Favorites for ‘Most Outstanding Player’ Recognition Include Arkansas’s Maria Fassi, UCLA’s Patty Tavatanakit and Lilia Vu, and Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – announces voting has opened for the 2018 ANNIKA Award presented by 3M.
Now in its fifth year, the ANNIKA Award is presented to the nation’s most outstanding female collegiate player as voted on by players, coaches and members of the golf media. To do so, they should visit www.annikaaward.com/voting-ballot. Votes may be cast through May 23, the final day of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. The winner of the ANNIKA Award will be announced live on Golf Channel on June 6.
Several favorites have emerged heading into the NCAAs, which will be hosted by Oklahoma State University’s Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., May 18-23. They include Arkansas’s Maria Fassi, UCLA’s Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, and Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson. All are vying to join an illustrious list of past champions: Alison Lee (2013, UCLA), Leona Maguire (2014 and 2016, Duke) and Bronte Law (2015, UCLA).
“Our past winners are all terrific young players,” says Annika, the 1991 NCAA Women’s Champion. “Alison and Bronte are enjoying great success on the LPGA, while Leona, who opted to delay the start of her professional career to receive her degree from Duke, will soon join them.”
The ANNIKA Award is an ANNIKA Foundation initiative. Oversight is provided by the Fred Haskins Commission, a 501(c)(3) organization in Columbus, Ga., which for more than 45 years has given the Haskins Award to the most outstanding male collegiate golfer.
Annika enjoyed an exceptional NCAA career at the University of Arizona. She won seven collegiate tournaments in 1991, including the NCAA Championship, and capped off an All-American season by being named the NCAA Co-Player of the Year. In 1992, she was Pac-10 champion and finished second in the NCAA Championship. She turned pro that same year.
Beyond the ANNIKA Award and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, the ANNIKA Foundation manages five junior tournaments – the ANNIKA Invitational USA 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.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 32 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. Twenty-four alumnae competed in the 2018 ANA Inspiration.
For more information, please visit 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.