DUBLIN, Ohio – Annika Sorenstam is practicing again.
Actually, she said she's "grinding."
Sorenstam, 43, the winner of 89 tournaments worldwide including 10 major championships, is preparing for the American Century Celebrity Championship in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on July 18-20.
The member of the World Golf Hall of Fame last played on the LPGA tour in the season-ending 2008 ADT Championship.
Sorenstam played against the men on the PGA Tour in the historic 2003 Bank of America Colonial Open in Texas, where she became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945.
In Lake Tahoe, where scoring will be based on a modified Stableford format, she will face the likes of John Elway, Ray Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, Jason Kidd, Steve Young and Charles Barkley.
And she's going to do everything she can to win.
"When I stepped away, I would shake hands with people and they would say, 'Well, this is not a golf hand,' because I would have the soft hands. Now I'm getting some calluses again, getting back in the grind," Sorenstam said Wednesday at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. "I look forward to it. It's a competition, but I'm also having the approach I look forward to playing, having some good time
" … I'm still very competitive person. I would say that doesn't go away. So I know that once I get inside the ropes, the adrenalin will be pumping a little extra. … I'm familiar with what the winning score has been in the past, so I kind of know what kind of score I'm looking for and what kind of points, I should say, I'm looking for. That's why I'm practicing. I always target to win."
Sorenstam is the honoree of the Memorial this year, joining a who's who of the best players in the game.
"I remember getting the call and I was so honored and flattered because I'm familiar with the past honorees and what they've done for the game," Sorenstam said. "How am I even mentioned in the same sentence as some of these people, especially if you look at the women that have paved the way for myself and the other LPGA players, Mickey Wright and Nancy Lopez and Kathy Whitworth. It's a very distinguished list and obviously on the men's side as well. So I am flattered.
" … And I admire Jack tremendously for what he has done, not just on the course but the things that he does with his charity work and of course as a family. I respect him. So, like I said, it's a great honor to be here."