Swedish golf legend Annika Sorenstam claimed on Wednesday that her recent offer to join the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club had taken her by surprise and had been one of her best days ever.
Ten-time major champion and ninety-title winner overall, Sorenstam is the first LPGA professional to join the prestigious Augusta, Georgia-based golf club, home of the Masters since 1934.
Darla Moore, an investor, and Condoleezza Rice, a former U.S. secretary of state, were the first two women to wear the fabled green jackets of Augusta National in 2012. The club had been closed to women for years due to discrimination, but in 2012, it accepted its first female members.
“Well, what more can I say? “I’m incredibly honored,” Sorenstam told reporters before her namesake tournament on the LPGA Tour, which would take place in Belleair, Florida, the following week.
“I have to admit that I was surprised by it. And that was one of the happiest days of my golf career, so I was delighted.”
Speaking by teleconference alongside tennis legend Billie Jean King and pioneer of motor racing Lyn St. James, Sorenstam was promoting “Parity Week by Gainbridge,” an observance of the three greats of sports that revolve around activities scheduled for the next week.
“Parity Week by Gainbridge” includes the Women in Motorsports North America summit and the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Although Sorenstam, 53, is a member of one of the most influential clubs in golf, she said it was too soon to predict what impact she would have. Sorenstam was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
“It’s super new so I am a total rookie and I’m am just learning the ropes,” Sorenstam remarked.
“I am not really sure where this will lead but I am thrilled and excited about the opportunity not just to play the course but just to get to know the members.”
King has been transparent about the influence she believes Sorenstam may have at Augusta National, home of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which was introduced in 2019.
“I know they have the amateur girls but I want to see a (women’s) pro tournament and so anyway I hope that happens and I think you will make a big difference,” Sorenstam remarked to King.
“You stand for so much and people listen to you and appreciate you.”