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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Annika Sorenstam Press Conference

Aired May 23, 2003 - 19:27   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now we take you to Fort Worth, Texas and Annika Sorenstam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't we start by just talking about the experience?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM, GOLFER: Well, I'm very delighted to be here this week. It's been wonderful in so many ways and I've learned a lot and experienced a lot. And it's been a lot of pressure and a let of emotion.

And I want to come back tomorrow, though, but I gave it all, I tried. I gave everything I had and it's been a lot of fun for Monday and I've enjoyed every moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You took a deep breath before you went out there today. Talk a little bit about your thoughts right before the round and then coming up 18.

SORENSTAM: Well, I felt a little bit better today than I did yesterday. I wasn't as nervous on the first tee and, you know, I had a good tee shot on the first hole and I was pretty happy about that. And I just didn't feel as comfortable with the ball as I did yesterday and I felt like I was just trying to save par the first few holes and I couldn't really find that rhythm that I had yesterday. But I kept trying and trying and the last six holes, I was pretty much trying to make it from the fairway, you know, I figured never give up.

But it was a great day, and the guys, again, I played with were so sweet and actually I got two phone numbers. That's pretty good.

QUESTION: Did the course change at from yesterday to today with the different -- little drier conditions?

SORENSTAM: Yes, a little drier, but not really a lot. I mean, I still think I didn't get as much roll off the fairway as I expected this week and still I could fire at the flags if I had the opportunity if I was in the fairway. So I thought the greens would speed up a little bit, but I didn't have the feel today, but I love the golf course.

It's a true test and I tested myself from start to finish and that's why I'm here, so I have a lot to be proud of and then also I've got a lot of experience so I'm very thankful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take some questions. Right in back with your hand up -- right there. Please. Just stand up -- that's OK, just shout it out.

QUESTION (OFF MIKE)

QUESTION: Annika, can I ask you two question. First of all, what message do you think you may have -- so much has been made of you being here. Do you hope women, young women, young women golfers can learn something from what you have done here and secondly, can you talk about -- we all wanted to talk about the historical significance of what you've done here, and I know you were just here to play. But can you maybe take a step back and talk about the historical significance of this?

SORENSTAM: Yeah, first of all, I think you know -- I just feel very fortunate with what I do and, you know, for me to come here and get the opportunity to really push myself and live my dream and I hope other women and girls feel the same way, that them just got to follow their hearts and -- I mean, that's why I'm here. I just want to push myself and do what I want to do the best and -- yes, it's been a really historical moment this whole week.

And you know, to be a part of all this is something that I'll never forget and I Know got so, so much support from my tour and all these people out here. I mean, I wish I'd played a little better today, and we can continue the next two days, but the people that cheered me on. It's been so wonderful and I hope they had a good time as well and I think they all made this week so special.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here to the left.

QUESTION: You've been -- if you didn't score perhaps the way you would have liked, particularly over the second nine, it seems as if the fans never left you, supported you all of the way and the walk at 18 is something most people wait for a Sunday afternoon for. What was that like?

SORENSTAM: Well, I mean -- I mean, all day the crowds have been so supportive and I mean, they were cheering for me when I made bogey. And I mean they just wanted me to keep going and they kept screaming, you know, make more birdies.

So, you know, they were there with me the whole round and, you know, it's just -- an electrical feeling out there. The crowds are just fantastic and, you know, I didn't want to let them down. I just kept playing and playing and hoping that, you know, would roll a few birdies in and any thing would be possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doug.

QUESTION: Annika, you said throughout that this was way over your head? What was over your head? Was it the course? The competition? The atmosphere? And do you think without the -- you know, without such scrutiny that you could have done better or you could have hung better?

SORENSTAM: It's all of the above. I mean, it's been -- well, first of all, the attention is much more than I expected. You know, I -- the course being a little longer even though I think the length wasn't a problem, it was just every thing around it. You know, being under the microscope and I didn't perform as well a think I can. You know, I'm emotionally drained right now because I've given all I had and with, you know, all of the preparation I've done in the last few months, you know, it's wearing on me but that's what I had to do to come here and perform my best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the back.

QUESTION: Annika, a couple of things. Can you just take us through your emotions when you sunk the that final par putt on 18? We saw there were tears there. Was there relief?

And also, you came this close. Do you feel -- you said this is a one-shot deal. Do you think at some point you might ever reconsider that and try this again?

SORENSTAM: No. I won't reconsider. I mean, I'm very thankful and honored to have been here and -- but, you know, I know where I belong and I'm going to go back with all of the experience I learned this week and, you know, I want to win tournaments, I want to set records and -- you know, this week here has is going to help me to do that.

So, you know, why the tears come? I don't know. I didn't want it to end. And then the guys I played with were so nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here in the back. Right there.

QUESTION: Annika, take us through where you believe you lacked your composure or your swing or will started to go downhill for you.

SORENSTAM: Well, I -- well, my third shot on one wasn't as good as yesterday and then -- you know, it's mostly my pro shots on the front nine and then on the back nine I think hit it better but didn't cut as well -- kind of had lost the feel of my putter and my line cuts and that made it difficult to score.

QUESTION: You talked about going back to the LPGA. You're playing in Chicago next week. Given all that happened this week and all the expectation, how difficult will it be for you to get up and be tournament ready for next week?

SORENSTAM: How difficult it will be to get ready?

QUESTION: Yes.

SORENSTAM: Is that the question?

QUESTION: Given all that -- given all that you went through this week.

SORENSTAM: Well, I got the weekend off so I get some time to rest and then next day is a three-day tournament, so I got a lot of days. You know, I -- I just want this week to kind of sink in and gather all -- gather every thing and, you know, I'm going to be happy to go to Chicago next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got one over here in the right.

QUESTION: Question. That was -- that was -- Annika, that was more of a -- this was more of a statement. I have six sisters, three younger and three older and if they won they cried, and they lost they cried. So when I saw you coming on 18 I knew you was going to show some type of emotion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's keep it to the questions. Thank you.

SORENSTAM: Thank you very much, but -- oh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael.

QUESTION: Annika, you say you were so overwhelmed and the feeling out there was electric -- do you have any idea why people responded to you the way they did?

SORENSTAM: Thank you.

Because I'm living a dream that I want to live and I'm doing what I want to do. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your time. It's your day.

SORENSTAM: Oh, I'd rather have a three-footer. Can we go with short answers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's take another question over here.

QUESTION: Part of this emotion -- is part of the reason -- I know when you walked up 18 you were giving the crowd a hand and could you just sense what you were doing for them? I know we did a lot for you, or they did a lot for you, but could you get the sense of really what you have done for this tournament and for them?

SORENSTAM: Well, I really don't know, but I just wanted to thank them because they were so, so nice to me and so supportive, you know, even though I was struggling the last few holes and, you know, they kept pushing me on, it's not too late. You can still do it. You know, so I just wanted to thank them for the whole week and it's so much fun to -- you know, when you play a game or a sport that you love and then so many people come out and watch you play and they respect what you do, you know, it's so special and if I was here and played and nobody was watching, it wouldn't be the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here in the front.

QUESTION: Annika, yesterday you left the entire pack of men when it came to accuracy and you also said distance wasn't a problem. Have any of the male players who said you couldn't keep up with them come to you and said that they were wrong? SORENSTAM: No. But I've had some guys that have said less positive things come up and tell me that they were proud of me and for them to come up and say that and -- you know, I admire them for doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doug -- oh.

KAGAN: We've been listening in to an emotionally drained Annika Sorenstam as she finishes up the second round at the Colonial.

Today was not a good day. Not as good as yesterday. She finished 4-over par and that's not going to enough to make the cut, so she is done at the Colonial. She said today she just couldn't find the rhythm that she had in her game yesterday when she was just 1-over par and inspired so many people to believe that she would indeed make the cut.

She says this, for her, trying the PGA Tour, is a one-shot deal. She says she knows where she belongs and that's on the LPGA Tour and that means next week she'll be playing in a tournament in Chicago.

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