SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Annika Sorenstam stood on the third tee on the U.S. Girls’s Open, signaling to 12-year-old daughter Ava and 11-year-old son Will behind the ropes to drink some water and maintain hydrated.
Just some holes later, she reminded them to reapply sunscreen.
These aren’t duties Sorenstam wanted to care for whereas worthwhile three U.S. Girls’s Open titles, along with in 1996 proper right here at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Membership.
“There have been loads of concepts transferring into my head,” Sorenstam talked about with amusing Thursday. “Yeah, usually I get considerably distracted. There was just some holes I’m like, ‘The place did Will go? Is he OK? Is he climbing some tree someplace?'”
She added: “After which it’s like, ‘OK, set off, now you must play, you must hit a hybrid.’ That’s merely form of the best way through which it is now.”
For a fast second, it appeared like Sorenstam might pull off a Phil Mickelson and swap once more the clock at a critical.
The 51-year-old Sorenstam — who started play on No. 9 — was even par through 13 holes sooner than bogeying three of her final 5 for a 3-over 74 on Thursday, leaving her vulnerable to missing the decrease. The very best 60 players, plus ties, make the decrease.
There was a time when that score may have upset her. Today have prolonged since handed.
This was further of a celebratory stroll down memory lane for Sorenstam, who hasn’t carried out inside the U.S. Open since 2008, when she walked away from the game.
“Considered one of many causes I’m proper right here, [my kids] want me to play and we’re doing this collectively,” talked about Sorenstam, who earned her methodology into the occasion by worthwhile last 12 months’s U.S. Girls’s Senior Open.
The eight-time LPGA Participant of the 12 months appeared to cherish every second.
After starting on the ninth hole, she made the flip at 1 over and walked to the No. 1 tee. She had a chance to cuddle up with Will, smothering him with hugs and kisses on the head sooner than blasting a driver down the middle. She hit an technique shot to 5 toes and made the birdie putt, drawing a rousing ovation from the gang.
A spectator talked about to her husband and caddie, Mike McGee, “That was a heck of a birdie.”
“Yeah, pretty wasn’t it?” he replied with a smile.
After teeing off on the next hole, Sorenstam reapplied her private sunscreen after which began jogging down the golf inexperienced to satisfy up with the rest of her having fun with group when a occasion volunteer in a purple shirt shouted, “Take your time — don’t harm your self.”
Sorenstam appeared once more and laughed, then slowed to a brisk stroll.
Sorenstam’s drives have been loads shorter than these of her having fun with affiliate, Ingrid Lindblad, one different Swedish participant who set a U.S. Girls’s Open novice doc with an opening-round 6-under 65. Sorenstam admits that’s one factor that has taken some getting used to.
Nonetheless she is conscious of that’s merely part of getting older.
“I suggest, I’m way more content material materials in my life,” Sorenstam talked about. “My having fun with days are over. I’m not proper right here to create a model new career or start one factor new and make a mark for myself. I’m further proper right here to take pleasure in what I’ve carried out and luxuriate in being invited to return again proper right here and play and form of share it with my relations. I imagine that’s further the attitude I’ve. … I don’t get as mad as I used to. I form of bounce it off.”
As she walked up the 18th hole, she admitted getting considerably teary-eyed after receiving a standing ovation from the gang.
American Lexi Thompson, who was inside the group ahead of Sorenstam, referred to as her an superior operate model for young women.
“It’s merely an amazing accomplishment what she’s carried out for the game on the entire on and off the golf course,” Thompson talked about.
Like most dad and mother, Sorenstam’s finest pleasure is watching her children do properly.
On Wednesday, Will aced the No. 5 hole and shot 24 on The Cradle, a nine-hole par-3 course at shut by Pinehurst.
“I’ve heard it pretty a bit,” she talked about with amusing. “He made it from 50 yards, and it was so neat. I suggest, we referred to as him ‘Ace’ last night. That was his nickname, and every time we talked about ‘Ace,’ he lit up.”
By the use of her Annika Academy and the Annika Invitational, Sorenstam has gotten close to numerous the golfers on the LPGA Tour. And he or she takes good pleasure in watching them play properly.
Nonetheless make little query about it, whereas Sorenstam has no illusions of worthwhile, she would moreover love to remain spherical and play on the weekend. She has a late tee time Friday and joked that she’ll almost definitely should take Will to play The Cradle as soon as extra sooner than her spherical.
“I’m clearly not going to aim to go away one thing available on the market,” she talked about. “I’ve nothing to lose.”