Annika joined Morning Drive on Thursday from Stockholm, Sweden where she is on vacation with her family. Every year when it comes to the Solheim or Ryder or Presidents Cup, there is always one person who gets left off of the team and Mahan is that player in 2012. Earlier this year, she would not have imagined that Mahan would not be on the team. However, Mahan has not played well recently and current form is important when it comes to qualifying for a team.
When she was an Assistant Captain for Alison Nicholas in the 2011 Solheim Cup, current form matters but what is more important is team chemistry. When the team members are able to relate to each other and are comfortable around one another, the team tends to play at its best. In her experience, her best and favorite teams always involved those whose members were unified in goal and compatible in personality.
She is very pleased to see the LPGA Tour returning to Kingsmill for the first time since 2009 and it is just another sign that the LPGA Tour is turning around and that Michael Whan is doing a great job. It was the site of her final LPGA Tour win so it is definitely a special place to her. The people in Kingsmill are very knowledgable about golf and it is great for everyone involved that an LPGA event is back in the area.
When she played in the Solheim Cup at Crooked Stick, it was all about course management which she enjoyed because that plays to her strengths. While it was a long golf course, you could not just hit the ball a long way and not expect any consequences if you did not drive the ball straight. It is one of her favorite courses and she has always had a lot of fun playing there.
During her career, she had a number of rivals on the golf course. Rivalries need to happen naturally and cannot be forced and that was certainly the case with her early rivalries in the 1990’s with Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak. For a rivalry to work, you have to be paired together in big events and then battle down the stretch to win. She found that she played at her best when she was playing against the best players. While she did not tend to hang out with her rivals off of the golf course, she had a lot of respect for her rivals just as they did for her.