Nine of Top-10 Schools in Current Golfweek / Sagarin Women’s Golf Rankings Scheduled to Compete
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – will welcome nine of the top-10 teams in the current Golfweek / Sagarin Women’s Golf Rankings to its 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, Sept. 16-19 in Lake Elmo, Minn.
The defending champion and No.3-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks headline the stellar field. Led by reigning ANNIKA Intercollegiate individual champion, Maria Fassi, Arkansas will be joined by (rankings in parentheses):
- UCLA (1)
- Alabama (2)
- Duke (4)
- Stanford (5)
- South Carolina (6 and 2014 ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion)
- Texas (7)
- Oklahoma State (9)
- USC (10 and 2015 and 2016 ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion)
- Minnesota (host school)
The final two teams will be named later this year, with berths reserved for the 2018 Division I women’s national champion and the school of the winner of the 2018 ANNIKA Award presented by 3M. The ANNIKA Award is annually presented to the most outstanding female collegiate golfer as voted on by peers, coaches and media.
“In year five, the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M will welcome its strongest field to date,” says Annika, who won the 1991 individual national championship as a freshman at Arizona. “We’re excited to host this impressive collection of talent at a new venue in the Twin Cities, Royal Golf Club.
Scheduled to open later this year, Royal Golf Club features a front nine (or The Queen’s Nine) designed by Annika, and a back nine (or The King’s Nine) designed by Arnold Palmer. It is Annika’s first U.S. project and, sadly, Mr. Palmer’s last. Rolling hills, mature trees and abundant wildlife provide a scenic backdrop for what promises to be an exceptional new home for the event.
Joining defending champion Maria Fassi will be seven 2016-17 All-Americans: Mariel Galdiano (UCLA), Kristen Gillman (Alabama), Cheyenne Knight (Alabama), Andrea Lee (Stanford), Lauren Stephenson (Alabama), Albane Valenzuela (Stanford) and Lilia Vu (UCLA).
Former ANNIKA Invitational junior winners are also well represented, with Jaravee Boonchant (Duke, 2016 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex), Ana Pelaez (South Carolina, 2015 ANNIKA Invitational Europe), Marion Veysseyre (South Carolina, 2014 ANNIKA Invitational Europe) and Beth Wu (UCLA, 2013 and 2014 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex) expected to play.
Each year, the ANNIKA Foundation conducts five major golf events for juniors on four continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China, ANNIKA Invitational Europe, ANNIKA Cup in Sweden and ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 32 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. And while the on-course action is important, off-course lessons pertaining to nutrition, fitness, the college application process and more are integral to tournaments’ “More Than Golf” experiences.
For more information, please visit the Foundation’s just-redesigned website: www.annikafoundation.org
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.
It annually conducts five major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; and, in association with The R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina. In 2013, the Foundation’s reach extended to the collegiate ranks with the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M (awarded to most outstanding female NCAA Division I golfer) and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M (12 team, 54-hole event in Minnesota). SPARK grants to schools, financial support of Healthy 100 Kids, endowing an AJGA ACE Grant, and the “Share My Passion” Golf Clinics are other areas of emphasis.