FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 9, 2019
ANNIKA Invitational USA Presented by Rolex Returns for 11th Edition
Slammer & Squire Course at the World Golf Village to Test 72 of the World’s Best Girls
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Foundation, golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization, will bring the ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex back to the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, Jan. 18-21.
Seventy-two of the world’s top girls ages 12 to 19 are scheduled to play in the 54-hole, stroke-play event. Competitors hailing from 16 different countries will vie for coveted points in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Defending champion Angelina Ye of Bradenton, Florida headlines a deep field set to challenge the resort’s Slammer & Squire course for a second-consecutive year. She took control of the 2018 event on the back nine of the final round, with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16. Ye is currently ranked eighth in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and will play college golf at Stanford this fall.
Others scheduled to compete include the Philippines’ Yuka Saso, who is currently ranked sixth in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished runner-up in last month’s ANNIKA Invitational Australasia, and No.7 Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, who had four top-5 finishes in 2018 AJGA events and will follow Ye to Stanford in 2020. Winners of last year’s ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills (Nanako Inagaki, Japan), ANNIKA Invitational Europe (Anna Zanusso, Italy) and ANNIKA Invitational Latin America (Cristina Ochoa, Colombia) will join them in what’s annually recognized as one of the strongest fields in girls’ golf.
The week’s festivities will be highlighted by Friday’s World Golf Hall of Fame Dinner Honoring Judy Rankin. The two-time LPGA Player of the Year, World Golf Hall of Fame member and current Golf Channel LPGA analyst will give the keynote address.
“The ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex has been taken to another level thanks to our partnership with the World Golf Village,” says Annika, who will be onsite for the entire tournament and lead a Rolex-sponsored clinic on Saturday after the conclusion of the first round. “Our ability to incorporate all the World Golf Hall of Fame offers into our programming makes tournament week especially memorable both on and off the course.”
Each year, the ANNIKA Foundation conducts six major golf events for juniors on five continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China, ANNIKA Invitational Europe, ANNIKA Cup in Sweden, ANNIKA Invitational Latin America and ANNIKA Invitational Australasia. They are complemented by the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M and the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M, which is annually bestowed to the most outstanding female Division I golfer.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 45 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards, with more than 600 playing golf at the collegiate level.
For more information, please visit www.annikafoundation.org.
About the ANNIKA Foundation
Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation 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 six major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA 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; and, in association with the R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America and ANNIKA Invitational Australasia. 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.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 7,000 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.