Monday, February 15, 2016

Sophie Lamb, Sorenstams bond through 

ANNIKA Invitational
REUNION, Florida — Draped in English golf gear, representing Blackburn, Great Britain, Sophie Lamb, pictured below when she played for GB and I in a Junior Vagliano Trophy match, struck up a conversation with her mother in Swedish.

She had no idea that simple exchange would result in something so memorable.
The conversation at last August’s ANNIKA Invitational Europe at Bro-Balsta Golf Club in Bro, Sweden, caught the ears of Tom and Gunilla Sorenstam, Annika Sorenstam's parents. They were amazed that a girl with an English flag on her polo shirt could speak their native tongue with such fluency.
So they approached her and joined in the conversation.
“They were hanging out and getting to know my parents,” Annika Sorenstam said.
Lamb’s mother is Swedish, and her father is English, so each spoke their native tongue to their daughter, and she was able to become fluent in both languages.
By the end of the tournament, Lamb had earned a spot into the ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort with a 6-under, T-2 finish. The tournament, which kicked off with a pro-am, is in the city the Sorenstams reside. A few emails were sent back and forth, and Lamb teed up with Sorenstam’s parents and their neighbour for the pro-am on Friday.
“Before we played in the pro-am, (Annika) was like, ‘You need to look after my dad,'” Lamb said jokingly.
She not only looked after Tom but looked up to him as well. He explained what he or Annika would look for in a shot, and, in turn, she provided him with what she saw in her shots.
“I definitely learned a lot from him saying, ‘Would you look out for this? Is the yardage this, but what do you think it’s playing?’” Lamb said. “He’d be like, ‘Oh, so what do you think it’s playing with the wind and elevation? Where do you want to land it?
“With the greens and stuff, he was asking for my advice, and I was like, ‘You shouldn’t be asking me, I should be asking you.’”
He provided some insight into his daughter’s life and golf game, including that Annika was about 11 when she first picked up the sport. He gave Lamb pointers on how to live on and off the course and advice not to let golf consume her life.
“He made a big emphasis on Annika not to just focus everything on golf,” Lamb said.
Although the 18-year-old hasn’t carded quite what she had hoped in the first two rounds, sitting tied for 58th at 8 over, she will take a memory that will last a lifetime back to Great Britain.
“They were so down-to-earth, and you would never think that their daughter was the best golfer in the world,” Lamb said. “It was really cool.”