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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sorenstam ends career with birdie

Sweden's Annika Sorenstam
Sorenstam finishes her career with a birdie at the 18th

Annika Sorenstam brought the curtain down on her glittering 15-year career with a birdie as she finished seventh at the Dubai Masters.

The 38-year-old Swede signed for a one-under 71, to finish on six under, seven shots behind German winner Anja Monke.

Britain's Laura Davies carded a 69 to finish four shots back in third.

Sorenstam dominated the women's game for over a decade, winning 90 tournaments, including 10 majors, and was player of the year eight times.

She had led at the halfway stage in Dubai, but hopes of a fairytale farewell were dented by a third-round 75.

Two bogeys in the opening five holes on Sunday dropped her further adrift, before three birdies around the turn sparked life into her final round.

A third bogey on 15 followed, but Sorenstam rolled in an eight-foot putt at the last to the delight of her fellow players who applauded her off the 18th green.

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"When you get that kind of respect from the players it breaks your heart," she said.

"It means a lot. I felt it today and it was very special. I felt at peace walking up the 18th hole and really felt very content.

"I saw some players standing behind the 18th green and I saw my parents and my family and that gave me a tear."

But Sorenstam admitted the time was right for her to retire.

"I'm both happy and sad," she said. "The motivation is no longer there but I'm very proud of what I've achieved in the last 15 years.

"Life goes on and I am very happy about my decision to move on.

"I feel very good about women's golf in general. It's on the rise and it will continue to grow. I think stepping away at this time is very appropriate."

When asked if despite her feelings, she would ever consider a comeback, the Swede added: "I have the option to do that and never say never but on the other hand, I feel great right now."



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see also
Annika Sorenstam photos
13 May 08 |  Golf


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