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July 12, 2022

Annika Sorenstam

Madelene Sagstrom

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back inside the virtual media center here at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. I am pleased to be joined by what I've learn is team Fizzy Swedes.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: You got it right.

THE MODERATOR: That Madelene came up with that. Annika, coming after a week in Lake Tahoe which was a fun event for you and the family being able to play for the first time in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, what's it been like to prepare to play with someone like Madelene?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: First of all, I'm just happy to be here, so thank you do you Dow for putting this tournament on. I've heard a lot the good things about this tournament. Never been to Midland, so excited to bring family to a new place.

Certainly excited to play with Madelene here, my partner this week. She asked me play last year and I couldn't, I was a little bummed, so I didn't know if I was going to get a rain check. Luckily I did, so I'm here, looking forward to the week very much.

This is such a friendly place. Everybody is so happy and so excited to have the LPGA here. So, yeah, looking forward. We had a good trip over and been playing last week, so I feel tournament ready, and hopefully I can help my partner as much as possible.

THE MODERATOR: And you guys talked a little bit about it in your press conference that you had couple weeks ago before this tournament, but Madelene, when asking someone like Annika to be your partner this week, were there any nerves of asking her to play with you? I know you've played together and have known each other for a while now.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Not really, no. I think I learned a lot from my caddie, Shane, over the last couple years. He is like, what's the worst that's going to happen? She's going to say no. So I just went for it.

I mean, trying to take the opportunities when I can, and playing with somebody like Annika with all her experience and just such a great golfer and such a great human being is just -- I'm just honored to be in this position and we're going to have a great week.

THE MODERATOR: Annika, what's it been like gearing up to the next couple events? You have the American Century Championship under your belt, and as we look ahead to this week, what's it been like to gear up for multiple events in a row?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, you're right. I'm not really used to that. It's been a week here and then almost a month off and another week, so it's nice to be in the playing mode and just keep going. Finding the tournament rhythm, I really feel like that's probably the biggest thing when you play several tournaments in a row.

But, no, I mean being I'm excited. It's been a great summer so far. This is a fun format. This is not like other tournaments that we play in, especially starting tomorrow, foursomes. It's quite different. And then of course best ball is a little bit more you play your own ball.

Yeah, this is how I used to do it. Never really thought about it. All of a sudden you're like, wow, another hotel, another place, another suitcase to pack.

So just trying to get back to it, but it's obviously different when you have kids, taking care of them. So priority is a little different, even though when I come here inside the ropes this is all that matters. Just play my game.

But after the round things are different than they iced to be. Again, great to be here. We're going to have a good time. I've got to know Madelene the last few years. Probably started with Solheim Cup I would say. She had such an excellent year at the Epson Tour and super impressed with her game.

Then we spent some time in Orlando and just became good friends, and so I think that's what I really cherish the most. She's been playing some good golf lately, so I feel really happy in the situation I'm in.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to say, it seems you have been on a great stretch of golf this season. How comfortable do you feel in your game, Madelene, as you gear into this week?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think I feel very confident. I feel like I'm doing good things. I've been doing good things over a good -- like a long period of time, so it's nice when the results are starting to show.

I mean, I want to play a good as I can possibly. It's always different when you play in team format. A little bit different pressure than normal. It's going to be fun. I think my game is in a good spotted. I know Annika's game is a good spot. I think we're just excited to tee it up and see what happens.

THE MODERATOR: I know you both are in the Lake Nona/Orlando area when you're home. Have you been able to practice with each other?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, we did practice in April and we practiced a few times before that. Madelene had her coach there, and so we spent one day almost six hours. That was the longest I practiced in forever. I think my hands were almost to the point where they were bleeding. I'm like, I think I need a break, Madelene.

And then we played a practice round together at the U.S. Open, which was a nice treat to do that.

But since then obviously I went to Sweden and then I came back to the U.S., and then she went to Sweden and now we're back here.

But we had a chance yesterday to walk around the front nine, talked a little bit. Obviously our caddies have an a lot of experience and they're giving some pointers where we should go and what we should do. I think with four brains together think we got it figured out.

THE MODERATOR: Madelene, bouncing off that, the strategy for this week having some different formats back and forth. Have you guys talking about that? Where do you think your strengths build fit here at Midland Country Club.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well I think that -- I mean, Annika is one of the greatest wedge players of all-time, so I'm going to try to hit it far and straight. That's kind of been my -- we're trying to give her as many shorter shots into the greens as possible.

I'm a good putter so that's -- I'm hoping to drain some birdies, and I hope she puts me up close to the pin.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: You're a good driver of the ball, too. Doesn't seem like I have to do a lot, but I'm going to keep her company and smile out there and have a good time and play to our strengths. Fairways and greens and putts.


THE MODERATOR: What's interesting about this week, it's a laid-back more chill event, but you both are preparing for majors next week. Annika, using this event as not only a competitive, but a tune-up for next week as well, what does it feel like to get ready for the Senior LPGA Championship.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, you're right. I haven't really thought it. This is the first time I am going to play in the LPGA Senior Championship, so, I mean, I can't think after better preparation than playing on the LPGA on a good golf course with good competition.

So, yeah, it will be interesting. The first time I played in a senior event was last year at the U.S. Women's Senior Open, and what caught most of my attention was just catching up with everybody. It's almost like, what have we been doing the last 20 years. It was really neat.

Everybody looks the same. Maybe have a few more wrinkles and put on a few pounds. It was great to see everybody.

Yeah, I think I'll be ready next week. Right now I think my mind is on tomorrow and like I always say, one shot at a time.

Yeah, some fun golf ahead.

Q. Madelene, being able to prepare for the European swing coming up, especially Evian next week for you. What are you hoping to take out of an event like this as you also prepare for the rest of the LPGA season?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I had my best finish at Evian last year after playing in this event, so I think for me this is a no-brainer. I'm going to go, I'm going to play. Like you said, it's a little bit different vibe here, so going to play a lot of golf, but not as much with one day being foursomes? Two days being foursomes.

So it's a little bit different. Mindset will be a little bit different. It's a great warmup for some big events coming, but at the same time, like Annika said, we're here to do our best and take one shot at a time and just make as many birdies and go as low as we can.

Q. You both have that Solheim Cup experience. Both have seen each other, whether playing on the Solheim Cup team or for you to be captaining it, what do you hope to take from your past team experiences to put into this week?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, any tournaments you have to rely on memories, experience, and then put together your whatever you call it, knowledge and skills. So I'm just going to dig deep, try and do everything I can to play my best and just really enjoy it over here.

I don't get many opportunities to do this. I want to go out there and have some fun, and hopefully we can hit some good shots and cheer each other on and get the momentum on our side. I think it's really important when you play especially foursomes. When you only hit ever other shot. It could take a few shots until you get a putt or maybe hit a wedge shot, so I think just keeping the momentum and being positive and keep on going.

I think that's really the most thing I learned from a team event. You can't really rely always on your partner. You got to do the job as well. Hopefully you can feed off each other and go from there.

Q. Madelene, same to you. Ine of the big things I hear this week is you just can't say sorry. You know what I mean? Being able to roll with the punches. Would you agree with that mindset?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Absolutely. I mean, every shot you hit out there you're trying to do your best. I think that's kind of -- it's easy to forget that sometimes. You want to do so well for your partner.

No, but it's really about one of those weeks. It's about going out -- we have the team experience both from growing up in Sweden, doing a bunch of European stuff and also Solheim, so we know the feeling of what it's going to be like.

At the same time, heat of moment you want to do the best you can, so it's going to be fun. It's an exciting week. It's a fun event because it's different than everything else we play on tour. It's a really cool event.

THE MODERATOR: Wrap it up with one more from me. Some things that are happening off the course. Obviously the big event on the men's side is the 150th Open at St. Andrews, which is really fascinating. We saw another Swede, Anna Nordqvist who won last year's AIG Women's Open being able to take part in that champion's celebration. Overall, I know we've got our tournament hanging out this week, but what's it like to be able to see St. Andrews in all its glory, and also know the women will be returning in 2024?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, I think it's exciting. It's great for women's golf. I mean, I remember the first time we played there. I think Lorena Ochoa won, and it was just a highlight for women's golf. Now it seems like we always get to play those great golf courses, and I've always said that women, we like tradition too. We love those Bucket List courses. It's just really, really special that The Open is there 150 years, the celebration. Just saw some social media photos from yesterday and Monday with Anna and Tiger and Jack to mention a few. I think it's just fantastic. It's good for golf. I think we need celebrate these moments.

That's really with history is all about, and continue with that tradition.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you both for coming in. I appreciate it.



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