The Annika Course at World’s Largest Golf Resort to Host Event’s Strongest Field Ever
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – will bring the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills to the world’s largest golf resort for the eighth consecutive year, April 24-27.
Launched in 2011 as China’s first and only all-girls golf tournament, this year’s edition will feature its strongest field yet with more than 100 girls ages 9-17 expected to play.
Headlining the competitors are China’s leading two players. Top-ranked Jia-Yi Wang recently returned from the inaugural Major Champions Invitational in Florida, hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, where she competed for Team Annika. The 14-year-old will be seeking to improve on her third-place finish in the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills. She will be joined by No. 2 An Tong, as they battle a large contingent of top players from across the continent. Other countries represented include Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore.
“We are always delighted to welcome Annika back to her home away from home at Mission Hills, and we are in awe of the time and effort she devotes to growing golf globally, including here in China,” says Tenniel Chu, Group Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills. “This year promises to be extra special with so many strong entries. It is also the year of the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, which we will celebrate with a team event, giving the players a chance to bid for selection for Buenos Aires 2018.”
“It’s really incredible how much our event has grown since its inception in 2011,” adds Annika, who was recently ranked the most dominant female athlete of the last 20 years by ESPN The Magazine. “We’re delighted to have such an exceptional partner in Mission Hills, and look forward to yet another extremely successful tournament.”
Players will compete over three rounds on the highly acclaimed Annika Course at Mission Hills Dongguan for the title of champion and an invitation to the prestigious 2019 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex. R&A and China Golf Association ranking points are also up for grabs.
Following the ANNIKA Foundation’s “More Than Golf” mantra, Annika will spend time with the players both on and off the course, sharing the knowledge and experiences that have made her incredibly successful in both the LPGA and post-LPGA phases of her life.
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, 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. Twenty-four alumnae will compete in this week’s first LPGA major championship of the season, the ANA Inspiration.
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.