NAPLES, Fla. – Suzann Pettersen wasn’t done winning this year when she dropped that final putt to lead the Europeans over the Americans at the Solheim Cup in September and retired moments after.
She made a special appearance at the Rolex LPGA Awards dinner Thursday at the CME Group Tour Championship to accept the Heather Farr Perseverance Award.
The award recognizes determination pursuing the love of the game and honors the memory of Farr, the former tour player who died of breast cancer at 28 in 1993.
Pettersen missed nearly two years on tour after taking time away around the birth of her first child, Herman, whose arrival came after some complications in her pregnancy. Pettersen stunned the world announcing she was retiring shortly after she dropped that winning putt in Scotland. She said her retirement wasn’t preplanned, that she didn’t make the decision until she scooped up her son in the celebratory aftermath of the victory.
“I knew then that the circle was complete,” Pettersen said. “The moment I held Herman, my heart told me instantly what the world was about to know. Enough is enough. It was a beautiful run.”
The other awards and winners:
Commissioner’s Award: KPMG, the multinational professional services network, won the award for furthering the cause of women’s golf. John Veihmeyer, the global chairman of the company when it united with the PGA of America to begin sponsoring the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2015, accepted the award. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan explained how KPMG’s vision elevated the championship by advocating for women inside and outside of golf with its women’s leadership conference during the event.
Rolex Player of the Year: Jin Young Ko, with four victories this year, two of them major championships (the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship), clinched the points-based award last month.
Rolex Annika Major Award: Ko also took home the award for the best cumulative performance in the year’s major championships. Ko couldn’t take home the Vare Trophy for low scoring average just yet, but she looks like a lock to do so at tournament’s end.
Founders Award: Brooke Henderson, the 22-year-old nine-time LPGA winner, won the award for reflecting the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA.
Ellen Griffin Rolex Award: Nancy Quarcelino, who runs her own school of golf in Nashville, Tennessee, won the award as a teacher making a major contribution to golf.
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award: South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6, still learning the English language, got a standing ovation delivering a flawless speech in English.