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Past participants of ANNIKA Foundation events and golf industry leaders share stories of their experiences with Annika and the Foundation and how the game of golf has impacted their lives.

Brynn Walker Collins.jpg
Louise Rydqvist.jpg
Kalen Anderson.jpg
Andrea Gaston.jpg
Mark Lawrie.jpg
Lauren Walsh.jpg
Beatrice Wallin.jpg
Rachel Heck.jpg
Andrea Lee.jpg
Yana Wilson.jpg
Valentina Rossi.jpg
Lydia Choi.jpg
Grace Kim.jpg
Virgina Elena Carta.jpg
Jessica Vasilic.jpg
Anna Zanusso.jpg
Somin Lee.jpg
Avery Zweig.jpg
Doris Chen.jpg
Benedetta Moresco.jpg
Gina Kim.jpg
Elizabeth Doty.jpg
Rachel Dai.jpg
Danielle Kang.jpg
Ainhoa Olarra.jpg
Augustina Gomez Cisterna.jpg
Nora Sundberg.jpg
Kaiyuree Moodley.jpg
Cristina Ochoa.jpg
Anne Normann.jpg
Shannon Aubert.jpg
Yealimi Noh.jpg
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Avery Zweig

2021 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Champion

“The ANNIKA Foundation is really good about obviously supporting junior golf and hosting tournaments, but also empowering women to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, which is really important and goes very well with Annika and being a very successful athlete and person. What they do is incredibly inspiring.”
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Doris Chen

2011 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | Epson Tour

“I loved watching Annika on TV and was stunned when I saw her for the first time in person. She was so nice and approachable and didn’t act like I ‘expected’ the best player in the world to act. I really appreciated Annika speaking with us and sharing tips like how she went through her pre-shot routine; not a lot of golfers like to give away their secrets!”
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Benedetta Moresco

2020 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Champion | University of Alabama Golf 

“When I saw the leaderboard for the second day, I started to think “Wow, tomorrow it’s going to be interesting!” I was a little nervous at the beginning, it put some pressure on me the night before. On the first tee I was excited, and I knew the reason why I was there: to play against the course and my limits. Winning the tournament, my first AGJA event ever, meant a lot to me because I saw a real improvement in me; I passed my limits and I knew more about myself. Winning Annika’s event has been unforgettable!”
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Jessica Vasilic

2013 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | University of Arizona Golf Alum

“Annika’s tournaments were an especially big deal to me. My family back in Sweden was so proud I was playing in events that had Annika’s name on them. She’s a national sports hero there, so it opened their eyes to how serious I was about golf.”
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Anna Zanusso

2018 ANNIKA Invitational Europe Champion | University

of Denver Golf

“The ANNIKA Invitational Europe is my favorite event I’ve played in so far. I’ve played it three times and it is always perfectly organized, with many volunteers that help you with transportation. The best part is Annika’s clinic. I’ve learned so many things about her career and about how to prepare for a tournament thanks to her advice.”
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Somin Lee

2014 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | Pepperdine University Golf Alum

“It was a ‘whoa’ moment; I was in awe listening to her clinic. I loved meeting her and getting to take pictures with a golf legend. I was so moved by the whole experience that I handmade her a thank you card after the tournament was over. It was an amazing experience.”
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Lydia Choi

2015 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | University of California, Los Angeles Golf Alum

“I played in many ANNIKA Foundation events, and a valuable lesson she taught me was the importance of nutrition. Annika changed the way women golfers viewed training. She emphasized that food is fuel and what we put into our bodies affects our mood and energy. The ANNIKA tournaments always provided healthier player meals than the others. I took a lot of what she taught to heart and made great strides in my fitness journey.”
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Grace Kim

2018 ANNIKA Australasia Champion | LPGA Tour

“Shooting my personal-best of 10-under-par WITH the legend, Annika, watching me on the last hole and giving me a hug and saying “great round” as I walked off 18 is one of my favorite memories of playing golf. I still cannot get over how good the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia was set up for us. It was at an awesome golf course. The volunteers made it so much easier for us, we had fans there and watching us online, the clinics and seminars that were provided for us were good; it was just awesome.”
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Virginia Elena Carta

2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | Ladies European Tour

“I’ve always admired Annika and I’m so lucky to have her as a mentor. I actually first saw her at the 2008 Women’s British Open when I walked by her, and I remember I couldn’t believe it was her. When I talk to her now, I still ask her so many questions. She has so much great advice to share and represents so many values that aren’t related to golf. And many of the tips I picked up from her during the skills clinics at the various Foundation events I played in I still use to this day.”
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Gina Kim

2021 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | LPGA Tour

“The ANNIKA Foundation events have been a huge tremendous influence in my golf career and also in my life in general. Being able to play with some of the best in the country and in the world really has tested my game and pushed it to its limits and I’ve learned a lot from that.”
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Elizabeth Doty

2014 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | University of Southern California Golf Alum

“It was so exciting to meet Annika. I remember her introducing herself to me and a group of other girls on the practice tee, saying ‘Hi, I’m Annika’ just like a regular person. She was so personable and down-to-earth. It was cold and windy at that event and I didn’t play so well, but it was still an awesome experience. The level of competition with all the international players was especially eye-opening.”
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Rachel Dai

2014 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | University of Pennsylvania Golf Alum

“The range workshops were conducted in such an intimate setting. I remember Annika talking about the importance of practicing efficiently with purpose and sharing memories from her childhood about how her dad had told her that she needed to make every minute count when practicing. Here was one of golf’s greatest standing before me, just casually dishing out her secrets of success to a group of young teenage girls – her approachable, down-to-earth energy really stuck with me.”
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Yana Wilson

2022 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Champion

“One of the things that I struggle with as a player is probably my mental game and I feel like Annika helps me a lot because I know she’s a very mentally strong player and she can keep her emotions even keel. I would like to be the best golfer in the world and the best female of all time, so that’s also how Annika inspires me.”
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Abbey Carlson

2016 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | Vanderbilt Golf Alum

“Annika was pretty much the person I wanted to be when I grew up – in fact, in third grade, I did an entire school project on Annika and her life. I also loved the ‘More Than Golf’ aspect of her events – the clinics with Annika, the gala dinners and social events. It was a much more well-rounded experience than other tournaments. And although I had some up and down results, finishing T-5 my senior year of high school was a definite highlight.”
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Valentina Rossi

2022 Women's Amateur Latin America Champion | Michigan State Golf

“I have a lot of memories from that week (2022 Women's Amateur Latin America). It was a very special week. I think the best one is the final hole. The final part was really special to me. All my family was there, all the team from Argentina, Annika was there. So I think it’s a very cool memory.”
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Nora Sundberg

2018 ANNIKA Cup Participant | 2019 ANNIKA Invitational Europe Participant

“The ANNIKA Foundation hosts tournaments and tries to encourage girls to play golf and to do more than just golf, like hanging out with friends and having a healthy lifestyle. I participate in the ANNIKA Foundation tournaments because I think they are very good tournaments and it’s very fun to meet Annika and see how she plays golf and hear her talk about golf. My favorite things about playing in a tournament is testing my skills, feeling nervous, playing golf, and meeting other people at the tournaments. Annika is a big inspiration and a hero. I think she does so much for women and girl’s golf.”
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Kaiyuree Moodley

2019 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | University of North Carolina at Charlotte Golf 

“I have played in many international tournaments over the years but the 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina and the 11th-annual ANNIKA Invitational in Florida are two of my very best so far! The ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex was very special to me because of the friends I made. Even though the competition was tough, we still walked away smiling with strong bonds among us. That is really unique.”
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Cristina Ochoa

2018 ANNIKA Invitational Latin America Champion | University of California, Berkeley Golf

“The ANNIKA Invitational Latin America (now known as the Women’s Amateur Latin America) has a great balance between golf and socializing. I learned a lot, not only about myself, but from others, too, and Annika, of course. I also met a lot of new people which I think is the most important part of the game. I had never been in a tournament in which I felt almost like a pro, with the cameras, the leaderboards, the perfect state of the course and such a great field of players, so I think this one was my favorite because it was a totally new experience. Besides, I had never been to Argentina and it fulfilled every big expectation I had of it.”
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Danielle Kang

2009 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | LPGA Tour

“When I went to the ANNIKA Invitational, I sat in the first row, and I saw Annika Sorenstam for the first time in my life and I was so excited. I didn’t want to be called on and then she called on me to do a little interview. That stuck with me for the rest of my life because I want to be able to stand up in front of a crowd and explain why I’m here and how I got here.”
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Ainhoa Olarra

2017 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | University of South Carolina Golf Alum

“She’s always carried herself with humility and passion – it’s a tough balance to strike, but she does it. And even if I’d seen her do her clinic the previous year, there were always new things to learn.”
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Agustina Gomez Cisterna

2016 ANNIKA Invitational Latin America Champion | Louisville Golf

“I think that having the opportunity to be with such a legend like Annika is something great and getting advice that she gives during the clinics is just amazing. To feel like she’s just my friend like I can talk to her as if I’m talking to someone that I've known for a long time.”
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Brynn Collins (Walker)

2016 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Golf Alum

“I have idolized the way Annika plays the game, the records she has broken, and now the way she gives back to the next generation. I was blown away by her poise, her confidence, and her ability to connect with us. For my first Annika Invitational, the week was filled with different activities from a clinic with Annika, an awards dinner, a session with a sports psychologist, and a little hula dancing with the Hall of Famer. It was the event I looked forward to every year. I am thankful for the impact Annika has had on my life and the opportunities she’s forged for young dreamers like myself. I dream one day I will have mastered the game of golf like Annika, but more importantly, inspired others the way she has inspired me.”
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Louise Rydqvist

2023 ANNIKA Intercollegiate Individual Co-Medalist / South Carolina University Golf

“Growing up in Sweden, Annika has been one of my biggest role models since a young age, not only because of her legendary golf career but also for how she has developed women’s golf. Winning the ANNIKA Intercollegiate as a team and individually is something I’ve dreamed of and I feel incredibly honored to have been exempted into The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican.”
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Kalen Anderson

South Carolina University Head Coach

"The Annika Foundation provides young women with first-class tournament environments at the highest level of competition, while also placing importance on providing an experience much larger than golf. The extraordinary opportunities that the Annika Foundation continues to create for young women to grow, both personally and athletically, within the game of golf is unprecedented. Offering a collegiate golfer the opportunity to earn an exemption spot into The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican is yet another example of the significant impacts that Annika and her Foundation make on women’s golf worldwide."
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Anne Normann

2019 ANNIKA Invitational Europe Participant | University of Houston Golf 

“I’ve played the ANNIKA Invitational Europe the past two years and I think it’s great. I love the seminars and dinners and the clinic - it’s very social and while you have a lot of fun, you also learn a thing or two.”
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Shannon Aubert

2017 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant | Stanford University Golf Alum

“The clinics from Annika were always fun. I still remember her talking to us about the ‘think box’ and the ‘play box’ technique she used to help her focus on each and every shot.”
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Yealimi Noh

Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Participant | LPGA Tour

“The ANNIKA Invitational (Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational Presented by Rolex) is one of the best junior events of the year. Being able to interact and ask questions with a legend like Annika is so amazing and inspiring. The clinic was definitely my favorite part of the event, especially gathering enough courage to go out and hit balls with Annika will be a memory I will cherish.”
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Andrea Gaston

Former Head Coach of Texas A&M University

“Annika wants other young women to know what it takes and have the confidence and believe in themselves that they can achieve at that level too. But she’s so approachable, and again with her wanting to be there and give back to all these different young ladies from around the world and to teach them what she’s learned over the years to me is one of the shining examples of her sharing her passion and giving it back.”
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Mark Lawrie

Director of Latin America, The R&A

“Putting together the R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation has gelled into a very positive force that is influencing what these girls do presently and certainly projects very potently into their future.”
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Lauren Walsh

2023 ANNIKA Development Program Ambassador / Wake Forest University Golf Alum

“Annika has been so successful and probably the greatest player to ever play. The time that she gives back to the game and everything she does around the game is so special and so important to keep in mind. It's easy when golf is your job to get consumed in all of that. But she still found a way to give back to the game. That's really cool and something that is inspiring to me.”
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Beatrice Wallin

2018 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by Rolex Participant | Florida State University Golf Alum

“My favorite golfer is Annika, of course. She is such an awesome golfer, and she is giving back so much to young golfers like me. My biggest role model is Annika, for everything she has accomplished in her golf career, and because she always gives back to younger girls.”
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Rachel Heck

2021 ANNIKA Award Winner | Stanford University Golf

“I’ve learned that the happiness that comes from winning is very fleeting, but the happiness that comes from just being healthy and being surrounded by people I love, doing what I love, that’s the good stuff.”
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Andrea Lee

2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M Participant / LPGA Tour

“My biggest role model is Annika. She is one of the most iconic female golfers in history and has achieved so much during her career both on and off the golf course. She has continuously been committed to supporting junior and collegiate golf, and I admire her love for growing the game.”
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