Annika Sorenstam: LPGA return after 13 years 'not a comeback'

Annika Sorenstam
Sorenstam played her first Tour event in 1993

Annika Sorenstam says her LPGA return is not a comeback as the 10-time major winner gets ready to contest her first Tour event in 13 years.

Sweden's Sorenstam, who retired in 2008, will compete at the LPGA Gainbridge Championship in Florida.

"I don't think I used the word comeback," Sorenstam told BBC World Service Sport. "I would like to use the word appearance."

The tournament takes place in Orlando between 25-28 February.

Florida-based Sorenstam added the appeal of taking part in the tournament at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club is that it is on her doorstep.

"The course is literally in my backyard," said Sorenstam. "If I turn my head to the left I can see the 16th hole, it's only 30 yards away.

"I've been living here for 21 years, we raised our kids and my parents live here. This is our community."

Sorenstam, 50, has won 72 LPGA events but feels after stepping away from golf to start a family, the Gainbridge LPGA offers her much-needed practice time.

"I'm focusing on the US Senior Women's Open [in August] and I realised after 13 years, I'm a little rusty as far as competition goes," the Swede said.

"I just really need those rounds under my belt, to go out and walk and post scores. I just thought it was the right time."

Sorenstam played her first Tour event in 1993 - and in 2003, she became the first woman to play in a men's PGA Tour event for 58 years.

With six of the top seven in the women's world rankings playing in Orlando, the younger generation have been keen to learn from the golfer who has 94 tournament wins worldwide.

"It's nice that they want to pick my brain, I take it as a compliment," said Sorenstam.

"I don't have the game I used to but we still talk about how you prepare for tournaments - they all have questions.

"There is a lot to talk about and I try to share my experiences, my thoughts and how I look at things. It's about learning to set goals."

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