LEHI Annika Sorenstam, arguably the greatest women's golfer of all time, who announced earlier this month that she is retiring from competitive golf, will headline the field at the annual Sorenson Champions Challenge next month.
Sorenstam, who played in the event two years ago, will join her sister Charlotta as one of the 12 two-person teams that will compete at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club June 16 and 17.
"We're pretty lucky to have her come here after she said she's going to put the clubs away," said Johnny Miller, who started the Champions Challenge 10 years ago. "This is great, fantastic. She's playing great golf, having won three tournaments this year, and the women's tour has never been in better shape than it is now."
Besides the Sorenstam sisters, the field will also feature the greatest men's player of all time, Jack Nicklaus, and his son Mike.
Miller, who won two years with his son Andy, will team with his second oldest son, Scott.
Among the other father-son teams are Hale and Steve Irwin, Craig and Chris Stadler, Billy and Bobby Casper, Mike and Daniel Reid, and Dave Stockton and his son, Dave Jr. Andy and Todd Miller, two of Johnny's sons, will also play as a team.
The other teams will include Dean Wilson and Charley Hoffman, Ian Baker-Finch and Jack Nicklaus II, and Jason Zuback and Bobby Wilson, the 2005 winners.
Two players who will not be playing because of conflicts are Utah resident Mike Weir, who won in 2003 and 2004 with Dean Wilson, and part-time Park City resident Mark O'Meara, who teamed with Mike Reid to win last year.
The tournament gets under way June 16 with a pro-am at 9 a.m. in a team scramble format. That evening there will be an awards dinner and silent auction at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, Johnny Miller will host a golf clinic along with Zuback, a long-drive champion. Then at 9 a.m. the main event will be played with the 18-hole two-man scramble featuring the 12 teams.
The tournament sponsor is the Sorenson Group, a real estate development company that creates commercial, industrial, retail and residential opportunities.
"We're delighted to be the title sponsor again and are excited with the stars that will be here," said Jim Sorenson.
The two benefiting charities will be Sorenstam's ANNIKA Foundation and the art works for kids!, an arts education foundation that supports quality arts education in Utah elementary schools.Tickets for the Challenge are available by visiting www.championschallengegolf.com. Fans can also register there for the 4Life Million Dollar Hole-in-One, for which three lucky people will have a chance to win $1 million by making a hole in one.
E-mail: [email protected]