Annika Sorenstam isn’t done with major championship golf just yet. The 10-time major winner has accepted a special exemption into this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Sorenstam, of course, played her way into last year’s Women’s Open at Pine Needles by crushing the field by eight strokes at the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open. The 52-year-old shot 74-81 last year at Pine Needles, missing the cut in her first LPGA major since 2008.
This marks the first time Sorenstam – who is one of four players to win the U.S. Women’s Open (1995, 1996 and 2006) – has accepted an exemption into the championship. She has made 16 previous appearances. Only Betsy Rawls and Mickey Wright, both four-time champions, have won more.
— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) May 2, 2023
Sorenstam won 72 times on the LPGA and stepped away from playing full time after the 2008 season to start her family. She competed in her first LPGA event in more than a dozen years in in 2021, making the cut at the Gainbridge LPGA event at her home club, Lake Nona.
This year’s historic U.S. Women’s Open will be contested July 6-9 and marks the first time the championship will be held at Pebble Beach.
“I am incredibly grateful to the USGA for the opportunity to play in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open,” Sorenstam said in a release. “It is a championship that has helped to define my career, and to play in the first one at Pebble Beach, which will be a defining moment for women’s golf, with my family by my side will be a week we never forget.”
Past champions Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr were the last players to receive a special exemption into the championship in 2021 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The most recent special exemptions before that went to two-time champion Karrie Webb, in 2018 and 2019. Amy Alcott’s sixth-place finish in 1994 at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Michigan, is the highest finish for anyone given a special exemption.
Michelle Wie West, winner of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, previously announced that this year’s championship will be the last competitive event on her calendar for the foreseeable future.