Annika Sorenstam Press Conference Transcript


Q. Give us some general comments. What do you think? How do you feel?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I just --I can't believe it. It is a dream come true. I really don't know why all this is happening to me but I am very, very thankful. I mean, this is what a golfer can dream about. I am a lucky one and it feels great.
Q. Obviously last week was a dramatic emotional week. This weeks a dramatic emotional week. Can you compare the two of them?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It is tough to compare. I mean, because this golf course is so different compared to last week. This one I don't think I have ever been so patient, which is what the key was this week. I was just trying to hit one shot at a time. I knew every hole is going to be difficult. It is a challenge that I didn't really look ahead. Last week was more of an easy golf course that I knew I can make birdie the next hole ago and I never felt the pressure that I did this week. I didn't shoot 59 this week, but through the circumstances and this golf course, this really ranks up there by a 59. Just to finish the way I did, I mean, it was such a race. Just looking at the leaderboard one shot moves you up 10 places and one shot moves you down 10 places. I knew I just have to be patient and I am just -- I am really happy I was.
Q. When you were on, I guess it was 11 when the leaderboard finally showed that you were alone at 5, did you see that and then, I mean, you made the subsequent birdie, bogey, birdie, I am wondering if you saw right when you had gotten the lead solo?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I didn't see the leaderboard on No. 11. I did see though that I was tied with Pat after 9 and then I saw it on No. 12. So in between there I didn't see anything.
Q. The bogey on 12, the first putt, tentative putt?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, you can say so (laughs). I had 30 feet and hit it eight feet short and it is -- that is the way I react in these conditions, when I get nervous I get very tentative. I felt like I hit the putt but it just went nowhere. When I get nervous I lose my feel and that happened there and it happened on a few putts coming in. Luckily it didn't cost me anything but that one really cost me.
Q. At the start of the day you were one back and all kinds of people had an opportunity to win this. You were you say you were trying to stay patient. Does that mean you weren't thinking I have to shot a 70 today or I need to shoot 68? Dottie said she thought 67 would have won it for her today. Were you not thinking about that at all?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: No, not at all. I did not have a score in mind at all when I started the day. I was just trying to pretend that it was an 18-hole golf course and I had to go out and play the best I could today. I tried to do the very best I could on every shot; not think about the previous hole and not think about the next hole. I was just trying to stay so much in the present and not -- I mean I always look at the leader boards. I look at it three or four times a hole, but today I said it doesn't matter what the leaderboard is. You still got to do it. That is what I kept doing. I took a little peak at it, but other than that I was just kind of focusing on each hole and you know, I played eight holes, and I said, it is 10 more. Then I went to the next, I said, now it is just nine. I just kept counting down just because I wanted to give it all on every hole and not think about too much overall the whole tournament.
Q. This is the major you have been looking for a while. How satisfied are you?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I am very, very -- I mean I am so happy I am -- you know, when I have been home I have been putting and thinking this putt is going to win, you know, the Nabisco Championship, this 2-putt here, these are the thoughts I have had all winter. I have come here and I have played and I have walked along the 18th here and I knew there is a little spot there and I wanted my name on it. Those are the fantasies that you have. But I knew one day that that is what I wanted and I can't believe it happened this year. But I knew I had a chance obviously today going into the round. I said it is in my hands, just take the opportunity and things were just going my way. Like I said, I don't know why it is happening so much at this time, but I am very thankful.
Q. Coming off last week and the sensational week and the media attention and then going right into the first major of the season, was there any special thing you did to mentally prepare for this or to put yourself at ease or anything special that you did to scope out this week?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, I didn't really prepare the way I wanted to coming into this event because of the last two weeks. I was exhausted coming home on Sunday. I rested Monday and Tuesday. I did miss out on my practice round this week. So I really didn't feel like I had what I wanted to prepare. What I had going for me was I was playing well. Confidence was there. I knew the course. I have been here so many times. That is what I just keep telling myself, you know, you have been here, you have done it and you can do it. That is just what I kept telling myself. And I mean today I actually wrote a little note on my visor, I just want to look at it all day long. I just kept reminding myself. It's in Swedish. To translate it: Don't be afraid or just go for it kind of thing.
Q. Do you think that Tiger Woods will now be known as the male Annika?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Oh, I don't think so. But thank you.
Q. You have openly said that what Karrie has done the past two years has motivated you and that you came into this year wanting to overtake her. Do you think that you have caught her?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I haven't looked at her ranking, but I am just so happy the way I played. I beat her the last seven, eight times I played with her so, that gives me an edge, I know, and I have come out with such great starts this year; now I want to keep playing. I think by the end of the year we will see.
Q. You haven't won a major since for four years?
Q. What part of your game was struggling and at any point did you think you were sort of letting yourself down and squandering any of your talent?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, I think right after 1996 you know, when I won two U.S. opens in a row, it felt so easy. I didn't have any expectations going into the Open. It just kind have happened. So when I came into 1997 I think I had too much of an attitude like this is going to be okay. And then you know, I shot myself in the foot the first day and there went the next major. After that I struggled a little bit because I wanted it so badly. I started out with a bad round in every major. I had to kind of catch up and it was too much to catch up. I think the last two years I have been more focused on what I had to do. I have been thinking more about what you know, each round and each shot and not get too much ahead of myself. And when it comes to my golf game, I have always felt like I had the game that was needed. I am not the longest hitter out here but I can hit a lot of fairways. And I hit a lot of greens. So I knew I could do it. But sometimes my short game has kind of let me down a little bit and that is what I have practiced a lot on this winter because I knew that is just going to be the key. I know I am going to hit a lot of greens but I have to make the putts to score low and that is what I have done the last few weeks. It is so nice to see. I mean, I have putted so many times and the confidence is really coming back.
Q. Did you find yourself having to hold down your emotions coming down the stretch? Were you starting to get emotional 16, 17 or was it not until 18?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Oh, definitely. I mean, I was in a spot where I wanted to be. I was telling myself that all day long, you are in the spot where you want to be. But just stay patient and let's just play this hole, hit one shot at a time. I mean I sounded like a broken record out there. My caddie has probably heard enough of me. That is just the way it was. It was repeating, let's hit one shot, hit the green, make the putt. That is what I have done all day. It is never over until it is over. I mean, even though I walked on this little -- the bridge on 18, I had two shots and it might sound like a lot, but under these circumstances it is not a lot. So was just trying to stay calm and just think about what I had to do.
Q. I don't mean to jump around too much, but after you know, what is next and -- well, literally the next two weeks, I guess, you guys have off. What will you do?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I am not going to do anything. I am just going to relax. I am not going to do anything. I am going to go home just take care of myself; take care of my husband; my cats and just I am not going to touch my golf clubs. I feel exhausted. I think I need a break. So that is probably the first four, five days and then I might go to the gym and just slowly get into golf, but then, you know, then it is L.A. and when you are on the road like this you want to continue, so I know I will practice the week before and I am going to continue. I mean, I am having a lot of fun and I don't see why I shouldn't keep working.
Q. Will you stay here in the desert?
Q. You said yesterday you had caught a cold. I noticed on the putting green you were coughing a little bit. People who have colds aren't supposed to jump into Lakes.
Q. Did you ever think about not doing that?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I'd do anything to win here. I just think I am just so tired and my immune system has probably gone somewhere else but that is okay. This means a lot to me and I got two weeks to recover and it if it takes all year, that is fine. This is the tournament that I wanted so I will go into any lake for it.
Q. This fitness regime, how much swimming has it included?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't know if you can tell on my dive, but I have been diving. I have been swimming a little bit. It is actually part of my routine, but this is the best swim I have had in a long time.
Q. Talk a little bit how important David is to you and to helping you achieve your ambitions and so on?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, I mean, Dave does everything for me literally outside the golf course. He is very supportive, but I mean he does everything so I can prepare, everything so I can practice, even though I won and I made the last putt, he is behind it too. He has heard me complain. He has heard me be happy. I mean, he has seen me work. He knows what my goals are and he has never been in the way. He has always been so supportive. I mean we live for my golf, and I am just very happy that he wants to do that because it means a lot to me, but when we do it together too it is kind of a team thing a little bit. So this victory here, this week and the last two weeks, I mean, he deserves a lot of credit himself.
Q. What were your evenings like this week? Last week I know you were spent some time at your sister's house, you cooked. Did you cook this week?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I cooked a little bit. My dad stayed with us this week, so I have had a chance to be with him a little bit. The evenings, you know we haven't done too much. I haven't really felt too good so it has been early evenings but we always sit in the jacuzzi and always talk about the day and do some crosswords just to kind of get my mind off golf. Just a way of being together because I won't see him for a while. He is going back to Sweden, so it was just nice to have him close to me this week: He has been here for two weeks.
Q. Janice Moodie mentioned your situp routine. How many do you do a day?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It varies. But I do a lot of it situps.
Q. A couple of hundred a day?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I do a lot more than 100. I do a lot of crunches. I do a lot of medicine ball. I do a little more than 500. I do between 500 and 1,000. It varies. Like I said, some are tougher than others, but I do a lot of situps. I do about 750 to be honest.
Q. Pushups?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Zero. I can't do more than 10 pushups. I can go home and practice (laughs) I work out during tournaments, yeah. I didn't do it this morning, no. This week I haven't done too much. I haven't felt so good, but I just think having a strong back in golf is good and situps is -- it is something that you know, I know Tiger does a lot of situps and I have challenged him but he hasn't said yes yet. So maybe he is home doing some.
Q. If you had to come up with one or two words to describe yourself what would they be?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I am sorry what was the last part.
Q. Because I am running out of adjectives.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I am very, very stubborn. I am very competitive.
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