At the Dubai Ladies Masters last Sunday Annika Sorenstam, at least for now, closed out her Hall of Fame career and retired from competitive golf. With 89 career victories and over $22 million in career earnings she can certainly afford it.

Unlike the ‘will he – won’t he’, that finally looks like a “he will” following today’s announcement that Mats Sundin has finally agreed on a contract to play for the Vancouver Canucks, I think Annika is serious about her retirement. Her career highlights are certainly something to marvel at, 10 major wins, 72 LPGA Tour titles, induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame (in 2003 while still in the prime of her career) and 8 Rolex Player of the Year awards to name a few.

For the LPGA Tour, which has seen the impact of the current economic times already effecting its 2009 tournaments and purses, this is another major blow. Having said that, also on Sunday, “the next one” (to steal another hockey term), 26 year old Lorena Ochoa, was busy wrapping up another victory at the Ginn OPEN with a final round 69. In the process she tied the record of most consecutive wins (4) with, you guessed it Annika (and 3 others). For the LPGA Tour the glass is still half full!

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