An interview with:
THE INTERVIEWER: Ladies and gentlemen, Annika Sorenstam
didn't quite pull it off today. She was certainly the favorite coming into the
final round, I think, even by most of the players who were in contention, and
she shot an even par round of 70, played very well, hitting 12 of 14 fairways,
13 of 18 greens, and 31 putts.
Annika, I know you're smiling, but I know you
are very disappointed. What's in your heart right now?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Rhonda, I'm not that disappointed because
I did everything I could today, and I think I did everything I could this week,
you know, to finish under par in this championship, in this golf course. I've
got to be proud of that.
And I played some excellent golf. I had a lot of chances;
I made a few, and it's been a great week. It's just that Juli
played really good today. There was nothing I could do about it. When you give
everything, what else can you do? So I'm going to walk away from here this week
and I'll be smiling anyway.
Q. Good for you. When did
you first become aware that your lead was beginning to erode?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: When I walked down the 11th fairway, I saw
a leader board on 16 or 17, whichever hole that is, I saw Juli
was 4-under. I had a good opportunity on 11 myself to get to 3-under, and I
didn't make that one, but I kept playing and playing.
And then I saw her on the 15th hole, I saw she made a long
putt for par, which is pretty incredible, and then when I came up on 16th fairway,
she was minus 5 because I heard the roar. I figured, that's got to be Juli.
I was following it pretty closely.
Like I said, I had my chances. I was playing well, and I wasn't
going to give up until the last hole and the last putt was in.
Q. Annika, given the
conditions -- given the golf course, 24 hours ago, would you have taken
even par and expected to have won?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yes, I would.
Q. Your tee shot on 15 that
ended up short, talk about that lie, and then the putt that you missed there
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah. I had a 6-iron off the tee, and I
probably had one of the worst lies you can get around the green, and I don't
know how I pulled that chip -- i mean, that was a miracle shot, and almost
made it, too. Too bad I didn't take advantage of it, but it was a really tough
lie and probably one of the best shots I hit all week.
Q. Annika, can you
talk about your reaction when you saw her make that birdie putt on 16? You were
sitting on your back watching at the time. What were you thinking?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I figured I got four more holes, I can birdie
all four, and I need some help. Like I said, I never give up, and it wasn't
over until I tried to make my second shot on 18, so it's the Open
and you never know what can happen.
Q. Annika, just go
back to 15. What happened on the tee shot? Did you hit it a little fat?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: No, I did not hit it fat. I think the wind
took it a little more left to right than I expected, and right there is a very
steep ridge up to the green, and it's one of the those greens where you've got
to land right in front to get to the pin.
If you're 2 feet short, it comes back; and if you're 2 feet
long, it goes over the green. I thought I had a good shot, it just didn't turn
out to be.
Q. Annika, after you
saw Juli birdie on 7 and you birdied on top of her, did it become pretty
much a match play?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Not at all. It was still early in the round
and, like I said, in the Open, anything can happen. I was trying
to play my own game. I knew I had to be a little more aggressive because obviously
Juli was playing well, so I had to try to make birdies myself.
Q. Annika, Juli
is a little older, is a mom, has been through some struggles. Do you think
-- could you talk about how her mentality affected her ability to come back
today and beat you?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't know much about mentality, but I
know she has a lot of experience. She's been out here for many years. She's
won this championship before. She's older, maybe a little wiser than I am, but
other than that, we're similar.
Q. Annika, could you
talk a little bit about the difficulty of these greens and putting and kind
of what Juli was able to do with all her success?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well -- like I said earlier in the
week, I think the greens make this golf course. There were some pins again today,
and there are a lot of humps where you can't be aggressive, one or two humps
in front of you -- everything is speed, and it makes it really difficult.
Some of the chances I had today, I couldn't be aggressive
where I wanted to be, so they are tough greens and -- but, I mean, that's
what a championship like this -- that's what you expect. It seemed like
Juli figured it out today.
Q. Were you guys ever put
on the clock?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: We were warned, yes.
Q. It seemed like a very deliberate
pace that had been set for you. Was it an extra element to battle?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: A little bit. It's always a little bit of
extra tension when you got an official right behind your back counting your
seconds when you're trying to think about the wind and your shots. So, of course
it's a factor. I consider myself quite a fast player, and I shouldn't worry
about it. I should just keep on with my pace of play and I should be all right.
Q. Was there anything today
that felt different from the first three rounds today?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: No. Actually, I think I felt much better
on the first tee than I expected I would. Last night I was telling my husband
and my caddy that I'm going to be nervous tomorrow, but when I stood on the
first tee, I felt, this is going to be a good day. I felt good all morning,
and it was a good day. It really was.
The way I played, it was just an ordinary day and, I mean,
the way I felt today, I like to feel every Sunday.
Q. How long does it take for
you to get over -- i know you said you're not too disappointed, but obviously
this is the biggest event of the year. How long does it take to bounce back
My second question is: Juli is almost 11 years
older than you. Can see yourself being out here 11 years from now.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't think it's going to take very long.
I didn't lose today; Juli won, and I gave everything I had. And
I'll be fine tomorrow. It's -- i'm going to take a few weeks off and enjoy
this, so this is not going to haunt me for very long. And who knows what I'll
do in 11 years? I don't know, I just want to enjoy every day and take it as
Q. Juli has 50 putts
over the last two days, you have 62, is a 12-stroke difference on the green
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't know what that word means.
Q. Is that too big of a difference
on the green to win a championship?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: That is a big difference. It shows we're
different players. My strength has always been hitting the ball well. I hit
a lot of fairways and greens. Juli must have figured out the greens,
Q. Annika, just to
confirm, what hole were you put on the clock at?
And, also, if you had your choice, would you like to have
played with a player today that might have been more your speed.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Let's see, we were warned on the 12th tee
and, I mean, like I said, I'm a fast player and I actually felt like we were
running out there. I can't believe we were put on the clock. We played the front
9 two hours and not much more. We are a twosome, et cetera, but there
is a lot of people to move to the next tee, so I didn't feel like we were slow
Q. Annika, some players
say they don't look at the leader board, that it distracts them from their own
game. Can you talk about why you look at it? And does that change your game,
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I like to look at the leader board because
I want to see what's happening in the tournament; I want to know where I'm standing,
if I have to play aggressive, or if I have to play conservative. This is part
of the whole thing.
It's sometimes alters my game, and sometimes not, but I love
watching the leader board.
Q. Annika, there was
a delay on 16, second shot. Was that just -- did that bother you at all or did
you just hit a bad shot or bad swing?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I think the shot I hit there was a very
tired swing. It's been a long week, long four days, and I was getting tired
by the end, and that was probably the worst shot I hit all week. And I told
my caddy, that's a tired swing, and luckily we only have a few more hours to
Q. Let's go to the card, if
we can, please. Beginning on the front 9 with your birdie on the 7th hole.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I hit a 6-iron, chipped it up to 9 feet.
Q. Bogey on 8?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I hit an 8-iron short of the green, chipped
it up, 2 putts.
Q. The birdie on 14?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Sand wedge to 8 feet.
Q. Bogey on 15?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: 6-iron chip, 2 putt.
Q. 16, bogey?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: 8-iron chip, 2 putt as well.
Q. Then the birdie on 17?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Sand wedge to 5 feet.
Q. Thank you very much, Annika.
Do we have any one last question? Right here.
Annika, what does it do to your mind-set when
you hear all that noise? The gallery was pretty loud. What does that to your
mind-set, when you heard different ovations throughout --
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It doesn't bother me at all. It's part of
the whole thing. That's what you hear in the Open. The spectators
get excited and players get excited. It's just part of it. I would miss it if
we didn't have it.
Q. Perhaps you'll get some
revenge at Pumpkin Ridge next year.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Hope so.
Q. Thank you for being with us all week.