Lady Golfer: Five minutes with Annika SorenstamJune, 2013
The 10-time Major winner on Lydia Ko, being No1 and Lotta’s dream.
I don’t remember being 15 and playing in a Major and winning tournaments. I started playing at the age of 12. I ran into Lydia Ko in the lunch room, and she came up to me and she was so cute. She said, “I’m Lydia Ko”. I said “I know”. First of all, it said Lydia on her necklace. I said, “I’ve I seen you on TV”. She said, “You have?” I said, “Yeah. I admire what you’ve achieved.”
The LPGA Tour is very international. We’ve seen that the last 15, 20 years. Obviously with Se Ri Pak’s success we have seen a lot players from Asia. That’s a big deal. I would say they seem younger and a lot more professional. It seems like more of an entourage: coaches, physios, you name it. They’re very approachable. They’re good people, which is good for the game.
I’ve tried every sport there is. I grew up playing soccer, tennis and golf is one of the last sports I tried and one of the hardest things I tried.
I think that’s why I liked it so much. Every day it changes and conditions are different. I think that’s what attracted me to the game. I think as far as golf goes, it’s a tough sport. It’s a mental game. It’s not just about having a good swing. You’ve got to think right. You’ve got to have the mind in the right place.
Knowing Yani for a few years, it’s been fun to watch her. Obviously now with Stacy Lewis playing well and getting the No 1 spot, I think it’s terrific. It creates a little competition.
Europe has not had a chance to win on US soil so that’s always been the goal for every captain. I know most of the players want to be No 1, so they’re going to work harder and look up to the leader. I remember when I was in that spot I was proud of it, but it took a lot of hard work. It’s almost tougher to stay at the top than it is to get there.
To get there, you’re looking at somebody, you’re following somebody’s path, and you almost seem to know what to do. When you’re up there you’re alone and you have to find your own path. You have to be creative and innovative and think outside the box on how to stay there and work harder.
Europe has not had a chance to win on US soil so that’s always been the goal for every captain. Lotta is a terrific leader, with a lot of class and experience, and being a fellow Swede, I’m proud of what she has achieved. She was one of the players that opened our eyes for the tour. Winning the US Open in ‘88 was a big thing for us.