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Hall of Famer Sorenstam Becomes PGA of America Member


Ten-time LPGA major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam has joined the PGA of America as a member of the North Florida PGA Section.

Sorenstam, who has lifetime eligibility to become a PGA member based on her major championship victories and participation in the Solheim Cup, was elected to PGA membership on April 19.

Sorenstam's decision to pursue PGA membership is part of her passion for growing the game and promoting the health and wellness benefits of golf. She follows many other current and former PGA and LPGA Tour players who have opted into PGA membership.

As a member, Sorenstam will participate with both the section and Sheila Johnson, owner of Reunion Resort in Orlando (which houses the ANNIKA Academy), on special events and future projects. At a press conference in late April at Reunion, the North Florida PGA Section announced it is also relocating its headquarters to the resort by June 3.

"I am excited to elevate my relationship with the North Florida PGA Section and its 1,500 professionals, who work so diligently to promote and teach the game," said Sorenstam, a resident of the Orlando area.

"Since my playing days, I have dedicated myself to growing the game through my ANNIKA Academy and Foundation. Now, this relationship with the section and Reunion Resort presents a new path to help expand the game to even greater heights."

In recent years, Sorenstam has appeared on behalf of the North Florida PGA Section at several Golfest events across the region, including Orlando and Tampa. The section and Sorenstam share a common interest in growing, enhancing and improving the game, and they are currently formulating plans to promote future endeavors, including junior golf development, diversity and women's golf.

"The PGA of America is delighted to welcome Annika Sorenstam to the ranks of PGA membership," said PGA president Ted Bishop. "Annika's commitment to giving back to the game has been evident for years, and I am very pleased that the North Florida PGA Section has developed and nurtured such a strong working relationship with her. Annika is truly one of golf's great ambassadors and trendsetters."

"Annika Sorenstam is such an iconic figure in golf," said Rich Smith, executive director and CEO of the North Florida PGA Section. "We are so proud that she has become a member of The PGA of America and the North Florida PGA Section, and we are excited about the opportunity we have to work with Annika to grow our game."

Under the PGA Constitution and Bylaws, current exempt playing professionals on the LPGA, PGA and Champions Tours; past major Championship winners; and participants in national team events, such as the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, are eligible to become PGA members.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan remarked about Sorenstam's choice to carry membership in the two associations. "The LPGA congratulates Annika on her decision to also become a PGA member. We are pleased that she will carry dual membership in both the LPGA and the PGA of America, in order to continue her long-term commitment to expand the reach of the game of golf."

A native of Sweden, Sorenstam has been an LPGA member since she joined the Tour in 1994, when she was named LPGA Rookie of the Year. During her career, she won 89 events worldwide and made history when she played in the 2003 Colonial, becoming the first woman golfer to appear in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. Considered one of the greatest women's golfers of all time, Sorenstam stepped away from the game in 2008, to pursue a family and also expand her business and charitable interests.

The above report is courtesy of the PGA of America. For more information, visit www.pga.com.