Three years ago, The Memorial Tournament’s Captains Club announced the 2014 tournament would be played in honor of Annika Sorenstam, who at the time was 42 and the youngest to be named to the pantheon of the annual event at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Sorenstam told The Dispatch of her reaction to getting the word from tournament founder Jack Nicklaus. “ It was wonderful to get the call.”
But then, Sorenstam had to figure it would be coming sooner or later. She was not the ordinary superstar.
Before stepping away from competitive golf 4-1/2 ago years at age 37 after just 15 seasons, the native of Sweden accumulated 72 LPGA victories, including 10 majors, and another 17 wins worldwide. She won the Rolex Player of the Year award in the LPGA eight times, she won the Vare Trophy six times, and still is the only female player to top more than $20 million in career earnings.
“I would put it way up there,” Sorenstam said of the Memorial award. “I have been lucky to receive a few awards in my career, but this is one I would rank highly for many reasons. Especially if you look at all the previous winners, it gets you really excited that you can be part of that elite league.
“And then getting the call from Jack, and how he represents the game, being successful on the course and also outside the course and being a family man and so well respected,, this honor has many meanings.”