Sorenstam reflects on another winning season
Annika Sorenstam had no sooner clinched her 10th win of the year at the LPGA's season-ending ADT Tour Championship than she was already making her plans for the future.
The Swede has been in a class of her own in the women's game over the last four years and has a burning desire to become the first player, woman or man, to complete a grand slam of the four majors in a single season.
It was her goal for 2004 and she was bitterly disappointed when she fell at the first hurdle, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
She went on to win just one, the LPGA Championship, to lift her career tally of majors to seven.
"I really want to win it (the grand slam)," Sorenstam said after clinching her eighth LPGA victory of a year that also included wins in Australia and her native Sweden.
"It would obviously be a massive achievement, but I do think it is possible."
Sorenstam ended the season on top of the LPGA money list for a seventh time with earnings of $2,554,70. She also wrapped up a record-equalling seventh Player of the Year award.
"I'm going to take the whole of January off, take a chance to relax, recharge the batteries and get all fired up again," added the Swede.
"I've had a hectic few years and I'm very proud of what I've achieved and the way I've stayed at the top.
"But I'm still striving to get better and when I occasionally play alongside the guys sometimes I feel like a beginner. They have such a wider variety of shots. But can I keep going at this pace? That's the question."
The 34-year-old Sorenstam drastically cut her schedule this year, and is likely to repeat the pattern next year.
"I did wonder if I would be a little rusty when I did play, but it seemed to be the right recipe for me," she said.
Since usurping Australia's Karrie Webb at the top of the world rankings in 2001, Sorenstam has produced four remarkable seasons.
She won eight times on the 2001 LPGA Tour, equalled Mickey Wright's tally of 11 LPGA wins in 2002 and last year won six times on the LPGA Tour while also gaining worldwide recognition when she played alongside the men at the PGA Tour's Colonial.
Sorenstam has clinched 56 LPGA titles in 10 years on tour and could overhaul Kathy Whitworth's record of 88 titles.
"It sounds impossible, but I suppose you can never say never," she mused.
But her decision not to overload her season could lead to her missing the Women's World Cup at The Links, Fancourt Hotel and Estate in George in South Africa in February.
"I think it will be a great event and did think I would play," she said.
"But I've got to look at the schedule and think about whether it will be good for me to travel over there at that time of the year."
Her deadline for a decision is next Tuesday.
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