Last week was only the 3rd installment of the Women’s Senior U.S. Open, but it felt just like old times. Annika Sorenstam returned to the game she dominated for so many years, and dominated yet again. She cleared the field by 8 strokes at Brooklawn Country Club and won her first major in 15 years, and competed professionally for the first time in 13 years. Annika stepped away from the game in her mid-30’s. She wanted to be a mom, a wife, and an entrepreneur. She didn’t exactly board up the windows and doors. She remained close to the game but always said she’d like to return to playing when she turned 50, especially because her kids have never seen her play at that level. Will, who’s 11, is crazy about golf. He and sister Ava greeted mom on the 7th hole Sunday. Mom then birdied the next 3 holes. This is a different Annika, or is it?
While this was all new, it was all still much of the same. A player who hadn’t competed at the professional level in 13 years was the favorite to win, yet it was still sort of surreal. “It was kind of different,” said Laura Davies, “but it’s still the same Annika isn’t it? She beat the hell out of us. The over 50 women’s circuit is a newer venture, so this major win definitely had more of an intimate feel. There were no spectator ropes and Annika interacted with her playing partners and fans in a way she never had in her prime. Much like the newer version of Tiger we got to see the last couple of years.
Long time caddie and husband, Mike McGee, got a little teary eyed after his wife drained a birdie on 10 to stretch her lead to 8. “None of that yet, “ Annika said to him, “We still have work to do.” This victory gives Sorenstam an exemption into next year’s US Women’s Open at Pine Needles, the site of her 1996 victory. While she wouldn’t commit to playing right on the spot, we know she’ll be there. And it will be a treat every time the 72-time winner tees it up from here on out. Golf provides an opportunity to allow our heroes to perform and showcase their gifts well beyond the time-frame other sports present. Let’s make sure we enjoy it, embrace it, and never, ever, take it for granted.
Annika Sorenstam has been a Callaway Brand Ambassador for her entire hall of fame career. Let’s take a look at what she wielded around Brooklawn to capture the US Senior Women’s Open.
Driver – Callaway Epic Speed 9°, Fujikura Ventus Red 5R
3-Wood – Callaway Epic Speed 15°, Fujikura Ventus Red 6R
5-Wood – Callaway Epic Speed 18°, Fujikura Ventus Red 7R
Hybrid – Callaway MAVRIK 20°, Project X Catalyst 5.5 65
Irons – Callaway Apex ’21, 5-PW, Nippon NS Pro 950GH R
Wedges – Callaway Jaws MD5, 48°, 54°, 58°, Nippon NS Pro 950GH R
Putter – Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie
Ball – Callaway Chrome Soft X
Enjoy the game and each other,
Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional