Apr 2, 2014; Rancho Mirage, CA, USA; LPGA commissioner Michael Whan and Arnaud Laborde of Rolex with Jon Podany and Annika Sorenstam announce the Rolex Annika Major reward during a press conference during a practice round for the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LPGA: Recognizing Excellence & Honoring Annika Sorenstam

For many of us who love and follow women’s golf, Annika Sorenstam is and will remain a personal golf legend and a symbol of athletic excellence.   Now the LPGA has ensured that Sorenstam’s incredible career, that included 10 major championships, a career Grand Slam in 2003, and 89 victories worldwide, 72 of them on the LPGA Tour, will be memorialized in an annual ANNIKA Major Award.

On the eve of the 2014 season’s first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Commissioner Mike Whan announced the creation of the new award “which will celebrate the accomplishments of the year’s top major performer, now and in years to come. And who better than Annika Sorenstam to represent the best in performances, at the biggest events.”

The Rolex ANNIKA Major Award will recognize the player who, during a current LPGA Tour season, compiles the most outstanding record across all five major championships.  Points will be awarded at all five major championships to competitors who finish among the top-10 and ties. To take home the award, a player must also win at least one of the five majors.

The winner of the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award will be announced in a ceremony at the Evian Championship, wrapping up what promises to be an already exciting 2014 season.

Since 1980 Rolex has forged successful partnerships with the LPGA, USGA (U.S. Women’s Open), and LGU (RICOH British Open). The establishment of the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award “aligns perfectly with the Rolex philosophy of rewarding exceptional achievement,” Arnaud Boetsch, Director of Communication and Image for Rolex explained.  “Beginning in 2014 Rolex looks forward to recognizing the best player across the five Majors and celebrating their accomplishment each year at the Evian Championship.”

Inbee Park, winner of the 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship, US Women’s Open, Wegmans LPGA Championship, and Stacy Lewis, winner of the 2013 RICOH Women’s British Open, joined Sorenstam in a discussion of the new award, agreeing that the ANNIKA Award will underscore their importance in defining players’ careers.  Lewis probably captured all the players’ sentiments about the ANNIKA Award:  “Being the first recipient of the award would be a huge honor.  I hope to win it.”

Competition for the 2014 ANNIKA Award begins Thursday, April 3, at 7:10am (local time) in Rancho Mirage, California when rookie Line Vedel tees off solo at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Golf Channel will cover the Kraft Nabisco: Thursday, April 3: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM and 6:00 PM-9:00 PM; Friday, April 4: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM and  6:00 PM-9:00 PM; Saturday, April 5 & Sunday, April 6:  5:00 PM-9:00 PM, all times ET.

Tags: Annika Sorenstam Golf Kraft Nabisco Championship LPGA

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