Sports Outside the Beltway

Annika Sorenstam announces her retirement

She will play the remainder of the 2008 LPGA season and then make her final competitive appearance in Dubai. From AP-

Annika Sorenstam will retire after the season, ending an LPGA Tour career in which she has won 72 tournaments to date and delivered a defining moment when she teed it up against the men on the PGA Tour.

“I think I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I could,” she said during a news conference Tuesday at the Sybase Classic in Clifton, N.J. “I have given it all, and it’s been fun.”

The 37-year-old Sorenstam has hinted at retirement the past several seasons, saying she wanted to devote more time to her growing business and to start a family. She is engaged to Mike McGee, son of former PGA Tour player Jerry McGee.

“This would be very much like Annika to get on top and then quit,” said Judy Rankin, a Hall of Famer and television analyst.

Sorenstam said her final event would be the Dubai Ladies Masters after the LPGA Tour season ends.

“I’m leaving the game on my terms,” she said.

The decision comes two days after Sorenstam won the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill by seven shots for her third victory of the season, and first against a field that included Lorena Ochoa.

Playing the tour and successfully raising a family aren’t simple things to do. Just look at the list of LPGA golfers who are Moms and won on tour. Other than Juli Inkster, there isn’t a player/Mom with wins in double figures. Note- Nancy Lopez is a Hall of Famer like Juli, but Nancy’s best days are behind her. She has trouble breaking 80 now.

Annika has never been a favorite of mine. Partly because some of her conduct makes it look as if she thinks rules don’t apply to her.(I did give her credit for turning down an invite to the Samsung last year) Another reason is that I’m always partial to underdogs. Annika when playing at the top of game, runs away from the field in a LPGA tournament. I like watching golf, but seeing someone win by 8 shots is just boring to me. If you say Annika was the greatest golfer to ever play the LPGA Tour, you won’t get an argument out of me.

I wish Annika happiness off the course. She will be missed.

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