Final round interview at the Dubai Ladies Masters, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, U.A.E.
Sunday 16th December 2007
Annika Sorenstam 70-70-68-70=278 (-10)
Q. Annika on behalf of everyone here, congratulations on your first win of 2007. Can you begin by telling us how it feels?
Annika Sorenstam: Thank you. Of course it feels wonderful. It’s been kind of a tough year for me inside the ropes and to come here and defend a title and to play so consistent and bring the trophy home; it’s just a wonderful feeling. I’ve missed the feeling. I’ve missed being in contention. I’ve missed coming down the stretch and having a chance to win so I could not have asked for a better week.
Q. How will you celebrate now?
Annika Sorenstam: Well as a matter of fact I cooled some champagne before I left the room so I hope it’s still cold.
Q. How important was the birdie on the 17th hole?
Annika Sorenstam: I hit a pitching wedge to 16 feet and I knew I was running out of holes. Iben had a one stroke lead at the time and all I was focusing on was the hole. There really was no other option. It wasn’t just trying to get it close: it was the hole that mattered. I saw the line right away and once the ball got rolling I thought “This is looking good,” and then it dropped. Obviously it was a key putt and kind of set the stage for 18.
Q. You must be delighted but a little sad for Iben who played so well. Can you just tell us about that?
Annika Sorenstam: It’s never fun to see an ending like that. I was just focusing on my own game and I wasn’t really looking at what Iben was doing. She has played so well the whole week. She played very, very well today. I looked up and I saw this ball coming down. To be honest I didn’t really know what to say or what to do at that time. I just took a quick turn. All I wanted to do was get on the green and finish. I told her, “You know Iben, you played very well. Don’t let that shot ruin this whole tournament. Sometimes you win tournaments and sometimes you lose them. At this particular time it was my turn and obviously I’m thankful for that but I also feel for Iben. She is a great player, a great person, we get along very well. She has been a partner in the Solheim Cup so it’s never fun to see that happen to a friend.
Q. Will this give you even more motivation now for the next few weeks?
Annika Sorenstam: Yes. It’s a little light in the tunnel. It’s been a tough year and I’m still working a lot on my game. I think the key for me this week was to post some solid scores under par. Being in the last group on the last day; there is extra pressure and I haven’t had that in a long time. It’s something that you have to train and get used to again so I think it was very important. To be able to finish and walk home with the trophy; just getting the job done, means a lot to me. It’s going to carry on for next year. I need that and so this is a very special win in many, many ways.
Q. Last year you won on 18 under and this year you won on 10 under. What was the difference?
Annika Sorenstam: I remember last year I played flawless. This year the course was a little longer and made it a little tougher. I don’t think you can compare scores year for year. I’m just happy with the way I played this week. Like I said, it was solid and that’s all you can do sometimes.
Q. The year is coming to its close. What are your plans for the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008?
Annika Sorenstam: Well I’m heading back to Orlando tonight. I’ve been on the road for almost three weeks so I’m just going to get ready for the holiday. As a matter of fact my fiancé and I have an engagement party on Saturday and we have about 100 people coming. I think I have my hands full the next few days to try and get ready for that and also for Christmas. I’m looking forward to a few weeks off but then I’m going to get back to work. I’m motivated for next year. I really want to get back to the top so it’s going to take some work. Not too much turkey for me. It’s back in the gym and start grinding.
Q. That concludes the press conference.
Annika Sorenstam: Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you all next year.