Women's British Open: 'Tigress Woods' puts family first and calls it quits

Final major for Swede who sealed place as genuine great

Annika Sorenstam, the Tigress Woods of women's golf, will play her last major championship this week when she competes in the Ricoh British Open at Sunningdale. She will leave the land of milk and honey at the end of the season, and one of her priorities is to start a family.

"When you've been a part of something for so long of course you care," the Swede said, "but I don't want to make this a farewell tour. I'm still focusing on my game." She will only stop winning titles when she retires as a player in November. "I have made a choice and I'm sure next year I will reflect on all these tournaments and I'm going to miss a lot of it," she said. "But I have many other fun things in life and other goals."

Sorenstam will launch the Annika Academy for junior players and also design golf courses. "I've had a fantastic career," she said, "and I'd like to leave at the top where the memories are still brilliant and while I still have a lot of energy to do something else. Some of the things I'll be connected with have to do with kids and golf. It would be difficult and a lot more sad if I couldn't be involved with the game."

When Bjorn Borg dominated Wimbledon they called him the Iceman. To every major tournamentin Europe and America, Sorenstam brought asimilar Scandinavian style: cool, detached and with an implacable will to win.

"When I win there is joy and happiness and when I don't I'm unhappy and sad," she said, "but I've never been an emotional player." It is partly what makes her such a formidable opponent, but she admits the "daily grind" played a part in her decision to bow out.

"We don't have weeks off," she said, "because even if we're not playing we need to be on the practice range or in the gym. If it was so easy just to go to tournaments and play good golf, I would probably never stop, but that isn't how it works."

A three-time winner this season, Sorenstam says she still has a chance to finish top of the money list and be named player of the year. Barring her way, however, is the extraordinarily talented and petite Mexican Lorena Ochoa, who has not only taken over theworld No 1 spot but will also be the defending championin the British Open after winning the championship, in some style, at St Andrews last year.

"I was surprised to hear of Annika's retirement and I can only say to her, 'Thank you for the good example you set'," said Ochoa, who begins every answer to a question with "Hello". "I learned so much from her. She has always been my motivation to get to the top and improve my game. We are losing a very big name, not only in the LPGA but in golf. It is time to move on. She is leaving to have a family and I respect that very much." So it's goodbye from Sorenstam and hello Ochoa.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor