Hamilton, Ontario – The ANNIKA Foundation, golf Hall-of-famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization has announced a three-year deal to host a qualifier in Canada for its ANNIKA Invitational series of girls-only golf tournaments.
The inaugural ANNIKA Challenge, hosted by the Hamilton-Halton Junior Golf Tour, will take place Aug. 29-31, 2022 on the Battlefield Course at Legends on the Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A field of 84, U-19 girls from across Canada will compete over a 2-day, 36-hole competition with the age eligible top finisher receiving an exemption into the 2023 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational, presented by Rolex in January 2023 conducted by the AJGA in Orlando, Florida U.S.A. The second and third, age eligible finishers, will earn spots in the 2023 ANNIKA Invitational Europe in June 2023 in Sweden.
“We’re honoured to head north of the border and bring our ANNIKA Invitational tournament series to yet another country,” says Annika, the winner of the 2001 Canadian Women’s Open. “I know that Canada has one of the highest golf participation rates in the world, so we’re excited to connect with the country’s best girls and tap into that strong passion for golf.”
As with all ANNIKA Foundation events, an off-course component will be incorporated as well. Activities highlighting the Foundation’s “More Than Golf” mantra will include a gala dinner, special guest engagement, nutritional and exercise advice, and more.
The tournament will be conducted by Great Lakes Golf Tour Ltd which has been the top developmental tour in Canada for 20 years.
The ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to growing the game of golf around the world. Since its inaugural tournament – 2009 ANNIKA Invitational – to date, 87 ANNIKA event alum received their LPGA tour membership; in 2021, there were 3 ANNIKA alum LPGA major champions; 146 ANNIKA alum have status on the Epson Tour; and over 650 ANNIKA alum have gone on to play NCAA Division 1 golf.
In addition to the ANNIKA Invitational and ANNIKA Invitational Europe, it hosts four other annual jr. girls-only invitationals and the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, attracting top NCAA women’s golf programs.