Annika Sorenstam set to host Tampa Bay area LPGA event beginning in 2023


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Annika Sorenstam will return to the role of LPGA tournament host. The LPGA and Pelican Women’s Championship announced on Tuesday that the Tampa Bay area event will go by a new name in November 2023: The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican.

Gainbridge has served as title sponsor for LPGA events the past three seasons, including two at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida, and one at Sorenstam’s home course, Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando. Sorenstam returned to LPGA competition for the first time in 13 years at Lake Nona in 2021 and made the cut.

Gainbridge also served as sponsor for the LPGA’s Indy in Tech Championship from 2017-2019.

“It is an incredible honor to host one of the premier events on the LPGA Tour schedule at Pelican Golf Club, a world-class facility, alongside my good friends at Gainbridge,” said Sorenstam in a release. “Giving back to the game I love and mentoring the game’s next generation of players have always been at the forefront of everything we do. I’m excited to kick off this great new partnership and elevate this tournament to new heights on the LPGA Tour.”

In addition to college and junior events around the world, Sorenstam co-hosts the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed with Henrik Stenson on the LET and DP World Tour. In 2007 and 2008, she was involved in the LPGA’s Ginn Tribute hosted by Annika in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

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Sorenstam won 72 times on the LPGA, including 10 majors and remains the LPGA’s all-time money leader with over $22 million. She returned to the major championship stage last summer when she won the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in her debut.

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda poses with the trophy after winning the Pelican Women’s Championship in a playoff at Pelican Golf Club on November 14, 2021 in Belleair, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

This year’s Pelican Women’s Championship will feature a field of 120 players competing for a $2 million purse at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida. It will be the final full-field event of the season, leading into the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. Nelly Korda won the second edition of the event last year in a playoff over Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and defending champion Sei Young Kim.

“The opportunity to create ‘The ANNIKA’ in partnership with Pelican Golf Club, allows Gainbridge to continue to support these world-class LPGA athletes while celebrating the legacy of the greatest woman golfer of the modern era,” said Dan Towriss, CEO and President of Group 1001, the parent organization of Gainbridge in a statement.

“Through the work of our sister company, PARITY, and other partnerships in the works, we will continue to highlight the contributions of Annika and other legends of women’s sports, both in and outside of the competitive arena.”

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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek



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