Sorenstam ends career with birdie, finishes seventh

Updated: December 14, 2008, 3:20 PM ET
Reuters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- A teary eyed Annika Sorenstam birdied the last hole of her playing career amid thunderous applause to finish tied for seventh in the Dubai Ladies Masters on Sunday.

The Swede, greeted at the 18th by a huge banner saying "Dubai salutes Annika Sorenstam", holed from 6 feet before watching Anja Monke, playing four groups behind, complete a comfortable three-shot victory over Italy's Veronica Zorzi.

[+] EnlargeAnnika Sorenstam
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliAnnika Sorenstam, watching her putt on the eighth hole Sunday, closed the Dubai Ladies Masters with a 71 for a 6-under 282.
"I felt at peace walking up the 18th hole. I really felt very content," the former world No. 1, who closed with a 71 for a 6-under 282, told reporters.

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

"Life goes on. I am very happy about my decision to move on," said Sorenstam, who won 90 titles worldwide including the last two years in Dubai during an amazing career spanning 15 years.

"I feel very happy [with my achievements] and at the same time if you think about 15 years and all of the things that I have achieved, it's sad.

"But you close the door and you open another one. I am glad that I have a chance to do that," said the 38-year-old who has, however, left the door slightly ajar should she wish to return.

"Well's, that's the beauty. I have the option to do that. Never say never. But, on the other hand, I feel great right now. This is what I have been waiting for," said Sorenstam, whose last competitive round contained three bogeys and four birdies.

"There is a lot of talent out there. 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."

Germany's Monke closed with successive 68s for a 13-under-par score of 275 to add the Dubai Ladies Masters title to her victory in the French Open earlier this year.

"It feels really good to win the Annika farewell tournament. I am sorry for her, but I played well and have every reason to celebrate the victory," Monke said.

ALSO SEE