2018 Division I National Champion Arizona and 2018 Quarterfinalist Northwestern Join Nine of Top-10 Programs at New Host Venue, Royal Golf Club, Outside of Minneapolis
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – has added Arizona, the 2018 Division I National Champion, and 2018 quarterfinalist Northwestern to the final field for the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M.
With their addition, the event now boasts nine of the top-10 teams in the most recent Golfweek / Sagarin rankings:
- Alabama (1)
- Arkansas (2 and 2017 ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion)
- UCLA (3)
- Duke (4)
- USC (5 and 2015 and 2016 ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion)
- Stanford (6)
- Texas (7)
- South Carolina (9 and 2014 ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion)
- Northwestern (10)
- Arizona (12)
- Oklahoma State (17)
- Minnesota (host school)
“With nine of the top 10 and 10 of the top 12, this is likely our strongest field to date,” says Annika, the 1991 NCAA Women’s Champion. “Both Arizona and Northwestern had exceptional 2017-18 seasons and promise to be in good form when the fall schedule kicks off in September.”
The fifth edition of the ANNIKA Invitational presented by 3M will take place Sept. 16-19 at a new venue – Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn.
Opened earlier this month, 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 a wonderful new home for the event.
Annika’s involvement with NCAA women’s golf extends to the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M. Now in its fifth year, it is presented to the nation’s most outstanding female collegiate player as voted on by players, coaches and members of the golf media. The 2018 winner will be announced live on Golf Channel on June 6. The illustrious list of past winners is Alison Lee (2013, UCLA), Leona Maguire (2014 and 2016, Duke) and Bronte Law (2015, UCLA).
Each year, the ANNIKA Foundation also 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 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.