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Annika Sorenstam will tee it up one more time

Annika Sorenstam has confirmed that she will take a temporary step back from retirement and play in an 'Annika bonanza' in February.

"It's called the Annika Celebration," said the Swede, who is generally regarded as the greatest female golfer on her generation.

"It's really an event that IMG (her management company) is putting together to help me raise some money for my foundation to help me get it off to a little more than a kick-start.

"But it's also their (IMG's) way of celebrating my career and what I've achieved.

"It's a three-day event. We'll be starting with a Pro-Am and then we have an exhibition match with Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and I think Natalie Gulbis and myself.

"It will take place at Reunion in Orlando, just where my academy is. Again, it's something that IMG is putting together; all of my sponsors are involved. We are tieing it in with a Super Bowl party, so it should be little bit more on the lighter side than it has been in the past."

Did playing in events mean Sorenstam was keeping the door open for a full time return to tournament golf?

"Well, that's the beauty of it, I suppose. I have the option to do that, and maybe that's why I feel even more that I won't. Never say never, but on the other hand, I feel great right now. This is what I've been waiting for (stepping away from the professional circuit)."

She added: "Walking down the 18th (in her final event in Dubai), I felt so much at peace. I know the time is right.

"I have had 15 wonderful years. I have achieved more than I ever thought I could.

"I cannot ask for anymore. I have given it all from start to finish. I just don't have it any more in me, and there's no need for me to be out here and continue to reminisce, continue to push something that's not there.

"On the contrary, I would like to leave it where I feel really good about it. I've always said that to my friends and my family; that is last thing I want to do is be out playing and have a fan, say, hey, I remember when she could play. That's just not me.

"I give it all, and if I can't give it all, I'll do something else and that time is here."

January 6, 2009

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