When I first saw the announcement, I thought it was a joke. But it’s true: Annika Sorenstam is retiring from tournament golf at the end of this year. The New York Times reports:
At a news conference at the Upper Montclair Country Club, where she will play Thursday through Sunday in the L.P.G.A.’s Sybase Classic, she calmly revealed her plans. There were no tears, no deep breaths and, she said, no regrets.
“I have other priorities in my life,” she said, and she listed them: a golf academy, a foundation, golf-course design projects (she is working on her fifth course, with two more planned), corporate relationships, clothing lines and hosting golf tournaments. She said there were more, including starting a family.
“I enjoy playing golf at the top level,” she said. “I made this decision far back. I know what it’s like to be at the top.”
As of this writing, Sorenstam has won 72 tournaments, including ten majors. She ranks third on the career list. Only Kathy Whitworth, with 88 victories and Mickey Wright with 82 are ahead of her.
Sorenstam has clocked 8 L.P.G.A. Player of the Year awards, 8 money-winning titles and 6 Vare Trophies for lowest scoring average.
For years, she was the Tiger Woods of the LPGA. She’ll be missed.
PS Mrs. GolfBlogger, the labor and delivery nurse says she wouldn’t be surprised if Annika’s pregnant. I pointed out that Laura Diaz and others had played through similar conditions, but she’s sticking to her prediction …