself in his category when they were both dominating their respective tours but she appreciates the compliment. Yani Tseng is world #1 now in women’s golf and it is fun to analyze how she plays just as people analyzed how she played when she was world #1. When you are at the top of your sport, you have more responsibilities and she was not intimidated at all by the additional pressure. In fact, Annika said that she embraced it because it meant that she was succeeding.

Yani is already at the point of high pressure but she knows what she is capable of and therefore she is disappointed when she does not win because she expects to. The hardest thing to do when you are at the top is to stay motivated and excited to get better or else you will be passed by someone else who is more motivated than you.

Michelle Wie has now graduated from Stanford University and Annika said that she has said for a long time that Michelle has a great deal of talent and is someone that everyone wants to succeed. Time will tell when it comes to how she performs after college but she is a big asset to the LPGA Tour so many people are rooting for her to play well.

School was very important to Annika and she actually studied to be a chemical engineer in Sweden before she went to the University of Arizona to play golf. While she enjoyed the studies in Sweden, she knew that she wanted to play golf and looking back she feels that she has made good decisions when it comes to her education and things have worked out well.

She is very proud that her foundation has received a $100,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield to implement the SPARK program – the leading physical education program for children – in 20 elementary schools in Orlando over the next school year. SPARK is a wonderful program and she is excited to get to work with her foundation to help a lot of kids.

With her son’s birthday and the Tavistock Cup at her home course at Lake Nona as well as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it is a very full week. The Tavistock Cup is a very special and intimate event and she enjoyed watching the golf and seeing a lot of friends at Lake Nona over Monday and Tuesday. While she was there, she was able to watch a lot of players practice and play and she was certainly inspired by their performances at her home course.

Looking at Tiger Woods’ statistics in 2012, Annika said that she is a bit surprised that they are what they are to start the year. When Tiger was at his peak, he had the best short game of anyone in the world and she knows this because she practiced with him a lot when he was at the top of his game. When he plays well now, it is because he is scrambling well. When he is not, it is because he is not scrambling well. It looks like he has his new swing with Sean Foley down but he still has some work to do on his short game.

2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson is planning to show Robert Garrigus around Augusta National and it is interesting how they have seemingly opposite games. However, there are many different ways to succeed at Augusta National and it is always a great opportunity to be able to learn from a past Champion.