Shenzhen, China: The seventh annual ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills will return to China next week (April 25-28).
Established in 2011, the tournament was the country’s first all-girls junior golf championship.
Defending overall winner Ho Yu-an of Taiwan is one of nearly 100 players aged between nine and 17 scheduled to compete.
The three lowest scorers from the 11-14 and 15-17 age divisions (combined) will receive exemptions to play in the 2018 ANNIKA Invitational USA, one of the American Junior Golf Association’s (AJGA) top events.
“We’re very proud of our partnership with Mission Hills and our Foundation’s role in establishing China’s first all-girls tournament,” said Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall-of-Famer and the 2017 Solheim Cup captain for Team Europe. “The improvement in overall quality of play since the inaugural event is eye-opening and speaks to the great strides being made to grow the game in this part of the world.”
Players will do battle for 54 holes on the resort’s Annika Course, the tournament namesake’s first design credit.
Opened in 2003, it showcases spectacular views of rolling terrain and mountains which rise more than 300 metres above the golf course.
It also features a rather unique routing, incorporating six par-threes, six par-fours and six par-fives, including back-to-back par-threes on the front nine and successive par-fives on the back.
Sorenstam will be onsite throughout tournament week. In addition to watching play each day, she will conduct a skills clinic and host a gala dinner.
Her charitable ANNIKA Foundation hosts four junior tournaments in addition to the ANNIKA Invitational Mission Hills – the ANNIKA Invitational USA, ANNIKA Invitational Europe (Sweden), ANNIKA Cup (Sweden) and ANNIKA Invitational Latin America (Argentina).