LPGA Superstar Annika Sorenstam and World Golf Hall of Fame To Host Finals of 2001 Virtual Golf Association Tour

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 23, 2001 — To celebrate the launch of
“Links® ”
Championship Edition, the latest installment of Microsoft Corp.’s best-selling PC golf franchise, the company announced that Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) superstar Annika Sorenstam will host the finals of the 2001 Virtual Golf Association (VGA) Tour. One of the world’s largest online golf tournaments, the event will be held at the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., Nov. 20.

Four cybergolfers will compete on a computer in a match-play tournament to determine the 2001 VGA Tour champion and recipient of more than $50,000 in prize money. The second annual Virtual Golf Association Tour, with more than 22,000 registered participants, is one of the world’s largest and most lucrative online sporting events.

Annika Sorenstam, the first golfer to amass $7 million on the LPGA Tour, will host the finals and award the check to the winner. This year’s VGA finals have taken on a distinct international flair, with one of the finalists traveling from Great Britain to compete. The top four PC golf competitors include last year’s champion, Paul Willey. A resident of Bangor, Maine,
38-year-old Willey is an Army veteran diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The remaining VGA finalists are George Pallas, 34, a clerk for the city of Los Angeles; Bill Crouch, 38, a small-business owner from Thorntown, Ind., and Ricky Morris, 34, a retired Royal Navy electrical engineer from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.

“Links is a terrific golf game that has been able to establish an amazing online community of golf enthusiasts from all over the globe,”
said Sorenstam.
“The fact that Paul Willey, who suffers from MS, can compete at such a high level against a field of international competitors is quite inspiring.”

The 2001 VGA Tour finals will also celebrate the launch of
Championship Edition, the most complete
golf experience ever offered in one package.
Championship Edition includes the best-selling
“Links 2001”
game software, the
Expansion Pack Volume 1, the Arnold Palmer Course Designer, the
“Links 2001”
Course Converter and four new golf courses.
Championship Edition is available at retail outlets across the country for an estimated $54.95 (U.S.), with a $20 mail-in rebate for users of
“Links 2001.”

About the Virtual Golf Association Tour

The VGA Tour allows
PC golfers to compete in the largest golfing event on the Internet and is located at Microsoft’s online gaming site http://www.linkstour.zone.com/ . The VGA Tour is modeled after the professional golf tours with competitions, courses, sponsors and prizes that were previously exclusive to touring professionals. Last year, 12,000 PC golfers signed up for the 2000 VGA Tour, from which Paul Willey took home the title of World’s Greatest PC Golfer.

About World Golf Hall of Fame

The World Golf Hall of Fame is located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., and is a collaboration of 27 national and international golf organizations including the PGA Tour,

LPGA, USGA and the PGA of America. The dramatic 75,000 square-foot building houses interactive displays, historic artifacts, a special exhibit gallery, an IMAX theater and the Hall of Fame itself, which honors the game’s greatest players and contributors. On Nov. 11, the six newest members (Judy Bell, Donna Caponi, Greg Norman, Allan Robertson, Karsten Solheim and Payne Stewart) will be welcomed during the annual induction ceremony.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* To qualify for the $20 U.S./$30 CDN mail-in upgrade rebate, users must be licensed users of
“Links 2001.”
Offer good with proofs of purchase in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, all U.S. military bases that contain valid APO/FPO addresses and Canada. Offer expires Dec. 31, 2001. Limit one rebate per address. May not combined with other Microsoft offers or rebates.

Microsoft and Links are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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