Date: May 14, 2008

Sorenstam set to say goodbye

Annika Sorenstam was left to reflect on &aposa very difficult decision&apos after announcing she would retire at the end of the season on Tuesday. Sorenstam, 37, turned professional in 1992 and has played on the LPGA Tour since 1994, winning 88 career titles, 72 of them on the LPGA Tour, including 10 major championships. Her 88th victory came just last weekend in the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, her third title of the year. Sorenstam made her announcement at a press conference ahead of this week&aposs LPGA Tour event at Upper Montclair Country Club. “This is obviously a very difficult decision for me to make because I love this game so much,” Sorenstam said. “But I know this is the right one.” “I have other priorities in my life. I have a lot of dreams I want to fulfil, I want to live.” “I am very proud of what I have achieved. Golf has been good to me. I have achieved more than I ever thought I would. It&aposs been fun.” Sorenstam was the dominant player on the women&aposs circuit for a decade until last year when a back injury restricted her season to just 13 events and Mexico&aposs Lorena Ochoa replaced her as world No.1. Now fully fit again and lying second on the LPGA money list behind Ochoa, Sorenstam said she felt she was in the best position to announce her retirement. “I&aposm leaving on my own terms,” she added. Sorenstam won a record eight Rolex Player of the Year awards, was a record-tying money list winner eight times and the first player in LPGA history to cross the US$22 million mark in earnings. She has participated on eight Solheim Cup teams and was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 2003, the same year she became the first woman since 1945 to play on the PGA Tour when she competed in the Colonial. Sorenstam said her last LPGA Tour event would be the season-ending ADT Championship at West Palm Beach, Florida, between November 20-23, but the final tournament of her career would be on the Ladies European Tour at the Dubai Ladies Masters between December 10-13.