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LPGA Tour Opportunity Bekcons for Strongest Ever Annika Field in China
Annika Sorenstam
Shenzhen, China (April 26, 2017) — New team event introduced to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics and Sorenstam’s Solheim Cup captaincy. The strongest ever field has gathered in southern China for the seventh edition of the Annika Invitational at Mission Hills, to be hosted by the ten-time Major winner Annika Sorenstam at the Shenzhen resort on April 26-28.

With seven of China’s top-10 ranked juniors in the field, plus the top four girls from India, another seven leading females from Chinese Taipei and three from Hong Kong, the capacity field of 81 competitors will have plenty to play for, including a new team event, a spot in the Annika Invitational in America and a potential LPGA Tour start in New Zealand.

For the first time since the launch of China’s first and only all-girls event in 2011, the top two players this year will gain entry into not one but two qualifying events for the LPGA Tour’s MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open in September.

Taking place in Auckland on the weekend before the tournament, and then again on the Monday if they need a second chance, this once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing LPGA Tour qualifiers will have the players dreaming of a place in the starting field alongside the likes of world number one, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.

The top-three low amateurs from Mission Hills will also be invited by Sorenstam to play in her prestigious Annika Invitational tournament in the USA, an AJGA event which has been the breeding ground for many US college players and several NCAA champions.

In another first for this year’s Annika Invitational at Mission Hills, the juniors’ scores over the first two days will also count towards a team event. This new initiative is to celebrate Sorenstam’s role as captain of this year’s European Solheim Cup team but is also in recognition of golf’s return to the Olympic Games and next year’s Youth Olympic Games, where golf will feature for the second time.

“I’m super excited to get back to Mission Hills for this year’s Annika Invitational and spend time with the girls,” said Sorenstam, the most successful female golfer in history with more than 90 international wins as a professional. “It’s wonderful that the winners will have the chance to play in both New Zealand and the USA because ultimately travelling the world as a Touring professional is where most of these girls want to be.”

“Annika’s event has grown to become the Major of amateur golf for girls across Asia,” added Tenniel Chu, Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills Group. “We are grateful to Auckland Tourism and New Zealand Golf for allowing the girls to dream of a start on the LPGA Tour. We are also excited to celebrate the spirit of team golf this year following last year’s Olympics and next year’s Youth Olympics. It is also a fitting way to salute Annika’s captaincy of the European Solheim Cup team in August.”

The seventh Annika Invitational will be played over three days of stroke play on the award-winning Annika Course at Mission Hills in Shenzhen and will conclude on Friday.

For details or inquiries:
Ms. Mona Li
Mission Hills China
Tel: +86 755 2802 0888# 38890

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