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Annika Sorenstam returns home to host tournament

She is one of the greatest golfers in history, she has competed against men and now Annika Sorenstam is hosting her own event: the TPC hosted by Annika.

"I've been a pro for 12 years and to host my own tournament in Sweden is big," Sorenstam said. "Women's golf has always been well supported in Sweden and I always like to play before my home fans."

The $617,000 event is being played at Barseback Golf and Country Club, considered Sweden's top course, and large galleries are expected this week. In 2003, more than 21,500 fans watched the final round of a Stockholm tournament -- a single-day attendance record for women's golf in Sweden.

The 34-year-old Sorenstam has lived in the United States since 1990 and visits her native country only once or twice a year, but always for the annual Ladies European Tour (LET) event in Sweden. Since 1996, she has won LET tournaments five times in Sweden.

Sorenstam, who was part of Europe's Solheim Cup-winning team in 2003 here, says Barseback is decidedly different from other courses.

"The LPGA Tour courses are longer and many of the holes are similar. Barseback is a more varied course -- woodlands, parklands and seaside," Sorenstam said. "The seaside holes, from 8 until 12, can decide this tournament."

Sorenstam is coming off a disappointing fifth place in the Weetabix Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale -- the last major of the year -- but she's happy with her season.

"I won two majors [the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the McDonald's LPGA Championship] and six of the first eight tournaments," she said. "Then I really played well. I haven't played so well recently. Therefore, I have changed my swing a little bit. But I have eight tournaments left and my goal is to win again."

Sweden's former major winners Liselotte Neumann and Helen Alfredsson have entered, as has United States' Natalie Gulbis, the 2002 LPGA rookie of the year who tied with Sorenstam at Royal Birkdale.

The TPC hosted by Annika is one of four LET events in the Volvo Cross Country Challenge in Scandinavia. The top 10 players in the final standings will share $100,000 while a $1 million jackpot is awarded if a player wins all four tournaments.


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