Signs point to Sorenstam playing in U.S. Senior Women's Open at Brooklawn CC in Fairfield

The application period for entries into the U.S. Senior Women’s Open doesn’t begin until March 29.

So no golfer has officially entered into the third edition of this championship. But based on her comments this week, it certainly looks like Annika Sorenstam will be teeing it up in the championship to be played this summer in Fairfield.

Sorenstam played in the Gainbridge LPGA this week in Orlando, Florida, close to her home in Lake Nona. It was Sorenstam’s first LPGA event since retiring abruptly in 2008.

Now 50, Sorenstam is eligible to play in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, which will be held July 29-Aug. 1 at Brooklawn Country Club. She has planned to play a few warmup events going into the championship.

“We have been in touch with Annika. We do know she intends to play if it fits her schedule,” said Julia Pine, the assistant director of championship communications for the USGA. “When we started this championship three years ago, it was to inspire generations of golfers to extend their careers longer.”

Sorenstam, a World Golf Hall of Famer and the only player to shoot 59 on the LPGA Tour, is also the president of the International Golf Federation, which oversees golf’s involvement in the Summer Olympics. That is being held July 23-Aug. 8 in Tokyo.

Whether or not that will exactly conflict with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open is unknown. The Golf Channel reported Sorenstam said Antony Scanlon, the IGF’s executive director, said to her, “Of course you're playing. We love having an active president.”

The U.S. Senior Women’s Open was originally scheduled for Aug. 19-22, but the USGA announced on Jan. 12 the championship would be moved up because the dates conflicted with the AIG Women’s Open to be held in Scotland, forcing players to choose between the events.

Sorenstam made the cut at the Gainbridge LPGA Friday.

“I’m keeping both fingers crossed she comes. There will be great media attention on the championship. With Annika playing, that is amplified exponentially,” Rick Ryan, Brooklawn’s general chair for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, told Hearst Connecticut Media in January. When asked for a comment on Friday about Sorenstam, Ryan said, “On behalf of Brooklawn, we remain optimistic.”

The question is will spectators be allowed at Brooklawn CC to watch? That decision has yet to be made by the USGA for any of its championships. Pine said there won’t be one blanket policy, that it will vary state by state and there is no timetable for a decision.

“I’m confident we will have spectators, but I don’t make that call,” Ryan said in January.; @nhrJoeMorelli