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Sorenstam Ends Her Professional Golf Career

Posted December. 16, 2008 05:42,   


Three wins for the season, fourth on the money list (1.73 million U.S. dollars), and second in stroke average (70.47).

These were the results of Annika Sorenstam’s final season on the LPGA tour. Though she remains competitive, she announced her decision to retire this spring.

She finished seventh in her final tournament at the Dubai Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour Sunday.

Sorenstam showed mixed feelings after the event, saying, “If you think about 15 years and all of the things I’ve achieved, it’s sad. But you close one door and you open another one.”

Sorenstam debuted on the LPGA tour in 1994 won Rookie of the Year honors. Since then, she has dominated women’s golf for more than 10 years, winning 72 LPGA tournaments and Player of the Year and top money earner eight times.

She has won a record 22,573,192 dollars over her career, the highest in the LPGA. In the 2001 Standard Register Ping, she became the first female golfer to shoot a 59 in a competition, breaking the barrier of 60.

Since the late 1990s, she has competed with Pak Se-ri of Korea, Karrie Webb of Australia. Sorenstam recently surrendered her No. 1 ranking to Lorena Ochoa of Mexico and last year, she failed to win a championship due to injury.

Despite her third win of the season in May, she shocked the world by saying she would retire at year’s end.

Sorenstam said she will focus on business interests like opening a golf academy in Florida, launching a fashion brand “Annika,” and designing golf courses. Above all, her marriage to Mike McGee in next January will be a major turning point in her life.

Though the LPGA has lost a big star, new players are set to take Sorenstam’s place. Prodigy Michelle Wie, 19, became a card-carrying member of the LPGA after completing qualifying school.

Shin Ji-yai left a strong impression with three wins on the LPGA tour this year. She is set to challenge Ochoa for the women’s top ranking next season.

Some say Sorenstam, who is famous for strict self-discipline, will return to golf someday.