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GOLF

Sorenstam misses cut as glorious career comes to a close

Swedish golf superstar Annika Sörenstam missed the cut in her final event in Florida on Friday, ending a 15-year glorious career on the American ladies golf tour.

Sorenstam misses cut as glorious career comes to a close

The ending for Sörenstam came a bit sooner than anticipated as she bowed out of the season-ending USLPGA ADT Championship after Friday’s second round.

A teary-eyed Sörenstam said she was able to pack more joy and memories into

her storied career that she ever imagined.

“It’s almost that a tear wants to come out, but it’s not really coming out,” said Sörenstam, who shot a three-over 75 on Friday to finish in a tie for 18th. “I think it’s because I’m very happy with what I’ve done. You know, I’m content. I’ve said it all along, I feel good.”

The field was cut to 16 players after the second round with Aussie Katherine Hull atop the leaderboard.

“I had really two good chances there (on holes 14 and 15), and when you don’t make those, you know it’s going to be very hard,” Sörenstam said.

While Friday’s round wraps up her American career, the 38-year-old Swede is scheduled to play her final tournament in Dubai next month.

The owner of 72 LPGA wins and 10 major championships, Sörenstam announced in May that she had decided to end her Hall of Fame career and pursue other interests.

“It’s been a wonderful career,” Sörenstam said. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely.”

“I don’t think just a few words would summarize how I feel or what I’ve achieved or what I’ve gone through in experiences.”

Sörenstam won three times on the LPGA Tour this season and has said she has no regrets about moving on.

She also stated that she wants to start a family and pursue other business interests, including her golf academy in Florida.

“I can’t imagine how she’s doing right now,” Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa said of Sörenstam.

“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.”

Sörenstam is leaving the LPGA just when the tour seems to need her most.

The global economic crisis has taken a big bite out of the budget as organizers announced this week they plan to slash prize money by over five million dollars in 2009.

With sponsorship money dwindling, officials also plan to cut the number of tournaments from 34 to 31 next season.

The players have also had to deal with a new steroid and performance-enhancing drug programme for the first time in 2008 and the implementation of a English language proficiency policy next year.

GOLF

Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
 
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
 
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
 
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
 
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
 
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
 
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.