World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will head to South Africa in November to join Gary Player in a meeting of golf’s best in business and philanthropy at the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola at The Lost City Golf Course at Sun City.
The Swedish global superstar of women’s golf is the first player to be confirmed for the South African tournament in the Black Knight’s global charity series, which will take place at Sun City from 22 -25 November.
Sorenstam’s presence in the Gary Player Invitational (GPI) presented by Coca-Cola will be only her second tournament appearance in South Africa. The only other tournament she has played in South Africa was also at Sun City when she teamed up with Liselotte Neumann to win the 2006 Women’s World Cup of Golf for Sweden.
‘I’m thrilled to be invited by Gary, to be playing in the GPI and to be coming back to South Africa with my family,’ said Sorenstam, who hung up her clubs and retired from active tournament golf a decade ago.
Both share a strong desire to give back. The Player Foundation has to date raised more than $64-million for charity with the goal of reaching $100-million by 2025, while The Annika Foundation supports junior girls golf with six tournaments around the world and more than 500 girls moving through the programme every year.
‘I am so happy to have Annika in our field and supporting our cause to raise funds for our South African charities,’ said Player.
‘Annika is a true legend of the game who has a strong desire to give back. Her success in golf and business is such a great example of the power of women making a difference in their respective fields, and it aligns perfectly with our own commitment to the empowerment of women.’
Sorenstam’s presence in the field of this charity pro-am brings two of the biggest names in the game together with a combined 28 Majors between them as well as 249 tournament victories worldwide.
‘It is an incredible honour to be part of Mr Player’s charity series and to help in any way I can to meet the goals he has set for The Player Foundation. He was certainly an inspirational figure throughout my career, particularly when I realised that as golfers we should be exercising and training like athletes and which is something he pioneered. It’s going to be really special playing in a tournament with him for such a good cause.’
The GPI presented by Coca-Cola is the final on the annual series of global Gary Player Invitational tournaments played in Abu Dhabi, London, New York and Shanghai all with the purpose of raising funds to bring hope, help, and healing in those cities and countries.