SUNNINGDALE (Reuters) - Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam has won ten majors in an outstanding career but knows the women’s British Open starting on Thursday is set to be her last chance to make it eleven.
The former world number one announced in May that she will retire at the end of the year and said she would love to stage the perfect finale with a second British Open title to sit alongside her 2003 victory at Lytham & St Annes.
“My expectations are always high, I would love to win. It’s the only major that I haven’t won two or three times,” the 37-year-old told reporters.
“This is my last one (British Open)... Whatever happens, it will be emotional on Sunday evening. I have a lot of great memories. Coming from Europe, I’ve always looked up to the British Open with all its history.
“I’ve always loved the British Open and I’ve always liked Sunningdale, so I’m looking forward to the week. I believe in myself and I know I can play this golf course, but the competition is tough.”
Sorenstam, who lost her top ranking to Mexico’s British Open champion Lorena Ochoa 15 months ago, has had a great season with three victories on the LPGA Tour but admitted motivation has become a problem.
“It is a little tougher to get motivated nowadays,” she said.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m stepping away, because it doesn’t come as naturally, and the desire and hunger is not there as it used to be. But it’s different when it’s majors, tournaments that I really care about.”
Sorenstam insisted, however, that she hadn’t totally dismissed all thoughts of a comeback and plans to keep her game sharp.
“I want to start the next chapter in my life and we’ll see what happens. If I get the urge then, maybe in two or three years’ time, at least I know I can come back.” she said.
“I’m going to continue to be involved with golf, through the ANNIKA Academy and course design and hosting tournaments. So I’ll be keeping my game alive.”
Looking back on her 15 year career, the Swede said that her tally of 72 LPGA Tour wins and 88 worldwide have been a series of unexpected successes.
“If someone had told me when I turned professional all that would happen, then I wouldn’t have believed it,” she said.
Editing by Padraic Halpin
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