Raining Red Numbers, these women can play!
Twin Cities golf fans missed an opportunity to witness some of the best golf ever played in this golf crazy state. Lack of press and spectators made Royal Golf Club feel like a wake.
The ANNIKA Intercollegiate, the first big time golf tournament ever hosted by Royal Golf Club, featured 10 of the top 12 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Team (recent ranking) plus #17 Oklahoma State and host school the University of Minnesota.
The weather-plagued championship was interrupted by rain delays and suspension of play, but in the end these great women golfers forced the Royal Golf Club to wave the white flag in surrender.
The 18-22 year old college women played from the Men’s White Tee yardage (6,267). During the first five months of the Royal’s inaugural season, the course record from the Men’s White Tees was 67. On Monday Kenzie Wright, the #5 player for Alabama, tied the Men’s course record 67 with six birdies and a lone bogey. Day two, Tuesday, Kenzie repeated the record tying score despite three straight bogeys on the front. She finished with birdies on holes 15-18. The ink on her scorecard had not dried as Kenzie watched as her course record was beaten by her teammate Jiwon Jeon and Ana Belac of Duke who both shot 65.
As the saying goes, records are made to be broken. Jeon’s and Belac’s course record 65 lasted only 24 hours. On Wednesday, the final day of the tournament, UCLA’s Patty Kavatanakit, a sophomore from Bangkok, Thailand, scorched the course on a cold and rainy day with an amazing score of 63. Patty scored 7 straight birdies. As Arnold Palmer, seated comfortably on his throne, gazed down through the clouds, Patty blistered the King’s Nine with a score of 28. On the King’s nine, that Palmer himself designed, Patty scored seven 3s, one 2 and one 5. The very large cherry on top of her round was the eagle 3 on #18 that gave her the individual championship.
Patty’s total score 203 (72, 68, 63) was good enough for tournament medalist honors. Another LA area player, Malia Nam from USC with 204, closely followed her winning score. Dalan Kim of Arkansas and Ana Balac of Duke were 3rd and 4th with 205 and 206. Alabama’s Crimson Tide kept on rolling winning the team championship shooting a team total -28. Four of the five Alabama team members shot under par for a -11 total in the final round. UCLA finished second while Duke, the leader after two days, collapsed in the final round and finished 5th.
Minnesota’s Golden Gophers women golfers, the host school, were outclassed by the nation’s best. The Gopher women played good golf,just not great golf in the ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Their #1 player, Grace Keller finished at +5 and a tie for 40th in the tournament led the Gophers.
The wide fairways that were in perfect condition combined with soft rain soaked greens allowed the best college players in America to throw darts to the pin. Golfers collectively were impressed with the condition of the first year golf course.
ANNIKA The Business Woman
Since she retired from tournament golf 10 years ago, Annika married Mike McGee and has a family. Mike supports Annika running her various business ventures as she travels the world.
Annika has capitalized on her unparalleled success on the course. She is the first female golfer to ride the wave of success into a successful brand. The ANNIKA brand has been featured in Duane Knapp’s book Brand Strategy, Inc. She has 89 career victories and is the winner of 10 Majors. Annika is the only women to shoot 59 in a Tour event.
Annika is President and CEO of ANNIKA, Club 59. Inc., where she oversees several businesses. She is a partner of Cutter & Buck, where the ANNIKA Collection of high-end women’s golf clothing has become a major part of their business.
ANNIKA Course Design has completed three courses worldwide and has three more under development. The Queen Nine at Royal Golf Course is her first venture in the United States.
Annika is also the founder of the ANNIKA Foundation, whose mission is to promote Women’s golf, health and wellness.
Annika continues to travel the world spreading her message. Her foundation hosts five junior golf events on four continents. She is especially proud of the fact that 32 alumni of her ANNIKA Invitational Europe were in the field of the women’s Open Championship.
More Than A Golf Tournament
When speaking of the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate, Annika proudly proclaims, “This event is a feeding place for women’s college golf. All of these young women who play in this tournament cannot become professional golfers. That is the reason that we have a dinner devoted to educating them on other careers. Anne Broholm, CEO of AHEAD (golf cap company) spoke to the young women in the tournament. She is very impressive. On a global perspective, education is much more important than golf.”
Annika has been quoted saying, “Obviously golf is a sport, but when you look at it from a well-being standpoint, it contributes on so many levels. It promotes muscular and cardiovascular health, as well as the benefits of being outside and being social. It also requires you to think.”
Annika is especially proud of the fact that the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate and future editions of the tournament will be sponsored by 3M and played at the Royal Golf Club. Hollis Cavner the golf visionary who purchased the property from 3M conceived the Royal Golf Club. When Cavner asked Annika to join Arnold Palmer, the King of Golf, in the design of the course she was thrilled. “The Royal is my first design in the USA, but much more than that working with Mr. Palmer made this project something special.”
The 2019 ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M will return to the Royal Golf Club next fall. Plan to attend one of the best spectator golf events in the Twin Cities.