The GOAT of women’s golf is back playing in her first major LPGA tournament in 13 years — but has the long layoff unjustly lowered expectations?
On Thursday, Annika Sorenstam shot a 3-over 74 in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
The 51-year-old had retired in 2008 after 72 LPGA Tour wins, including 10 majors. Now, she’s arguably the biggest name in a field playing for the largest purse in LPGA history — $10 million, with $1.8M to the winner — and despite any expected rust, she can’t be counted out.
- She’s a three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner, including 1996 at Pine Needles.
- Sorenstam is the LPGA’s all-time money leader with $22.6M.
- The Swede is a record eight-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year.
After making her comeback on the senior circuit, Sorenstam qualified for the Open with an eight-shot victory in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
Now, she’s in a field where she’s twice the average age of the other golfers.
Despite her credentials, Sorenstam remains a wild long shot (+30,000) to win the Open.