Annika won the Kraft Nabisco Championship three times in 2001, 2002, and 2005 and she said that it seems like the course is a little different every year due to the weather and conditions. For instance, the rough will be lighter due to a dry winter and the greens will be very firm which should increase the list of potential winners. Obviously Yani Tseng is the favorite but the lack of rough reduces the importance of driving accuracy which will allow a lot of players to be very aggressive off the tee and to the green.
When she won at Mission Hills in 2001, she said that 2001 was the year when she really stepped up her game. It had been five years since she won a Major and she worked very hard on her game in the offseason and she was able to start the tournament in 2001 with a lot of confidence and being able to win that year started the next phase of her career. Obviously she has very fond memories of the tournament that year.
While she was a player, she could not go up to a Major Championship site the week before based on the rules set by the LPGA Tour. You could go to a course months or weeks in advance and in fact, she went over to Great Britain one year to prepare for the Women’s British Open and played the host course and others in the area to become familiar with links golf. Interestingly, she missed the cut that year.
In the 2002 Kraft Nabisco Championship, she won wearing a pair of ruby red shoes and that year she jumped into Poppie’s Pond with her caddie Terry McNamara and his daughter. While she waded in that year, she jumped in with her sister Charlotta in 2005. There have been years where she was heading to the 18th green with an idea of how she wanted to jump in but she found that those plans were thrown out the window when the time actually came to jump into Poppie’s Pond.
She does not feel that there is any kind of confidentiality agreement between players and swing coaches. People simply want to know more about Tiger Woods than any other player in golf so she understands why so many people want this kind of book but she acknowledged that there may have been times where a line was crossed in terms of the mentions of his personal life and other personal details. In regards to the excerpts about Tiger’s intense workouts, she was not surprised to hear that at all. While she never worked out with Tiger, she heard him talk about his interest in the Navy SEALS and although it never happened, she challenged Tiger to a pull-up contest.
Liselotte Neumann is a Major Champion and someone who has been instrumental in a number of Solheim Cup victories. She is a quiet leader but she brings a lot to the table as a captain and she will have the support of all of the players. Neumann will bring a lot of class to the Solheim Cup in her role as captain in 2013. Annika was inspired by Neumann when she won the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open and it has been great to be able to get to know her over the years.