50th Anniversary edition of ANA Inspiration to start with a Charity Match for the ANNIKA Foundation

March 29, 2021

Sorenstam, Kang, Lindberg and Popov to play Skins Match on eve of first Major of 2021

Celebrations for the 50th Anniversary edition of the ANA Inspiration will get underway with a special Charity Match for the ANNIKA Foundation featuring Annika Sorenstam, Danielle Kang, Pernilla Lindberg and Sophia Popov in a special LIVE telecast on GOLF Channel on Wednesday, March 31, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

On the eve of the 50th edition of this historic event starting Thursday morning, Sorenstam, a 10-time Major champion and a three-time winner of the ANA Inspiration (2001, 2003, 2005), will partner with Kang, the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA champion, to take on 2018 ANA Inspiration winner Lindberg and 2020 AIG Women’s Open champion Popov in a Skins Game to raise money for the ANNIKA Foundation, played over the back nine of the Dinah Shore Tournament course at Mission Hills.

Annika Sorenstam is widely recognized as the greatest woman golfer of all time and her remarkable feats did not stop when she retired from the Tour. Since starting her Foundation in 2007, Annika has been on the same prolific achievement path that she trod as a professional golfer, with the ANNIKA Foundation making a significant impact to junior golf and women’s professional golf.

The ANNIKA Foundation has raised $7.5 million in support of junior golf since its inception and recently made a $50,000 commitment to support Symetra Tour players in 2020 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 60 alumnae have competed on the LPGA Tour and in 2020, 164 ANNIKA alumnae held Symetra Tour status.

Brian Carroll, SVP, Global Media Distribution at the LPGA commented, “We are happy to play a part in raising awareness for the ANNIKA Foundation and all of the work Annika and her Foundation have done for junior and women’s golf. It is also a great opportunity to remind fans that the first Major of the year will be kicking off on Thursday on Golf Channel and gives us a nice chance to highlight some of the world’s best players who can give fans a little extra insight as they look to take on the challenges of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course.”

Annika added, “I am really grateful for the way the ANA Inspiration and The Golf Channel have created this opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on everything our team at the ANNIKA Foundation is achieving. To have three of the world’s best players donate their time to play in this Match means a lot to us. I’m proud to have won this historic tournament and I can’t think of a better way for us to kick-off the celebrations for their 50th anniversary.”

 

About the ANNIKA Foundation

Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation (www.annikafoundation.org) to provide opportunities in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. The Foundation has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children, and an endowment of the AJGA’s ACE Grant.

It annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational  presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; the Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship presented by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation in Argentina; and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia in New Zealand. Moreover, with the support of the Haskins Commission, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. Since 2014, the Foundation has also annually hosted the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools. Each year, the Foundation also conducts several “Share My Passion” grass roots clinics designed to introduce kids to the game.

 

About the ANA Inspiration

 

The ANA Inspiration is golf’s first major and one of the LPGA Tour’s most prestigious events. Previously known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the tournament was founded in 1972 by David Foster and Dinah Shore and earned the designation as a major championship in 1983. Contested at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., since its inception, the ANA Inspiration holds the distinction of being the second oldest golf tournament continuously held at the same course. For many, the event is most distinguished by one of golf’s most beloved traditions: the champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond, located adjacent to the 18th green. In 1988, the first champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond was taken by Amy Alcott, and since has become one of the most anticipated and memorable traditions in golf. For more information on the ANA Inspiration, please visit ANAinspiration.com or call 760-834-8872. On social media, visit facebook.com/ANAinspiration, twitter.com/ANAinspiration or instagram.com/ANAinspiration.

 

About the LPGA

The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 countries. With a vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.

The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation. Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental, humanitarian and golf community initiatives, including LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA Women’s Network and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association.

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via www.LPGA.com. Join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/lpga, www.twitter.com/lpga and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo, and on Instagram at @lpga_tour.

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.

 

Media Contacts:

Michele Mair: Michele.mair@img.com