An interview with Annika Sorenstam

By Lpga Tour MediaApril 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Ginn OpenQuestion: Annika, last year at the Ginn Open you unfortunately had to withdraw because of your back injury. Now, coming into this year you are healthy and strong and coming off of a very good weekend last weekend. You had a strong finish on Sunday at the first major of the year. And also, Ginn Reunion Resort is a special place for you because it is the home of the Annika Academy. If you could just tell us your thoughts about what you're doing this week and your thoughts on entering next week's Ginn Open.
 
ANNIKA: Certainly. Of course I'm looking forward to playing this year in the Ginn Open. Like you said, it's a special place for me in many ways, and it's a little bit weird that that's the place I had to pull out with my first injury in my career and then I had the grand opening of my academy the Monday afterwards. I'm definitely looking forward to going back there with a little revenge, if I can put it that way.
 
What I'm going to do this week is really just recharge my batteries. I flew the redeye from California, got to Orlando this morning, and just been kind of running errands and catching up on the things I've missed the last two weeks. I'm going to do that for another day, and then back to practice and start grinding and preparing for next week.
 
It's kind of nice to be back home and practice, and I have a lot to work on to catch Lorena but I'm looking forward to it. I know the course real well, and it's going to be fun.
 
Q: I figured I'd start the ball rolling here since I just joined the call. Tell us what happened and how it happened last Saturday when you did take ill, and you did end up in the hospital?
 
ANNIKA: Well, it all started on Friday. You know, I had an afternoon tee time, grabbed something quickly to eat, and then made the turn and started to feel my stomach was just not feeling right and starting to lose a little energy. I made it through the round and just went back to the room and just got worse and really had a terrible night. I'm not really sure what it was, but I drank a lot of fluid and tried to keep my food down and tried to get ready for a big Saturday. I mean, I always look forward to the majors, and in this particular case I was Top 10 and really just wanted to try to play some good golf.
 
I had a very short warm up. I tried to save as much energy as possible, just hit a few balls, just hit a few putts, and went on the course and was really struggling. Energy wise it was really low and stomach was hurting and didn't feel good at all, but I just kept fighting. I was determined to finish, even though it felt at times, especially on 11 and 12 I told Terry, I know if I can make it I just didn't have any strength and it was tough to concentrate. But obviously I'm glad I finished.
 
I went to the hospital after the round to kind of get a regular checkup to make sure there wasn't anything special or anything to be worried about. I mean, they gave me they put an IV in me to give me the fluids in case I was dehydrated and they were talking about maybe possible stomach virus and gave me antibiotics so I would be prepared.
 
I felt a little better on Sunday, not great, but at least so I could play.
 
Q: Do you feel you're back to where you want to be, or close to that?
 
ANNIKA: I'm almost there. I mean, I hope this is just something temporary, a little stomach virus or something I ate. I'm hoping that this week I can charge my batteries and be fresh. It's tough to tell after you fly the redeye if you feel good or if you're tired. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be back and start practicing and working out again.
 
Q: Talk about your competition here, mostly Lorena, and how she's progressed and has been playing lights out.
 
ANNIKA: Yes, she certainly has. She's come off to a great start this season actually really continuing from last season I should say, playing some great golf, just it's impressive to see, so focused and so determined and so steady, shooting very low scores at tough courses. You know, she's making it tougher for somebody like me to catch her.
 
Q: What about any young players on the Tour that have impressed you so far in what you've seen this year?
 
ANNIKA: I mean, Paula is young but she's been around a little bit, but she's played very well. I mean, I think it's a great year again for the LPGA. It's very competitive. For me, I mean, I just want to keep on playing. I'm very happy with my results so far. It's been very consistent in the tournaments I've played. Now I just want to I mean, I'm staying away from injury, now I want to stay away from being sick, and I should be fine.
 
Q: My last question and I'm going to let everybody else chime in here, but this being the Masters week, your thoughts on the Masters?
 
ANNIKA: Well, I'll definitely be tuning in. I think it's one of those tournaments you don't want to miss. I just love watching it on TV. There's so much history. I mean, I've had the chance to play Augusta a few times so I know the golf course. I'll definitely be in front of the TV, and I'm sure Tiger is going to play as well as he can, so whoever can catch him will do a great job.
 
Q: Did you text message him yet?
 
ANNIKA: I have. I think he's ready. He's preparing. He's so focused.
 
Q: I wanted to know just how much better you're feeling this season after the back ailment last year, and maybe stomach flu aside, just what the difference is being able to come in and start the season healthy this year.
 
ANNIKA: Well, it's just a huge difference. Now I'm swinging the golf club again. I'm posting low scores, I'm playing consistent golf. I mean, this is fun. The last year and a half it was just me trying to swing, compromising from weaknesses, compromising from pain and all that. It just wasn't the same.
 
Now when I feel good again, it's just it gives you some energy. It gives you adrenaline, and you just want to practice and get better. So it's totally night and day, and the motivation is back.
 
Q: It's early in the season, but how much of your schedule is set? I'm down here in the central Illinois area and in Springfield, and I'm wondering if you still have plans to come back for the State Farm in July. How much of your schedule is set at this point?
 
ANNIKA: Well, I normally set my schedule when it comes out October, November, and I put down the basic tournaments, the majors and tournaments I'm defending, which this year wasn't really that much, so it was kind of open to start the season with.
 
But as of now, I have not really planned anything past the U.S. Open. I'm playing a lot of tournaments until then, more than I normally do, so I want to try and see how I feel at that time and then pace myself through the rest of the season. I can't really answer your question yet what I'm going to do later in the summer.
 
Q: Can you talk maybe a little bit about when you come here to this area, people are very receptive and they're excited to see you play. Is that something that weighs into you coming back to a tournament, especially one that you've won in the past and as recent as 2006?
 
ANNIKA: Oh, absolutely. I've always felt welcome there and actually stay with a family that's from there. So I have a nice tie, and it's been good to me.
 
When it comes to choosing tournaments and playing, I mean, there's different factors that weigh in. Of course one of them is how you feel, and going there with the fans, et cetera, but an important issue is time wise, where do you play before, where are you going to play next and how many in a row. I mean, that's really how I determine my schedule.
 
Q: You do have a major coming up here in Minneapolis in just a couple of months, the U.S. Women's Open coming to Interlachen. I think you played Interlachen with the Solheim Cup in 2002?
 
ANNIKA: That's right.
 
Q: What do you remember about the course and what are you looking forward to with that tournament?
 
ANNIKA: I love the course. Obviously Solheim Cup is a special event, and match play is different than the U.S. Open. I love old, traditional golf courses. It's a true course. I remember it being quite long, and obviously with the weather, too, a little bit, but smaller greens, and you really have to work the ball, right to left, left to right, and that's what an Open should be.
 
I'm sure that the rough will be a little bit more than what we saw at the Solheim Cup. I mean, the Open has always been my favorite tournament of the year, so I'm excited for this venue, as well.
 
Q: I don't know if you had a chance to see that Golf Journal section in the Wall Street Journal, but it did talk about players coming out of Sweden. Do you have any thoughts on any up and coming players that are coming out of Sweden?
 
ANNIKA: The young lady that just won in Mexico, Louise Friberg, it was so nice to see. I'm not really sure of the number, but it was over ten players from a little country, and to see her step up to the plate and win a tournament was really nice. You know, the growth has not been very strong the last few years, but it looks like we have a new fresh kind of generation, so obviously I'm excited to see that.
 
It's tough to keep up with all the Koreans, but we try and do our best.
 
Q: Talk a little bit about where the Academy is now, and you're also planning to take the Academy to a little place in California, too?
 
ANNIKA: Yeah, you're right. First of all, the Academy is going great. It's a dream come true for me for many years now. We've almost been open it's going to be a year at the Ginn Open. I can't believe it's gone so fast.
 
But we've had several guests this particular week. We have seven guests, ladies who are loving it. It's a fun way for me to get back to the game and share my passion for golf and fitness.
 
You know, we sat down, and at the end of April, it gets quite hot here in Orlando, and we thought we'd try something new and take our team on the road, and we're going to go to Lake Tahoe to have some packages for some members up there. It's actually a club that I belong to up there. The golf course is Old Greenwood, and Tahoe Mountain Club is the area. We're excited about that opportunity. Tahoe in June is just spectacular, so it'll be exciting.
 
We're actually thinking about doing that more in the summer. We have gotten a few requests from different clubs around the country. It's that time of year when it's too hot here and just perfect in other places, so it's kind of fun to expand a little bit without really bringing the whole academy, but we're bringing the staff.
 
Q: If you can answer one more question about the Ginn Open, in 2006 you finished fourth. If you can just talk a little bit about what you remember from the Ginn Open that year.
 
ANNIKA: Yeah, I have a lot of great memories. First of all, it's always nice to play in your home city, and I thought the crowds were spectacular. The commitment that Bobby Ginn is putting into women's golf, actually I should say golf in general, has been fantastic. I remember showing up, the first year of the event, it had almost like a major feel. He treated us very, very well, and the 18th with all the bleachers, and it was just so professional the first year, first class in so many ways. It was a great tournament, and I think all the players loved it. And of course with a purse that's over $2 million, I think it's $2.6, I think that's really saying something about his support.
 
I'm looking forward to this year. I know the field is going to be probably one of the best we have all year, so it's a good tournament for sure.
 

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1