Former AJGA Rolex Junior All-American and current Golf Channel host Lisa Cornwell and World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam hosted an inspired evening as a part of the opening activities of the ANA Junior Inspiration March 29.
Cornwell, a successful AJGA player who won more than 30 junior tournaments and was a four-time Arkansas Women's State Amateur champion before playing college golf, asked Sorenstam to give advice and share stories from her longtime career. Sorenstam, a three-time ANA Inspiration champion and 72-time LPGA champion, also hosts the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex.
Topics of conversation ranged from Annika's early playing career, her famous round of 59, favorite memories from her jumps into Poppie's Pond at Mission Hills Country Club, her Foundation's work in growing the game, her passion around girls' golf and the future with the opportunity to earn an LPGA major exemption for the champion of the ANA Junior Inspiration.
The program also featured four current AJGA junior golfers - two-time Chicago Gateway City qualifier Megan Furtney, Vancouver Gateway City qualifier Savannah Grewal, 2019 ANA Inspiration amateur exemption, 2017 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Rachel Heck and 2018 ANA Junior Inspiration defending champion Rose Zhang. The girls spoke around their experiences living Annika's values of giving back and expanding opportunities for women and girls, especially in golf.
Furtney shared her inspiration to give back to golf through the 2018 Mason Cup, organized by AJGA junior Canon Claycomb as a part of the Leadership Links program. Grewal discussed her involvement with a charity in India which provides educational opportunities for girls.
"Education is something not everyone has access to," Grewal said. "I believe it's a basic human right."
Annika provided perspective for all the girls with a little humor and a lot of inspiration.
"The first time I jumped in [Poppie's Pond], it was a fish pond. Women's golf is in the forefront ... it's in everyone's best interest to work together, push our passion, open doors for those coming after."