Golf | Annika Sorenstam says farewell to Tour
Standing in the center of a sun-drenched 18th green, as waves of cheers rippled from a packed gallery, Annika Sorenstam hugged caddie Terry...
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Standing in the center of a sun-drenched 18th green, as waves of cheers rippled from a packed gallery, Annika Sorenstam hugged caddie Terry McNamara and took the flag from his hand.
She held it high, in the manner of a conquering hero, and slammed it into the hole.
"It's over," the 38-year-old said.
Sorenstam's LPGA Tour career presumably ended Friday afternoon, when she failed to qualify for the third round of the ADT Championship. The Hall of Famer from Sweden shot a 3-over-par 75, putting her at 5 over for the week — two shots from surviving the cut from 32 to 16 for today. After today's round, the field will be cut in half again before the final-round battle for $1 million.
"All of a sudden, the time is here," said Sorenstam, who won 72 Tour events. "You're standing there on the 18th fairway and it's your last approach shot in an LPGA event. A lot of thoughts go through your head ... and what's been the coolest thing this week is all these people who showed up that I don't know, my fans."
When Sorenstam was on the 16th tee, hundreds crowded around her and playing partner Laura Diaz. At the same moment, about 100 feet away on the 11th tee, a gallery of nine watched two other players.
People wanted to see history, in case it really was the final round of Sorenstam's spectacular career.
Even top-ranked Lorena Ochoa — the defending ADT champion, who also didn't advance to the weekend — showed up at the 18th green to give her friend and rival a farewell hug.
"I can't imagine how she's doing right now," the 27-year-old Ochoa said. "But I guess it will come for all of us at one point. So we can only say that we enjoyed having her and thank you for everything."
Katherine Hull shot a 71 to get to 5 under, making her the leader after two rounds, a fact that will be irrelevant today. The scorecards of the surviving 16 all get erased for the third round, and will again when the final eight play Sunday.
• A 14-year-old from Hong Kong became the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event, surpassing the record set by Spaniard Sergio Garcia.
Jason Hak, who is based in Lake Mary, Fla., shot a 70 in each of the first two rounds at the Hong Kong Open. Garcia was 15 years, 46 days old when he made the cut at the 1995 Turespana Open Mediterrania in Valencia, Spain.
• Defending champ Tommy Armour III eagled No. 18 at Spyglass Hill en route to a 1-under 71, tying Arron Oberholser (66 at Spyglass) for the lead at 7-under 137 after two rounds of the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational in California.
Brock Mackenzie, a former Washington Husky from Yakima who competes on the Nationwide Tour, shot a 68 at Del Monte Golf Course and was among five players at 138.
• Robert Thompson shot a 2-under 70 to win the 50-and-older Champions Tour qualifying tournament, finishing a stroke better than third-round leader John Morse (72) in Coral Springs, Fla.
Thompson (7-under 281), Morse (282), Tom McKnight (285), James Mason (286) and Steve Thomas (286) each will receive full-exempt status for the 2009 Champions Tour season.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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