Sorenstam To Play in Inaugural China LPGA Event

In her farewell season, former world number one Annika Sorenstam is determined to spread the golfing gospel as far and wide as possible.

The 10-time major winner will be part of history in October when she competes in the first-ever LPGA Tour event in China – the Grand China Air LPGA event, which will be held from October 24-26 at the Hainan West Coast Golf Club in Haikou on the resort island of Hainan.

The tournament will feature a 63-strong field vying for $1.8 million in prize money. Also taking part is Taiwan’s Tseng Yani, who this year became the first rookie in a decade to win a major when she triumphed at the LPGA Championship in June.

In a press release from sports management company IMG, Sorenstam said she was looking forward to visiting China to play golf, with previous trips having all been about business matters.

“Having visited China several times as part of my course-design business, I believe the Grand China Air LPGA will be a major milestone for the LPGA, taking elite women’s golf to one of the world’s most dynamic countries. The players are all very excited about being among the first group to visit this fascinating place for an LPGA tournament and to have the chance to be the first champion of an event that in years to come could be one of the biggest we have on Tour,”

Sorenstam had been the dominant player on the LPGA Tour until injury in 2007 saw the emergence of Mexico’s Loreno Ochoa as her successor

The Swede returned in 2008 with three victories on the circuit to prove she still has what it takes. But in May, the 37-year-old announced that this would be her final season as a pro golfer.

She has won close to 90 tournaments and has some great recollections of a legendary playing career. And she hopes her Chinese experience will be part of her scrapbook of memories.

“I have been fortunate to enjoy many wonderful experiences in my time with the LPGA, from great victories through to travelling to all corners of the world. However, as I look back on my career in a few years’ time, there is no doubt that a victory at the first LPGA tournament to be played in China would be a very special memory.”

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