Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam to Host Tampa Bay’s Signature LPGA Tour Event Beginning in 2023
‘THE ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican’
Taking place at Pelican Golf Club in the Fall of 2023, ‘THE ANNIKA’ Becomes Sole Namesake Event on the LPGA Tour
BELLEAIR, Fla., Sept. 13, 2022 – The LPGA Tour and the Pelican Women’s Championship announced today that Annika Sorenstam, one of the most decorated golfers in history, will become tournament host for Tampa Bay’s signature LPGA Tour event, beginning in 2023. In collaboration with LPGA Tour tournament partners Gainbridge and Pelican Golf Club, THE ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican will take place in November 2023 as the penultimate event of the LPGA Tour season.
“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. “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.”
“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. “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.”
“Pelican Golf Club is committed to offering a best-in-class experience for players and fans alike. Having a global icon in Annika team up with Gainbridge and us to elevate our great championship is a win for women’s sports,” said Dan Doyle Jr, owner of Pelican Golf Club. “I’m incredibly excited about what the future holds for THE ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, and we look forward to further building our relationship with the LPGA Tour and the best players in the game.”
“Teamwork and partnership are at the core of the LPGA’s mission. Annika, Gainbridge and Pelican Golf Club have all played important roles in the history of the LPGA. Together, these three gamechangers will undoubtedly create a championship that is representative of the world-class talent of our players and will serve as a great example of the power of collective commitment and excellence,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, LPGA Commissioner. “We look forward to this championship continuing to raise the bar and elevate the LPGA to new heights.”
The overall purse increase for the 2023 event, along with additional tournament details, will be announced during the week of the 2022 Pelican Women’s Championship, taking place Nov. 7-13 at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla.
During her 15-year Hall-of-Fame career, Annika rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, and amassed over 90 worldwide wins, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships. She won a record eight Rolex Player of the Year awards, was the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA TOUR, the only LPGA player to shoot 59, and is still the LPGA’s all-time money leader with over $22 million in earnings.
For the past three years, Gainbridge has served as title sponsor for LPGA events contested at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2020 and 2022 and at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando in 2021. Lydia Ko captured her 17th LPGA Tour victory at the 2022 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. Annika returned to the LPGA Tour for the first time in 13 years at the 2021 Gainbridge LPGA, contested at her home course at Lake Nona. Prior to the Gainbridge LPGA, Gainbridge served as the sponsor for the LPGA Tour’s Indy in Tech Championship in Indianapolis from 2017-2019.
Pelican Golf Club has hosted The Pelican Women’s Championship since 2020. The 2021 Pelican Women’s Championship was contested in November with fans in attendance for the first time. Nelly Korda defeated Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and defending champion Sei Young Kim on the first playoff hole to capture her fourth victory in 2021 and seventh overall. The Pelican Women’s Championship made its debut in 2020, with Kim capturing her 12th LPGA Tour victory.
The 2022 Pelican Women’s Championship will feature a 120-player field competing for a share of a $2 million purse. The event will be the final full-field event for the 2022 LPGA Tour season.
For more information on the Pelican Women’s Championship, visit PelicanLPGA.com and on social media: @PelicanLPGA on Twitter, @PelicanLPGA on Instagram and Pelican Women's Championship on Facebook.