home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 13, 2007

Annika Sorenstam


DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank you all for joining us. Annika, thank you also for coming in. You're fresh off of your tie for third at Mobile last week, which was kind of key to getting into the tournament this week and now you've had a practice round under your belt. You're kind of riding the tide of momentum right now.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, a little momentum, momentum in playing, I would say. I feel pretty good about my progress. I'm making some good strides. I've had some top-six finishes the last few LPGA events I've played in, so I'm just excited to be back playing and kind of getting into the swing of things, and of course I'm thrilled to be here. This tournament has always been a good one to me in many ways, so I'm happy to be back.

Q. How important is it for you to try and get a win for the season, and also, can you just talk about contrasting coming into this week this year the way you usually come into this tournament, what's your mindset?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, obviously it's been a very different year for me in many ways. It's not a year that is something you really put on a resumé. But having said that, it's been a tough year with the injury. It really kind of set me back. I've only played 12 times, and I would say that probably five out of those 12 I've been even competitive. I mean, not even to my full potential.
So in that regard I'm not so worried about not having a win. You cannot win if you're not 100 percent, and it's tough to win even when you are. Having said that, when you feel decent in five tournaments, I don't really expect to win out here.
I mean, right now it's just all for me to get into playing, kind of get better every time I play, and it's just been a different season that way. I mean, I'm really already looking forward to next year, you know, my schedule and what I need to do. This year is just a matter of getting past this year and be ready for next year.
You know, I'm going to play the best I can this week, but it's not do or die if I don't win. Like I said, I'm just happy to be here playing. The expectations are a lot more different than they were last year. I mean, I've always been one of the favorites coming into this week, but this year is just very different, and it's just something I have to accept.

Q. As you were coming off the injury, did you look at this event and set it as a goal to qualify, or was it just a matter of taking it week to week and seeing how your physical capabilities were?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, you know, I always want to play this event. To be honest, I really don't know how you qualify for this event, other than just playing, and my goal was to play. I figured the better I played, the better chance I have to get in this week. I mean, right now I just need to play. I feel like I've been playing part-time on our Tour, and it's tough to be competitive.
So this tournament and the next -- I have another two with the Lexus Cup and Dubai, so at least I have three or four at the end of the year that will hopefully kick-start '08. That's kind of how I look at these next few events.

Q. You've been on top so long and accomplished so much. A question is always how can she stay hungry; she's already done almost everything. But having the year you had and the injuries affecting you, does it motivate you when you see other players take that spot that you had? Do you find that motivation coming back?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, I love the competition. Not being competitive and not playing is something I missed. I mean, I would say that it hurts that I couldn't perform on the level that I know how. It hurts when you cannot practice the way you want, and it hurts when you don't hit the shots that I've been hitting for years. So that motivates me, that makes me want to get back to the top because that's where I enjoy being.
I don't enjoy coming out here and hitting shots, missing fairways and missing greens and just really struggling, which I did for several months. I did not enjoy that, and that's the last thing I want to take away from this Tour is playing like that, so I'm determined to get my game back and play good golf. I mean, that's what I enjoy. So that's what my motivation comes from.

Q. You talked several times the last few years about how long you wanted to play. Do you have a number in mind for you? Do you want to play two years, three years, or does it just depend on how you're playing and your health and everything like that?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I would say it depends on that. I've always said, as long as I enjoy what I do, as long as I am motivated and this is fun, then I will keep on playing. I do feel like I have kind of come to the back nine of my career, if you know what I mean. I mean, it's just I've done a lot, and I'm satisfied in a lot of things. I've achieved so much more than I ever thought I could.
Yeah, there are times when I have to kick myself a little bit and kind of go out there, but I think the injury has kind of helped me to spark the interest a little bit again, and like I said, I want to find the top of my game. That's my priority right now.

Q. I was just curious what you thought about the format changes for this week, specifically the live draw on Sunday -- or Saturday night?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I remember last year, I didn't get a chance to play on the weekend, and I was bummed. But I did tune in when I got home. I thought it was exciting. I was determined to make the weekend this year, and then now I'm just happy to be in here.
Right now I'm just really not focusing on what the format is, I just want to play. This thing, anybody can win here, they really can. If I would end up winning, I'd come up the Money List and all of a sudden I would have a great year. I just think that's a little bit ironic. But I'm going to do the best and we'll see if the format works out.

Q. Going back to your injury to your neck, are you close to being 100 percent, and also, what kind of treatment have you been getting? After the round are you able to fully practice like you want to?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, I mean, I feel great. I can practice as much as I want, I can hit as many balls, I can work out as much as I want. After a round I really don't do a lot of treatment. I feel good, I really do. I'm back to my normal routines. I go to the trailer a little bit and the guys will help me stretch, but I don't have to ice, I don't have to do any special treatment. I feel like I'm almost as good as new.

Q. It's also been kind of a significant year for you in everything you've had going off the course, the academy and all that. In that way did that kind of take the -- give you something else to think about when you were rehabbing from the injury and weren't just having to focus on the injury the whole time?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Absolutely. I mean, I think really that was important to me because if I didn't have any of that, I don't know if I would have been a lot of fun to be around (laughter). I don't know if Mike would have handled me, just being miserable and not doing what I enjoy doing.
Now, on the contrary I had my grand opening of the academy, I created the foundation, I was very involved with the tribute down in Charleston. I got my website up and running, and actually I'll have to let you know, my blog is coming up live tomorrow, Annikablog.com, so we've been working on that. So I've been really busy with all that stuff, and it's kind of kept my mind on some positive things. You know, I've really had a chance to work and be involved in those things.
Things happen for a reason. You know, I got the interest back in golf and I got these things started, so when I look back at '07, it's not a bad year.

Q. You've won here more than anybody else. What do you most like about this place, and is there anything you don't like?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I like this place a lot. I mean, I always felt like it was a great finishing to the season, you know, coming here. They treat us like queens. We stay in a beautiful place, we play on a great golf course. I think this is one of the courses that really just gets better the more you play it. It is a challenge. You know, you've got the best 30 or 32 players here in the world, and it should be tough, and I think this course is suited for this type of championship.
It is a treat to be here. I've always felt that way. This year when I have to fight a little extra, it feels even sweeter.

Q. Maybe tomorrow is going to be presented Lorena Ochoa Invitational for next year's tournament in Guadalajara. Would you be able to play in Lorena's hometown next year?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I'm not really sure when it is, but if I get invited I'd love to play. If it fits in the schedule -- does that make it three tournaments in Mexico? Is that what it is? I mean, she's done a lot for golf, and it's obviously a boost to get another event. I can't promise anything right here, but if it works out in the schedule I would love to support her event. I've always got along well with Lorena and I would support her as much as I can.

Q. Can you talk about the last three holes? Can you think of any courses on the Tour that's got three harder finishing holes than these three, and are any one of them any more difficult for you?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It's definitely I would say the three signature holes on this golf course. I mean, you've got two par 4s and a par 3 with winds in different directions. I mean, right now I can't think of a course or a finish that we play that's any better than that. I mean, you've seen a lot of changes coming down the stretch here. I mean, I've done good on those last three, and I'm going to continue to think that way.

Q. Talk about Whitworth's record and how you approach that, and in any way as an athlete can you use that as a motivator, or is it too abstract?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It's pretty abstract. I've always felt that it was. It wasn't until those few years when I was really hot and I was winning events that I thought, well, maybe that's even possible. You know, now it's just getting back to the game and even trying to win one event. Right now I don't really have that in my sights. That's not really my goal. It's not something that motivates me. Like I said, right now I'm just focusing really on next season and kind of giving it my all.

Q. You talked a little bit about your segue into your business ventures, how you can incorporate that in to get back out full-time playing next year. Tiger does it, all the great ones do it. It seems like it's going to have to be part of your life, too, if you want to be back on top again.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, it definitely has to be. I mean, I feel like I've started a lot of these interests of mine, and I've come a long way. I feel like the seed has been planted and now it's just a matter of nurturing it.
I kind of got the team together about four weeks ago, and I told everybody that I'm going to step away early next year and just focus on the golf. So hopefully everybody will pick up a little piece of what I'm doing and help me out. I do think the hardest part is for me to let go. I'm such kind of a control freak and want to be a part of everything and want to know what's going on. I think it's going to be more of an adjustment for me than for the team to help out. But they are willing to do it, and they all know that that's important to me, so like I said, I'm just really focusing on next year. It has to be done, too, like you said, to be at the top.

Q. I saw your website, and you've got two golf courses under construction, the one in South Africa and South Carolina. Just curious how they're going. And also, have you discussed with Tiger the design he's done? And China?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I have not discussed any golf course design with Tiger, yet, but the one in China is finished. The one in South Africa, I was just there the week before Thailand, and it's coming along nicely. It's going to be opened -- well, they're pushing for May of '08, so we'll see. But it's looking great. It's looking tough, but that's been a lot of fun.
And the one in Charleston, we're just waiting for permits. We've just kind of done the drawings but nothing has really been done more than that.

Q. Of all the business ventures that you've had start up this year, is there one that stands out more than the others to you?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, I would say the academy because it's finished. Now we're up and running full-time and it's been -- we've had about 50 to 60 guests. It's just been very rewarding to see these people and see their reactions. We felt like we have really exceeded our expectations there. I'm very, very proud of that.
But I think the one part that's the most important is the foundation, which is a way for me to give back. Kids is kind of my main focus, being part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has just been very rewarding. When you put things in perspective, especially life, you realize that maybe a bogey and maybe an injury for a few months is really not a big deal. I think I just learned a lot there, and I see that as probably something that will grow even more and really -- my goal is to make a difference there. It's something that I'm going to spend a lot more time down the road, but it's something that I find -- something I really want to do. It's close to my heart.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank you all for coming in. Annika, thank you, as well, and congratulations and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297