Golfer Annika Sorenstam: Biography and Career Facts

Annika Sorenstam with the trophy after winning the 2001 Kraft Nabisco Championship
Annika Sorenstam after winning the 2001 Kraft Nabisco Championship (and after doing the celebratory leap into the pond, hence the robe). Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Annika Sorenstam might be the best female golfer of all-time; if she isn't No. 1, she's very close. She won 10 majors on the LPGA Tour in the 1990s and early 2000-aughts, and more than 70 LPGA tournaments total.

About Annika Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam is one of the greatest female golfers ever - many would say she's the best ever. Combining a cool efficiency with a passionate desire to win, Sorenstam was among the best players on Tour from her debut in the mid-1990s through the remainder of the decade. But as the century turned, Sorenstam went on a run of success that rivals or surpasses anything else ever seen on the LPGA Tour.

Sorenstam preferred tennis in her childhood but took up golf at age 12. She quickly became good enough to start winning but was very shy. She's said that she sometimes blew shots in order to finish second and avoid having to talk to anyone after a win.

Sorenstam attended the University of Arizona where she was a two-time All-America selection and co-player of the year in 1991. She won the 1991 NCAA Championship and the 1992 World Amateur Championship.

Sorenstam turned pro in 1993 and was Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour. She moved up to the LPGA in 1994 and, although she didn't win on the LPGA, was Rookie of the Year there, too. (She did get her first pro win in 1994 at the Women's Australian Open.)

That first LPGA win finally came at the 1995 U.S. Women's Open, and Sorenstam took off on what might be the best career in LPGA history. From 1995 through 2006, Sorenstam won eight money titles and never finished lower than fourth on the money list. She won 69 tournaments and 10 majors in that span.

Sorenstam was one of the best players throughout the mid- to late-90s, winning three times in 1997, six in 1997, four in 1998, twice in 1999, and five times in 2000.

Then she rededicated herself to being the best, hitting the gym to add strength - and yards to her drives. She practiced with Tiger Woods and picked up some of Woods' practice habits; she improved her chipping and putting.

Sorenstam's domination from 2001-2005 was complete: she was money leader, low scorer and Player of the Year every year. Her win totals included 11 in 2002 and 10 in 2005.

She became one of the longest hitters on the tour without losing any of her pinpoint accuracy. Along the way, she became much more comfortable in front of the cameras, her public demeanor becoming more confident, and won over many more fans.

At the 2003 Colonial, Sorenstam became the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias to play on the PGA Tour. Sorenstam shot 71-75 and missed the cut, but earned plaudits for her play and the way she handled the publicity circus.

The instructional book Golf Annika's Way (compare prices) was released in 2004.

Sorenstam dominated the LPGA Tour again in 2005, but her play slipped in 2006 - with "only" three wins, she was surpassed by Lorena Ochoa at the top of the LPGA pecking order. Sorenstam suffered a neck injury in 2007 that limited her schedule, and at the end of the year, she had only her second winless season on the LPGA.

By early 2008, however, Sorenstam was back, with three wins early in the season. However, on May 13, 2008, Sorenstam announced it would be her final season on the LPGA Tour, and she left competitive golf at the end of the year.

Throughout her career, Sorenstam was the mainstay of the European Solheim Cup team. At the time she retired, she had won the most matches and earned the most points of any player in Solheim Cup history. She had a 22-11-4 overall record in Solheim Cup play.

After tour life ended, Sorenstam turned to business. Among other ventures, she opened an academy and started a course design business. She also started a family with husband Mike McGee, who is the son of former PGA Tour player Jerry McGee.

Quick Facts

Date of birth: Oct. 9, 1970

Place of birth: Stockholm, Sweden

Tour Victories:

  • LPGA: 72
  • Ladies European Tour: 17

Major Championships:

  • Kraft Nabisco Championship: 2001, 2002, 2005
  • LPGA Championship: 2003, 2004, 2005
  • U.S. Women's Open: 1995, 1996, 2006
  • Women's British Open: 2003

Awards and Honors:

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Vare Trophy (low scoring average), 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005
  • LPGA Tour money leader, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • LPGA Tour Player of the Year, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • LPGA Rookie of the Year, 1994
  • NCAA Player of the Year, 1991
  • NCAA All-American, 1991, 1992
  • Member, European Solheim Cup team, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007
  • Annika Sorenstam by the numbers


  • Annika Sorenstam shot the lowest round in LPGA Tour history with a 59 at the 2001 LPGA Standard Register Ping.
  • Sorenstam and Mickey Wright are the only golfers to win 10 or more tournaments in two or more seasons on the LPGA Tour.
  • Won five straight events in 2005, tying Nancy Lopez for longest LPGA winning streak.
  • Holds the record for most Player of the Year awards (8) on the LPGA Tour.
  • Sorenstam's sister, Charlotta, also played on the LPGA Tour.