Speaking on Tiger’s return at the Frys.com Open, she does not know what to expect from him this week although she hopes that he begins playing well again. Practice is a very different thing from playing competitively so it will be interesting to see if he can take his game from Medalist to tournaments. Unlike Tiger, she remained with the same instructor for most of her playing life and they worked together on the evolution of her swing and her game. The hardest thing about returning after a long break from competition is getting into the mode of hitting a certain shot when it requires it and pulling it off. She and Tiger talked for the first time last month after losing touch with each other for about two years. She was a little surprised to see Tiger sign with Rolex although she said that Rolex is a world class company (she endorses Rolex) who knows what they are doing and that this may be the most positive Tiger-related news in the last two years. She is travelling a lot and with her two little kids which can be very exhausting but she enjoys the work that she is doing and is having a lot of fun.
The finish to the Solheim Cup this year was incredibly exciting and it marked the first time in a long time that she was back in competitive mode (she was an assistant captain). Watching and not being able to hit the shots was a very different feeling than being able to play in the matches. A lot of LPGA tournament sponsors overseas want limited fields and she supports keeping the fields the way they are. Also, it is a long way to travel to these events and by having limited overseas events it is hoped that that will eventually lead to more domestic events. The LPGA Tour bought the Futures Tour and if they are able to strengthen that tour the way the PGA TOUR has been able to strengthen the Nationwide Tour, it will provide a lot of excitement and a great future for the LPGA Tour.
She was recently in Harlem for an event with The First Tee and her foundation which promoted healthy habits for these kids. It was a lot of fun to spend time with the kids and she ate lunch with them and even participated in some jump rope. She feels that you can more effectively make an impact with various causes by being hands-on and that is what her foundation is all about. By being hands-on, you occasionally venture to some scary places but it also where you can meet some amazing people and witness amazing things happening. Providing access and inspiring kids to play golf go hand in hand in growing the game of golf worldwide. Golf has been a wonderful vehicle for her to get her and her foundation’s message out.
She thinks if Tiger shoots under par he will be happy and it will be a great start for him on a new course after a long layoff from competition. It is encouraging to hear that Tiger seems to have more trust in his own golf swing because if you are trying to focus on a target, you cannot be thinking about swing mechanics and be successful. It is also problematic if you are trying to experiment with your swing on the golf course because you need to have confidence in your routine and in your plan. Tiger is a hard worker and he wants to win.
Lexi Thompson will be a member of the LPGA Tour in 2012 at the age of 17 but Annika still feels that kids should be kids and be allowed to grow. She wants to see Lexi play well and succeed now that she is a member. It is nothing personal with Lexi but from experience, she knows how important it is to be a kid and she also knows how difficult and complicated life on the professional tour can be. Parents need to be out on tour with their kids for the right reasons but in the case of Lexi, she NEEDS them out on tour because she has to be supervised and also the parents can prevent her from feeling lonely and lost. The Morning Drive crew then presented Annika with a birthday cake as her birthday is this Sunday.