EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- If you want to understand why Annika Sorenstam is walking away from competitive golf at the end of the year when she will be only 38 years old and still one of the best players in the game, consider this:
Over the next seven weeks, she will play tournaments in this order: Evian Masters (France), Ricoh Women's British Open (England), Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika (Sweden), CN Canadian Women's Open (Canada,) Safeway International (Portland, Ore.), off week and then the Nykredit Masters (Denmark). That's six tournaments in seven weeks in six different countries.
And that "off week" includes a couple days of outings for her business partners and several meetings concerning her various businesses.
"People look at golf and say 'How can that be exhausting?' and they don't consider all that goes into it," Sorenstam said at the Evian Masters. "Even when you have an off week you still practice every day and work out every day. It never ends."
After 15 years, it will end for Sorenstam at the Dubai Ladies Masters, Dec. 11-14. "I am definitely not playing any tournament golf next year," she said, addressing those who just can't believe she can walk away from the game cold turkey.
-- Ron Sirak