April 16, 2021, 3:10

Annika Sorenstam looking forward to returning to LPGA Tour after 13-year absence at Lake Nona

Annika Sorenstam looking forward to returning to LPGA Tour after 13-year absence at Lake Nona

Annika Sorenstam is making a long-awaited LPGA Tour return at the Gainbridge LPGA

Annika Sorenstam has set herself low expectations ahead of making her first official appearance on the LPGA Tour in 13 years at the Gainbridge LPGA.

Sorenstam retired from the professional game in 2008 to start a family and expand her business opportunities, having won 10 major titles and 72 LPGA Tour events during her impressive career.

The Swede appeared in the PNC Championship in December and competed under the celebrity division in the LPGA Tour’s season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January, although last featured in an official event at the 2008 ADT Championship.

Annika Sorenstam plays alongside defending champion Madelene Sagstrom and fellow Swede Anna Nordqvist for the first two rounds

Sorenstam has set her sights on making her US Senior Women’s Open debut this summer, having turned 50 in October, although admits that a full-time comeback is a long way from her thoughts.

“When you get older you have some other priorities in your life, and mine is to be a mother and a wife and businesswoman,” Sorenstam said ahead of the event. “Competing competitively is not my main priority, so finding that switch and just kind of turning it on, it’s not as easy as I thought.

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“I’ve been away for 13 years. A lot of things have happened. I don’t have the hunger that I did, I’m not chomping at the bit like I used to. I’m just excited to be out here and be playing and swinging the club.

“My priorities and also my expectations are nowhere where they need to be, but I’m trying with what I have and I’m looking forward to being part of this and looking forward to the summer and playing in the Senior Women’s Open. We’ll see how that goes.”

The tournament switched from its inaugural location in Boca Raton to Lake Nona, venue of the first Solheim Cup in 1990 and Sorenstam’s home course, with the move playing a major part in her decision to play.

“I have no other plans [to play other events],” Sorenstam added. “If it wasn’t Lake Nona, I wouldn’t be here. I’m in a different place in my life. LPGA has a huge part in my life, in my heart and wonderful memories, but that’s not why I’m here, to create more.

“But, again, I take my golf seriously. When I do play later in the summer I went want to feel like I can compete, I can go out there and post some reasonable scores. To do that, you have to get back inside the ropes.”

Watch the Gainbridge LPGA throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 7.30pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf and via the Sky Sports Golf YouTube channel.

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Source: skysports.com

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