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Soccer Legends Wambach, Foudy return from retirement to lead Spirited Footgolf Exhibition at ANA Inspiration
Push for Footgolf’s Growth and Olympic Consideration Highlighted at 2016 ANA Inspiration
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA, March 30, 2016 – U.S. Soccer legends Abby Wambach and Julie Foudy led a spirited American charge in the inaugural ANA Footgolf Faceoff, only to fall short in a six-hole, match-play exhibition.
2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup MVP Ayumi Kaihori led Team Japan to victory over arch rivals during an afternoon full of playful banter and memories of the 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups, won by Japan and the U.S. respectively.
With more than 1,000 fans surrounding the match – many of them wearing soccer jerseys – Wambach and Foudy once again donned the Red, White and Blue while teaming up with U.S. Solheim Cup stars Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda for the one off exhibition.
Following the match, Wambach addressed her love for golf.
“I had so much fun meeting my teammates. I’m a huge golfer and I watched a lot of golf with my father growing up. I’m just excited that golf is in the Olympics. That’s so amazing. The next step is Footgolf, but right now we can focus on golf.”
Wambach continued, “Footgolf really was fun. It was really special. It made me want to become a golfer and play on the LPGA. I can’t thank ANA enough for sponsoring this event.”
Creamer, a 12-time LPGA winner, enjoyed her first experience with Footgolf.
“Anytime you can do something differently in the game of golf is fun,” Creamer said. “I think we’ll probably be out there (playing Footgolf) a little bit more now.”
After the event Hideki Kunugi, Senior Vice President of the Americas, All Nippon Airways said: “Already this week we’ve helped to inspire future golfers across the country through the ANA Junior Inspiration. Which is very important to us especially as golf returns to the Olympics. Now through ANA Footgolf Faceoff it’s exciting to introduce a new sport to new audiences. As a business we connect people and places so to connect these two sports is a big thrill. You can tell how much the players and young fans loved the experience. Hopefully we’ve inspired people to take up the sport.”
Photos credit Gabe Roux/ANA Inspiration