The Dropkicks play games during our podcast (Russell famously cleaned up in one game by creating the best Sarah Ulmer haiku). During one of these games I stumped the entire group by asking which golfer was retiring after 72 tour wins. I neglected to mention the ten majors because I thought it would give the answer away: Annika Sörenstam.
And this weekend Annika retired (though sadly it was in a tournament where she didn't make the cut). All of her previous victories naturally make her the highest earning female golfer ever ($22 million) and would have her at number 16 on the men's list (between Fred Funk and Scott Verplank). She is also the only player (male or female) to win the same tournament five years in a row.
Sörenstam played during and, some would argue, created a huge wave of public interest in women's golf. Players like Sörenstam and Michele Wie excited golf fans especially in the US as they were able to be branded as true "superstars" of the sport. Wie would later ruin much of her status by continually entering men's events and performing poorly.
With her form in decline it is probably the right time for her to retire to focus on (as the athletes often say) other projects. But hopefully her contributions to the sport will be long-lasting.
And if you are a fan of women's golf you might be in luck. Sky is cutting back on the number of sports it holds exclusive rights on. This may mean that sports like tennis (because y'know, nobody watches tennis) can be purchased by other stations.
And who wins because of that? We do! Yes, we'll have to put up with Tony Street and Andrew Saville shouting at Venus and Serena: "anything to say to New Zealand?" But at least we'll get it for free.
And for those who need at least one bit of rugby in these posts: The IRB have reviewed their Player Release policy. The new policy will come into effect on January 1, 2009.
Here's the bit that effects us the most:
Global release periods
June international window – the right to release for the senior national representative team, the next senior national representative team and the Under 20 national representative team. Three matches played in June.
November international window – the right to release for the senior national representative team, the next senior national representative team and the Under 20 national representative team. Three matches played in November.
There are no Global Release Periods in a Rugby World Cup year.