SINGAPORE - Annika Sorenstam built a stellar playing career by working hard, having an unrelenting passion for golf and making all the right choices, a regime the Swede has adhered to right up until her decision to retire.
Annika Sorenstam built a stellar playing career by working hard, having an unrelenting passion for golf and making all the right choices, a regime the Swede has adhered to right up until her decision to retire.
Next month, the 38-year-old will pack away her clubs after the Dubai Masters and embark on what she says is the "next stage of her life", moving on to new challenges after spending the last 14 years amassing 72 LPGA titles, including 10 majors.
Sorenstam has few regrets about walking away from a sport that has made giant strides in attracting a global audience on the back of her success over the last decade.
"I am going to miss the competition and the adrenaline rush and excitement of the last few holes of a final round," former world number one Sorenstam said ahead of this weekend's Lexus Cup, her final LPGA-sanctioned event. "But I won't miss the daily grind of working on the game. When I started it was a fun thing, then it eventually became a bit of a chore."
Since making that decision to retire public in May, Sorenstam has continued to juggle a busy playing schedule with her other interests and is looking forward to a time when she can focus on the projects she has initiated away from the driving range.
"Now I am still competing, so work from early morning until late at night. I practise and play and then get involved in my off-course activities in the evenings," she said.
Sorenstam will help to shape the future of children with dreams of emulating her achievements, by honing their skills and hosting their tournaments. "Once I stop playing, I will be able to devote all my time to my academies, foundation work, course design and hosting events," said the eight-time Player of the Year on the LPGA Tour. "I love those things and that's what will make it easier to step away from competing. I have the passion for these other things. I care for them all equally. Some take more time than others from start to finish. A lot of my courses are still awaiting approval and once we get that I will need to continue work on them. So the timing is really good."