Category: Annika Sorenstam


March 19, 2009

Annika Sorenstam is pregnant with first child

Posted at 2:21 PM by Damon Hack

Anyone hoping for Annika Sorenstam's return to the LPGA Tour may have to wait for awhile. Sorenstam announced on her blog today that she and husband Mike McGee are expecting the couple's first child.

"We have had a lot of exciting changes in the past few months, and adding a new addition to our family later this fall will certainly be at the top of that list," she writes. "We are absolutely thrilled and look forward to this new chapter of our lives!  We appreciate the love and support that we have received from our family, friends, and of course my fans."

Sorenstam, with 72 LPGA wins including 10 majors, walked away from competitive golf last year at the dawn of a brewing rivalry with Lorena Ochoa, who supplanted Sorenstam as the No. 1 ranked player in the world. Sorenstam has said all along that she has not retired, but has stepped away from competitive golf for the time being.

At 38, though, and with various business interests (including a golf academy, clothing line and new perfume) and now a growing family, Sorenstam's mind appears as far away from the LPGA Tour as can be.

February 27, 2009

Lorena Ochoa -- that other no. 1 player -- makes season debut

Posted at 3:07 PM by Damon Hack

Halfway around the globe, far from the thin air of the Tucson foothills, another magnificent golfer is making her return.

She does not have the gaggle of photographers trailing her and kicking up mini-sandstorms amid desert rocks and Jumping Cholla. She has not been charged with saving her tour.

But Lorena Ochoa, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, knows that much is at stake in 2009 -- for herself, her competitors, and the LPGA. Is the sports marketplace finally ready to embrace women’s golf, which has lived in the shadow of the men’s game for so long?

“We are moving in the right direction,” said Ochoa, playing in Thailand this week before defending her title at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore, starting March 5. “We are trying to work our way up there."

Ochoa, to be sure, has done her part. She is friendly, accessible and highly gifted. She hits towering tee shots that seem to run forever. She can completely overwhelm opponents, as she did last season at the HSBC when she won by 11 shots.

Along with Ochoa’s appeal, the LPGA could also be on the verge of increased visibility with Michelle Wie as a card-carrying member (her near miss at the SBS Open doubled the television ratings for Golf Channel), not to mention Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen, Yani Tseng, Angela Park, Morgan Pressel, Karrie Webb and newcomers Vicky Hurst and Stacy Lewis.

Though Annika Sorenstam was the game’s most recognizable and dominant player for a decade, her retirement could lead to the emergence of new rivalries and fresh storylines.

“We are all going to miss Annika, but we are here and we need to focus on the Tour,” Ochoa said. “I want to say that Annika was a great part of the Tour, but we have new players and I have many motivations. It’s very tough to stay at the top, and I am sure this is going to be a great year."

Over at the PGA Tour, commissioner Tim Finchem has asked the membership to be more interactive with sponsors, fans and even the media in a tough economic climate.

The LPGA has long operated under that belief system.

The question is, has the talent and appeal of the LPGA finally caught up with the friendliness?

“I have a good image and try to help the tour,” Ochoa said. “The level of golf is so good right now. That is a good question for the commissioner [Carolyn Bivens]. They know that I will help in any way and be very supportive.”

November 20, 2008

Round 1 at the ADT Championship

Posted at 2:27 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Annika Sorenstam's retirement may come sooner than expected. The top 16 players advance to the weekend at the ADT Championship, and Sorenstam is near the cutline after a two-over 74. For Round 1 scores, click here.

More on Annika:

* Annika Sorenstam Homepage: Photos, instruction and articles on Annika

* Annika's career in pictures

* Annika's Swing Sequence

May 17, 2008

Ochoa on the move

Posted at 8:16 PM by Damon Hack

Didn't Lorena Ochoa get the memo? This was supposed to be Annika Sorenstam's week after she announced she will leave competitive golf at the end of year. Instead, Ochoa is stealing the spotlight at the Sybase Classic in Clifton, N.J., racing out to a two-shot lead over the field through 36 holes. (The tournament has been shortened to 54 holes after rain washed out Friday's play.) Sorenstam is five shots back of Ochoa going into Sunday's final round. One week after Sorenstam took a seven-shot victory at Kingsmill, Ochoa is returning serve. If she wins Sunday, it will be her third consecutive Sybase title. These two players could have spent the next decade trading tee shots and curling putts. Enjoy it while it lasts. 

May 14, 2008

Annika's surprise shoes in 2002

Posted at 12:13 PM by John Garrity

Annika_300 I wasn't at Annika Sorenstam's retirement-announcement press conference, so you'll have to tell me: What shoes was she wearing?

Yes, I'll explain. Over the years, I've covered a number of Sorenstam's 72 tournament victories, including her first (the 1995 U.S. Women's Open at the Broadmoor) and one of her most recent (her playoff victory over Paula Creamer at the Stanford International Pro-Am). Of all those tournaments, the one that stands out in my mind is the 2002 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Why? Because Sorenstam -- who was once the shyest and most understated of superstars -- showed up for the final round in a pair of high-gloss, blood-red golf shoes that looked liked they'd been swiped from Doug Sanders' closet. Others may disagree, but I think her victory that day, in shoes that screamed "Look at me!", amounted to a sneak preview. It was Annika's way of saying, "I'm confident now, I believe I can do great things. I might even challenge the men."

Sorenstam never wore the red shoes again, to the best of my knowledge, but I'm sure they'll turn up somewhere. Maybe in the World Golf Hall of Fame?

Anyway, here, straight from The Vault, is my version of THE RED SHOES.

(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

May 13, 2008

LPGA loses big with Annika announcement

Posted at 3:35 PM by Mike Walker

Annika Sorenstam wants to retire, and she’s certainly earned it. The reluctant superstar who intentionally missed putts as a junior so she wouldn’t have to give a victory speech blossomed into one of sport’s most gracious champions, amassing 72 LPGA Tour wins and 10 majors. Her dominance of the game was so overwhelming that she and Tiger Woods had a good-natured rivalry over number of majors won. She was his only contemporary competition.

Sorenstam may have been at her best in a tournament where she didn’t even make the cut. In the 2003 Colonial, Sorenstam becaome the first woman to play against men in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. She handled the circus-like atmosphere with her usual charm and humility and posted a first round 1-under 70. She didn’t play the weekend, but she proved that she deserved the chance.

Now, she wants to focus on family and business. And my selfish reaction as a golf fan is: Why now? After two consecutive wins on the LPGA Tour, Sorenstam is poised to give the LPGA something the men’s tour hasn’t had in years: a real rivalry. While Sorenstam worked through injuries, Lorena Ochoa took her No. 1 ranking and her place as the face of women’s golf. Now, Sorenstam is back to championship form and this season promises to be a duel for wins, majors and that top spot on the money list. The men’s tour hasn’t had a rivalry like this since Nicklaus-Watson and maybe since Nicklaus-Palmer.

So enjoy it while you can, but when she’s gone, it’s gone.





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