‘More Than Golf’ Program from LPGA Star Danielle Kang Headlines Week’s Off-Course Festivities
The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – will welcome five of the AJGA’s Top-10 players to Orlando’s Eagle Creek Golf Club from January 14-17 for the Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex.
The AJGA’s No.1-ranked player, Gianna Clemente from Estero, Florida, headlines one of the tournament’s strongest fields in its 15-year history. Other top-10 players scheduled to compete are defending champion and No.3-ranked Yanna Wilson (Henderson, Nevada), No. 4 Rianne Malixi (San Bernardino, California), sixth-ranked and 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion Anna Davis (Spring Valley, California) and No. 10 Alice Ziyi Zhao (Irvine, California). All told, the 72-player field features three former ANNIKA Invitational champions (Wilson, Avery Zweig and Francesca Fiorellini), 30 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 50 past AJGA champions.
The winner of the tournament will receive coveted points toward the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and Rolex AJGA Rankings. Also up for grabs is a spot in the January 18 pro-am at the season-opening LPGA event, the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, with a low-gross performance being rewarded with a spot in the tournament itself.
To complete a special week, Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions reigning champion Danielle Kang will be the keynote speaker for the tournament’s “More Than Golf” program at Boxi Park.
“Our impressive field features 20 players who’ve already committed to a Division I golf program,” says Annika. “I’m excited to spend time with all the girls and know they’re going to really enjoy the opportunity to hear from Danielle, who’ll inspire with stories about her experiences playing at Pepperdine and on the LPGA Tour.”
The ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to growing the game of golf around the world. In addition to the Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex, it hosts five other girls-only events: the ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup (Sweden), ANNIKA Invitational Mission Hills (China), ANNIKA Invitational Australasia (New Zealand) and the Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship presented by The R&A and ANNIKA Foundation (Argentina).
They are complemented by the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a 12-team college tournament, and the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel, which is annually bestowed to the most outstanding female NCAA Division I golfer. The Foundation will also be the main beneficiary of The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, a new tournament tradition that will begin on the LPGA Tour November 6-12, 2023.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 102 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards. Three of the five 2021 major champions – Patty Tavatanakit, Yuka Saso and Nelly Korda – are ANNIKA alumnae. Many other alumnae are taking lessons learned from their years on the course and making an impact across a wide spectrum of professions including the financial services, aerospace and entertainment industries.