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An Interview with: Annika Sorenstam


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Annika Sorenstam, runner up in the U.S. Women's Open. And I will open the floor to questions right away.

Q. Could you have been aware of what Meg was doing, making putts from everywhere, did you see anywhere along the way?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I was watching the leaderboard constantly, so I knew what she was doing. I don't know where they came from, but obviously saw that she was making a lot of birdies.

Q. You were playing some good golf today, but how did you feel hearing the crowd behind you, the cheering for Meg when she played well?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Like Meg just played extraordinary today. To shoot 6-under on Sunday at the U.S. Open, that's as good as it gets, really. I knew she was playing well, I tried to play good, which I thought I did, I thought I played excellent, myself, it just wasn't enough today.

And I heard the cheering, and hopefully I was thinking maybe it would rub off and it would go to our group. It's just one of those days. I paid attention to the leaderboards, I didn't pay attention to the crowds, but I didn't analyze it.

Q. Is there any shot that you think you sort of could have put you in a different position today?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Not off the top of my head. I think I did everything I possibly can. I was hitting the ball well. I thought my short game was good. I hit some good putts. It's something -- you just need some luck and some good breaks, and I didn't have that.

I kept trying and kept fighting and I thought I did really well at that. I can't play really much better. I didn't really miss a green today. It's tough to hit more than 18 greens. I gave it all and I feel good about that. Obviously I'm unhappy with the outcome, but sometimes you get outplayed, and that's what happened today.

Q. You said yesterday that your game plan coming in would be to play the 9, see where you were at the turn, and if you were behind, pick up your aggressive play. Did that continue? You obviously had a great back nine, did you pick up your aggressive play earlier when you saw what was going on or continue the way you thought it would go?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, I bogeyed the first hole and suddenly I was four behind, and I saw Jennifer make a birdie, and now I'm five behind, I was aware of what was happening and so I played aggressive on 3, went for the green. I tried to play aggressive on certain holes.

But for example on No. 6, I had a sand wedge in my hand, I can't be aggressive. I told my caddy, "Let's get it close, have a birdie opportunity and let the other people make mistakes." And it didn't happen that way. I didn't make the putts and they didn't make any mistakes.

Coming down the stretch I had to do something and I tried and it didn't happen until the last two holes.

Q. You played with Meg when you shot the 59, is that correct?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yes, that's correct.

Q. Are you and she good friends and how popular do you think this victory of hers will be?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I think Meg is very popular. I know Meg, I don't know her very well, but I know her through golf and we've had the chance to play together several times at big locations. I think this is a popular win for Meg. She's as steady as it gets. I think this golf course really fit her and she did a good job.

Q. Two questions. A, you sense any similarities to Prairie Dunes where you put together four good rounds of golf, you shot 67 today and were somewhat helpless, and someone else has a great Sunday?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, it's very similar, unfortunately.

Q. Secondly, do you take any consolation, when you look at the big picture that you are constantly right there on Sunday in Majors or is that frustrating? Do you look at it positively or negatively?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: You have to look at the whole picture, and I did what I could do. I hit the ball as good as I can. I gave every effort I had, I grind to the end, I was patient, I didn't throw away a shot, I never got impatient, I never got stupid, I was smart out there.

Like I said I got outplayed. It's not a fun feeling, by any means. But that's what makes you work harder and remember the good times when you do win, because it just shows that even though you play your best, you want to always win. That's just -- shows how good the players are out here. I don't know how many of you thought there would be a 65 in the last few groups, but Meg proved us all wrong today.

Q. I have a question, will you continue playing until you win a U.S. Open?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't really know. You know, I felt so good about this week, I felt good from start to finish this morning, I felt good, I felt good. When I made the putt on 18 I felt great. I really thought it was my turn. But the result is not always something you can look at, even though I wish it was. It will be more U.S. Opens for me. But winning is not something you can control.

I controlled -- I did everything that I could control. I can't control Meg. Sometimes it's just out of your hands and you have to accept that and move on.

RHONDA GLENN: I figure there are five Women's Opens, you had a really good shot at winning, including the last three years, Prairie Dunes, Pumpkin Ridge and today. Does that give you any sense of satisfaction, that you were right there and the person to beat.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yes and no. It's great to have a chance, and that's all I look for. It's just sometimes I win tournaments when I don't play as well. This week I really played well. And that's sometimes hard to swallow. But it just shows how special these championships are, and when you win one you really have to enjoy it.

Q. A lot of the week a lot of the press writers have been talking about the teen sensations coming up. What does it say when a 41 year old can still go out there and win the best championship the sport has to offer?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It shows that age doesn't really matter. But it does show that you need experience, and especially in a championship like that. Meg is the perfect Major winner, she hits it straight, she's solid all around.

And it's wonderful to see all these young players, because they are the next generation, so it just shows the LPGA is in strong hands, and women's golf is growing. And these amateurs are here to learn and see what it's all about. And one of these days they will be Meg.

RHONDA GLENN: What are you going to do next week?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Next week? I'm going to go nothing. I'm heading to Tahoe to relax and head to the boat and spend time with my husband.

RHONDA GLENN: Thank you very much, Annika.

End of FastScripts.