Haskins Commission creates Annika Award
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – There’s a new carrot in women’s college golf, and the reward is major. The Annika Award – presented by the Annika Foundation and Haskins Commission – will honor the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I golf. The winner receives an exemption into the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“We all want to encourage young girls to play the game, to stay in the game and to develop in the game,” said Sorenstam. ‘I think this is one way to do that.”
The prestigious Haskins Award, honoring the late Fred Haskins, has recognized the top player in men’s college golf the last 41 years. Winners of the Haskins Award include Ben Crenshaw and Phil Mickelson, both three-time winners, as well as Tiger Woods (1996), Luke Donald (1999) and Graeme McDowell (2002). This marks the first time there’s a female equivalent.
The award will be presented in the fall of 2014 at a soon-to-be-announced college tournament in Orlando, Fla. Golfweek is the official media partner of the Annika Award and will organize the college event.
Sorenstam, winner of the 1991 NCAA Championship, played college golf at Arizona and won seven tournaments. She turned pro in 1992, after finishing runner-up at the NCAAs. She was an eight-time LPGA Rolex Player of the Year and is the host of this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Sorenstam learned about golf in Arizona while playing alongside a Wildcat in a tournament in Japan. At that point, she’d only been to Miami and had to consult a map. When she arrived in Arizona the following August for the start of her freshman year, it was her first time in the desert. She got off the plane in 1990 with two suitcases; her roommate, Leta Lindley, showed up with a U-Haul.
“I didn’t look at any other schools,” Sorenstam said.
It worked out nicely.