The Haskins Award has been a prestigious accolade recognizing the best male collegiate players for over 40 years. I am thrilled to work with the Haskins Commission to create The ANNIKA Award to similarly honor the best collegiate female golfers. College golf meant a lot to me - it really helped get my career going in the right direction.
LPGA Tour Victories
Lowest Professional Round Score
In her 15 years as a golf professional, Annika achieved legendary status and transcended her sport to become a prominent mainstream athlete and celebrity. Throughout her storied career, she has rewritten the LPGA and Ladies European Tour (LET) record books, won countless awards and events, and brought unprecedented attention to women’s golf. Her career has changed how women’s golf is played, watched and covered, and she continues to have a positive impact on all of women’s sports.
Annika was born in Stockholm, Sweden on October 9, 1970. She began playing golf at the age of 12, but also occupied her time with badminton, soccer, tennis and competitive skiing. In 1987, Annika joined the Swedish National Golf Team and credits fellow Swede Liselotte Neumann’s win at the 1988 Women’s Open for heightening her interest in golf. Annika played in the World Amateur Golf Team Championships in 1990 and, again, in 1992 when she won the Championship.
Annika enrolled at the University of Arizona in the fall of 1990 and won seven titles during her collegiate career. She was the first foreign-born player and first freshman to win the individual NCAA Championship. She also won the 1991 National Co-Player of the Year Award, was the 1992 Pac-10 Champion and was named to the 1991-1992 All-American team. In 1992, Annika was a runner-up for the National Player of the Year Award and finished second to Vicki Goetze at the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.
Annika turned professional in 1993 and was invited to play in three LPGA events, finishing in the top 10 twice and earning over $47,000. She had four second-place finishes on the WPGET (now Ladies European Tour), and was named the 1993 WPGET Rookie of the Year. By tying for 28th at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament later that year, Annika earned non-exempt status for the 1994 season.
Annika burst onto the scene her rookie year with three top-10 finishes, including a tie for second at the 1994 Weetabix Women’s British Open. Her stellar season was recognized with the 1994 Rolex Rookie of the Year Award. The following year, Annika won three events. They included her first LPGA tour title, the U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado. Annika’s breakout campaign saw her lead both the WPGET Order of Merit and LPGA Money List. She also won the 1995 LPGA Rolex Player of the Year award, Sweden’s Jerringpriset Award (the country’s most prestigious sports honor) and the Bragd Gold Award for Sports Achievement (voted by the citizens of Sweden). To top it off, Annika appeared on a Swedish postage stamp (3.50 Swedish Crowns).
The next year, Annika again won three events including the U.S. Women’s Open, this time defending here title at North Carolina’s Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. She also passed the $1 million mark in LPGA career earnings and won her second straight Vare Trophy for lowest season scoring average. The 1997 season brought six more LPGA victories in addition to the U.S. Women’s Open, a homecoming win in a WPGET event in Sweden and a second Rolex Player of the Year Award. Annika rolled on in 1998, winning four tournaments, as well as her third Vare Trophy (becoming the first player in LPGA history to finish a season with a sub-70 scoring average, 69.99) and Rolex Player of the Year Award. The next two seasons saw seven more victories, a first career hole-in-one and her surpassing the $6 million mark in career earnings. In 2000, Annika began a streak of six seasons in which she posted at least five tournament wins.
In 2001 Annika enjoyed a career year. She won the Kraft Nabisco Championship (her third Major), seven other LPGA events, set or tied 30 LPGA records and, during the second round of the Standard Register PING, became the first and only LPGA player to date to shoot 59. She was also the first LPGA player to surpass $2 million in season earnings and won both the Vare Trophy and Rolex Player of the Year for the fourth time.
Annika continued her amazing play in 2002, capturing the Vare Trophy and Rolex Player of the Year yet again. She became the second player in LPGA history to win 11 tournaments in a season, and set or tied 20 LPGA records. Her 11-stroke victory at the Kellogg-Keebler Classic tied an LPGA record for largest margin of victory in a 54-hole event. With her victories on the Ladies European Tour, Annika won 13 times in only 25 starts.
Upon capturing the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the Weetabix Women’s Open in 2003, Annika became the sixth player in LPGA history to complete the LPGA Career Grand Slam. That year she won five other events worldwide, her sixth Rolex Player of the Year Award and set or tied 22 LPGA records. She won the Jerringpriset Award for the second time, was named the 2003 Female Athlete of the Year by the United States Sports Academy and was given the 2003 Golf Writers Trophy by the Golf Writers Association of America. She was also inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention for playing against the men at the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. She was the first woman to play in a PGA TOUR event since Babe Dickinson Zaharias in 1945. Although she missed the cut, Annika’s participation was seen as a landmark not only in women’s golf, but for all of women’s sports. Annika also competed against top PGA TOUR players Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples and Fred Funk in the 2003 Skins Game. She finished second with five skins and recorded the eighth eagle in Skins Game history.
In 2004, Annika had 16 top-10 finishes in 18 LPGA starts, winning eight events. She was named Rolex Player of the Year for the seventh time. Annika also won two LET events and broke her own single-season scoring average record posting a 68.69.
The following season Annika continued to smash LPGA records, becoming the only player in LPGA history to win eight Rolex Player of the Year awards. She also took home her sixth Vare Trophy and won 10 of her 20 starts, becoming the second player in LPGA history to win 10 or more events in two different seasons. Annika also finished first on the ADT Official Money List for the eighth time in her career, tying an LPGA record, and won a homecoming event on the Swedish European Ladies Tour. Annika won the McDonald’s LPGA Championship for the third consecutive year, becoming the first LPGA player to three-peat in a Major. She also netted the Mizuno Classic for the fifth consecutive year, becoming the first golfer in LPGA history to win an event five years in a row.
In 2006, Annika won the MasterCard Classic and then the U.S. Women’s Open at historic Newport Country Club for her 10th major title (tied for the third-most Major wins all time). Annika also set an LPGA final round record by shooting a 62 at the State Farm Classic en route to victory.
A new challenge arose for Annika in 2007 – the first major injury of her career. With a ruptured disk in her neck, Annika was forced to sit out for nearly two months and not play the “Annika Golf” the world was accustomed to seeing. After months of rest and rehab, Annika got back to form in dramatic fashion with an emotional victory in her last event of the season, the LET’s Dubai Ladies Masters, setting her sights on a big 2008.
Healthy and hungry, Annika began the 2008 season earlier than usual and teed off at the SBS Open in Hawaii. In the first LPGA tournament of the season, Annika earned a two-stroke victory and her 70th LPGA career win. She notched two more wins in her next five starts at the Stanford Pro-Am and Michelob ULTRA Open, passing the $22 million mark in career earnings. Her fourth and final title of the season came at the LET’s Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China.
Annika stepped away from competitive golf at the end of the 2008 season to pursue a family and further establish the ANNIKA brand of businesses. She created the ANNIKA Collection with Cutter & Buck, a high-end women’s golf apparel line that embodies the spirit of Annika. It combines cutting-edge technology with ingenious details for stylish performance pieces perfect for enjoying a beautiful day on the greens. ANNIKA Course Design has completed three courses globally: the ANNIKA Course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China; Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro in the Waterberg region of South Africa’s Limpopo Province; and Golden Bay Golf Resort in TaeAn, South Korea. Annika’s credits also include The 27 Club in Tianjin, China, where each hole is designed by a different major champion; Estonian Golf & Country Club in Tallinn, Estonia, which will be her first design in Europe; and Olivion in Belek, Turkey, which is slated to follow. She is also redesigning Tartan Park in Elmo, Minn. with Arnold Palmer Design. The new course will be aptly named The King and the Queen.
In 2007, Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation as a way to teach children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offer aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. It has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children. Some initiatives are SPARK, the Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.
The Foundation annually conducts five major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. In 2016, in partnership with The R&A, it will conduct the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina.
With the support of 3M, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By 3M in 2014. It is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools that is held annually in Orlando, Fla.
Annika’s post-LPGA accolades are numerous. In 2008, along with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Annika was named the “Most Caring Athlete” by USA Weekend Magazine. That same year Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second-ever Ambassador of the United States Golf Association with the goal of making the game of golf more accessible and relevant to players of all skill levels. In 2009, along with Jack Nicklaus, she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Federation and helped to successfully place golf in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika was named an honorary member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness in 2009. She won the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award in 2011, which is presented annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America, and received the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. On July 13, 2015 Annika was one of the first eight women presented with an honorary membership to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Annika was also named the best Swedish Female athlete of all-time, and she was inducted into the World College Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.
Annika served as a vice-captain for the 2011, 2013, and 2015 European Solheim Cup Teams, and will captain the 2017 team. Annika serves as an Analyst in the TV booth for various LPGA Major Championship broadcasts. In 2014, in partnership with the LPGA and Rolex, the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award was announced.
The Rolex ANNIKA Major Award recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA Tour season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships. Points are awarded at all five major championships to competitors who finish among the top 10 (including ties). To take home the award, a player must also win at least one of the five majors. In 2015, Annika was named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden.
Annika’s love of sports was nurtured by her parents, Tom and Gunilla, and was strengthened by a healthy rivalry with her sister, Charlotta, who is an instructor. In January 2009 she married Mike McGee, the son of former PGA TOUR and CHAMPIONS TOUR golfer Jerry McGee. Mike has served as Managing Director for the ANNIKA brand of businesses since December 2006. Annika and Mike welcomed their daughter, Ava Madelyn McGee, on September 1, 2009, and their son, William Nicholas McGee, on March 21, 2011.
Throughout her many successes on and off the course, Annika has remained a sincere, down-to-earth and approachable person. With her unrelenting drive, storied golf career and thriving business endeavors, Annika is determined to bring women’s golf and sports to the mainstream.
Annika’s partners include 3M, AHEAD USA, Callaway Golf, Cutter & Buck, Golfing World, Lexus, Pacific Links International and Rolex.