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Sorenstam’s Sudden Retirement Shocks World

Posted May. 15, 2008 07:27,   


Just a couple of days ago, the media praised her comeback as perfect, highlighting Annika Sorenstam kissing her championship trophy. But just two days later, in a move that has shocked the sports world, she suddenly announced her retirement.

Having dominated women’s golf since the mid-1990s, she abruptly announced her retirement yesterday prior to the latest LPGA tournament.

Despite her dismal performance last year due to injuries, Sorenstam notched up three championship titles this season alone, making the news of her retirement even more surprising .

"This is obviously a very difficult decision for me to make, because I love this game very much. But I know it`s the right one. I`m leaving the game on my own terms," she said.

Carefully avoiding the word "retire," calling it instead “the r-word,” Sorenstam lamented that the remaining seven months would fly by.

She plans to concentrate on building the “Annika” brand, which includes a golf academy and foundation, golf course design and business.

Sorenstam is set to marry her fiancé Mike McGee, son of former PGA Tour player Jerry McGee, early next year.

Meanwhile, Juli Inkster, 48, who is visiting Korea for the Korea Ladies Open tournament, commented that Sorenstam must have learned the wisdom of giving up one thing for the other, due to the practical difficulty of successfully pursuing a golf career and family life.

Edged away every year from the honor of “athlete of the year” by Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak still praised her, saying, “We will not have another wonderful golfer like her. She’s been a role model in personal and professional aspects of life. She’s leaving on her own terms. It’s not easy. I admire her for that.”

The Associated Press also reported that top WTA golfer Justine Henin of Belgium, 27, is likely to follow Sorenstam into retirement due to her lingering knee problem.