ORLANDO, Fla. – When Annika Sorenstam made the decision to compete at the Gainbridge LPGA in preparation for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open this summer, there was just one caveat: Her participation in the major championship would be schedule permitting.
Sorenstam was elected president of the International Golf Federation in December, a role that oversees golf’s involvement in the Olympics. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Olympics were postponed from 2020 to 2021, which further added to what was already a jam-packed golf schedule.
The Summer Olympics will be held July 23-Aug. 8 in Tokyo. The U.S. Senior Women’s Open, in which Sorenstam is still hoping to play, will be held during that same time, on July 29-Aug. 1, though it's unknown yet whether that overlaps with any golf competition in Tokyo. The national championship was rescheduled from its original date at the end of August due to a conflict with the AIG Women’s Open.
Sorenstam says Antony Scanlon, the executive director of the IGF, has been supportive of her desire to play in the Senior Women's Open despite the scheduling conflict.
“Of course you're playing. We love having an active president,” Scanlon said to Sorenstam, according to Sorenstam, who added: “We're still working out the details.”
Sorenstam says a trip to Japan will be necessary at some point, depending on the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she’s optimistic she’ll still be able to compete in the Senior Women’s Open while also maintaining her responsibilities to the IGF. She turned 50 last October, making her eligible to compete this year at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Connecticut.
In 2020, the championship was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They know that I take my role very seriously and I'm going to do the very best I can. It's also been very helpful to be around players, to be among the potential candidates, whether it's the U.S. or Mexico or Sweden,” Sorenstam said. “I've been able to talk to them about the things that I know and what they have to look forward to, or just some of the things that kind of are on my mind or concerns.”