Annika Sorenstam’s return to golf brings ‘Tiger feeling’ after 13-year absence

The ten-time major winner, who retired from golf in 2008, introduced earlier this month that she was to make her comeback on the Gainbridge LPGA Championship which started on Thursday.

Sorenstam shot a 75 in her return, and simply the sight of the 50-year-old hitting photographs and striding down the fairways had a few of the youthful gamers in awe.

Patty Tavatanakit — who received Sorenstam’s school occasion in Minnesota — said it felt like “a Tiger feeling a bit bit” having her again, whereas Gaby Lopez referred to as it a “dream come true” to be in the identical discipline as her.
“Simply being along with her gave me this type of peaceable setting and simply jogged my memory of how blessed and the way grateful I’m to have this chance to have the ability to compete along with her, simply because I bear in mind the seven-year-old Gaby chasing her down the golf course to get a signed golf ball,” the Mexican golfer told the media afterwards.

“Her position on this sport, presently of her profession, I suppose, is simply preserve inspiring women. I performed along with her at Diamond Resorts, and I can inform that you just she’s nonetheless as aggressive as most likely when she was 20 years in the past.

“You may see that her brief sport; placing continues to be on. That is one thing that she has in her veins and goes to shine endlessly. She mentioned that she’s most likely not hitting it as far or straight as she was earlier than, however on the finish of the day, I will say it once more: she’s my superhero. Her and Lorena are most likely why I am right here. Having the ability to share this with them, along with her particularly, is simply unbelievable.”

Sorenstam stepped away from golf in 2008 to begin a household. And along with her kids Will and Ava watching on, the 50-year-old completed three over par on her house course, admitting that she is going to should be extra aggressive going ahead.

Though her return to the course prompted a flutter amongst her rivals, adjusting to the modifications the Tour has undergone since she has been away was the largest shock.

“I believe the largest factor that I tousled was the apply spherical tee instances,” Sorenstam said. “I used to be instructed that you just’re alleged to be prepared by 7:00 on Saturday. I did not hear 7:00. I simply heard Saturday. I one way or the other messed that up.”
Sorenstam reacts on the first tee during the first round of the Gainnbridge LPGA Championship.

“Fortunately, I used to be in a position to play with Anna (Nordqvist) on Monday anyway and with Danielle (Kang) on Tuesday. It was a bit totally different, however you have to get used to those new guidelines. By the point I determine all of them out, I am outta right here.”

Nevertheless, subsequent week Sorenstam says she is going to return to being a spouse and a mom.

“Once more, if it wasn’t for Lake Nona [being the host site] I would not be taking part in. This isn’t a comeback. It is an look. And I am simply thrilled about that.”

Even first spherical clubhouse chief Lydia Ko admitted to being considerably starstruck simply seeing Sorenstam do her stuff.

“Clearly so cool seeing Annika and simply being within the group behind her, seeing her hit a couple of photographs,” Ko mentioned. “I’ve at all times seen her on TV taking part in, and to play along with her final Saturday and to play behind her I believe is tremendous cool.

“Hopefully, this brings lots of consideration and hype again for us on tour and simply into girls’s golf. I am fairly positive it isn’t simple for her to come back again, particularly after being retired for therefore lengthy, however I believe it is a fairly massive assertion. And, yeah, undoubtedly cool for me to be in the identical discipline as I believe the GOAT.”

Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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