Annika Sorenstam: "This is not a comeback"



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Annika Sorenstam: "This is not a comeback"

Annika Sorenstam is back. At brunchtime on Thursday, the 50-year-old LPGA Hall of Famer and mother of two meandered out of her home just off the 16th green at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club and ventured about 600 yards south to the clubhouse for a 12:25 tee time in the Gainbridge LPGA.

It was her first official round in an LPGA Tour event in 13 years. One of the first things she did when she went to the putting green a few minutes after 11:00 a.m. ET was check her stand bag to make sure one of the kids hadn’t put an extra club or two in there.

Annika Sorenstam, statements

"Considering my plans for the summer and turning 50 (last) October, wanting to play the U.S. Women's Senior Open, I figured I just needed some tournament rounds. I need some experience back inside the ropes and focusing on 18 holes, making putts, no Mulligans and no gimmes.

I was really persuaded more by my family and parents, our kids, and then neighbors and members, and also the pro here at Lake Nona, who said, ‘Of course you're going to play.’ So, it was really a late addition and not something that was on my min.

I think the biggest thing that I messed up was the practice round tee times. I was told that you're supposed to be ready by 7:00 on Saturday. I didn't hear 7:00. I just heard Saturday. I somehow messed that up. Luckily, I was able to play with Anna (Nordqvist) on Monday anyway and with Danielle (Kang) on Tuesday.

It was a little different, but you’ve got to get used to these new rules. By the time I figure them all out, I'm outta here. "Again, if it wasn't for Lake Nona (being the host site) I wouldn't be playing.

This is not a comeback. It's an appearance. And I'm just thrilled about that. I'm excited to be here and appreciate the opportunity to come back and see all these players. I know it's a limited field, but they have, I think,, 40 players that are playing here this week that are ANNIKA alumni as we call them, meaning they have played in one or more of our events around the world the last 13 years.

So, I've seen many of these young players grow up, whether it's Anna Nordqvist, the Korda sisters, Maria Fassi, Leona Maguire, Bronte Law. I mean, you name it, I've seen them grow up and play in either our invitationals or intercollegiate.

So, now to be inside the ropes playing with them, it's kind of fun and also makes me more in tune in what the courses are like and what they go through every week"