Piper, Aussies pumped for Annika

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Piper Stubbs becomes one of the 14 Aussies who meet Annika Sorenstam this week in New Zealand.

There is a new tournament this week in our region, but it is hosted by everything except a new name.

The inaugural Annika Invitational Australasia will be held at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand, giving 14 young Aussie women the chance to stand in the clouds with a true legend

The Swedish Annika Sorenstam, whose first professional victory came on the Women's Australian Open in 1994, eventually won 10 major championships as part of 93 global victories that made her one of the very best in golf.

During and since her remarkable career, Sorenstam threw a "more than golf" platform to help young girls become great golfers, but even better women in society

The New Zealand event will create a fifth continent for the Annika events in North America, South America, Asia and Europe, culminating in the Annika Invitational USA in Florida in January.

Young golfers from 12 to 18 years from all over the region will compete for the same course that the Asian-Pacific Amateur Championship 2017 has organized in 54 holes with the top three to advance to the American tournament

Among the representatives of Australia is Piper Stubbs, who will join the fellow countrymen Doey Choi, Ashleigh Hall, Alizza Hetherington, Charley Jacobs, Grace Kim, Steph Kyriacou, Hallie Meaburn, Hannah Park, Issy Taylor, Sarah Wilson, Mackenzie Wilson, Sophie Yip and Jinyoung Yun in Wellington.

Stubbs, 15, played for Victoria in Noumea at the South Pacific Junior Open this year, but will represent Australia for the first time this week for the first time – and she could hardly be excited.

"Getting to know Annika will be great and so educational," said Stubbs, who is a member of Huntingdale and is coached by Tim Wendel.

"There is so much to be gained in the experience of this kind of travel and while we are all there to win, it really is the experience for me this time.There is the international journey, traveling with a team and just to learn Annika. know … it will be a great week. "

"I'm going to do my best, and there will be girls who probably think of winning, but I think it's more for me to learn and that next year or the year after that will be possible."

Among those with higher ambitions are Choi and Kim, the teammates of New South Wales who have both delivered 2018 campaigns.

But for all their success they will probably be blown away as Sorenstam, who has traveled about 100,000 km this year to support her foundation's tournaments, pops up in Wellington.

"I can not think of a better place to close our 2018 season than in New Zealand," said Sorenstam, who will launch a gala dinner for competitors, and lead a skills clinic that focuses on both the course and, of course, tips for success. .

Remarkably, since their inception in 2009, there have been 32 participants in Annika events who have earned LPGA Tour tickets.

Stubbs is too young to remember the glory days of Sorenstam, but she knows very well about her impact.

"I know she is the only woman who has shot 59 in a tournament and that she has reached a lot of youngsters before she gave up golf to start a family and then focused on achieving other things," Stubbs said. the legendary Swede

"She seems to live a truly balanced life and that's why I watch her so often."

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