19 ANNIKA Alumnae Seeking Gold In Tokyo
Photo: Olympic Golf/Twitter
With The Evian Championship in the rearview mirror, the world of women’s professional golf will now turn its attention to Japan and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Inbee Park (Korea), Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Shanshan Feng (China) – the gold, silver and bronze medal winners in Rio de Janeiro – are all scheduled to compete Aug. 3-6 at the famed Kasumigaseki Country Club. Joining them will be another 57 of the world’s best players, including 19 ANNIKA Foundation alumnae.
Leading the pack of alums and representing the United States will be the Korda sisters, Nelly and Jessica. Fresh off her first-career major victory at the KPMG PGA Championship (her third win of the season), Nelly has risen to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Not to be outdone, Jessica has enjoyed a career resurgence of her own in 2021 with a victory at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and three other top-10 finishes. They’ll be joined by fellow American and ANNIKA alumna Danielle Kang, the No. 5 player in the world who’s well-positioned to make her third Solheim Cup team later this fall.
Two of the season’s other major winners who’re ANNIKA alums, smooth-swinging Filipino Yuka Saso (U.S. Women’s Open) and Thai bomber Patty Tavatanakit (ANA Inspiration), will also play in Tokyo. Saso enjoys a strong track record in ANNIKA junior events, counting a second in the inaugural ANNIKA Invitational Australasia and T-4 at the 2019 Diamond Resorts ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex among her top finishes. Tavatanakit’s best result came at the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, when she shot a sizzling final-round 63 to take the crown.
Speaking of recent collegiate stars, two other noteworthy ANNIKA alumnae scheduled to compete are the only two, two-time winners of the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel: Ireland’s Leona Maguire and Mexico’s Maria Fassi. The ANNIKA alumnae rounding out the field are:
1. Nanna Madsen, Denmark
2. Celine Boutier, France
3. Gaby Lopez, Mexico
4. Emily Pedersen, Denmark
5. Madelene Sagstrom, Sweden
6. Stephanie Meadow, Ireland
7. Albane Valenzuela, Switzerland
8. Bianca Pagdanganan, Philippines
9. Aditi Ashok, India
10. Tiffany Chan, Hong Kong
11. Pia Babnik, Slovenia
12. Morgane Metraux, Switzerland
As president of the International Golf Federation, Annika will be there in person to cheer on all the competitors. She (and we!) can’t wait to watch the action unfold!