Who are the highest paid athletes?
Serena Williams just became the all-time career earnings leader in all of women’s sports by reaching the Aussie Open final and winning the doubles crown with sister Venus.
Williams’ not only eclipses Lindsay Davenport as the all-time prize money leader in women’s tennis, but also overtakes the LPGA’s Annika Sorenstam as the all-time prize money leader in women’s sports. Her career prize money earnings will total $22,753,575, surpassing Davenport by $608,840 and Sorenstam by $180,383.
“I’m thrilled with the news! I remember earning my first cheque of $240 at Québec City in 1995 and while I knew that I could have a great career in tennis, I could not have imagined or dreamed of all of this,” Williams said.
Williams turned professional at the age of 14 and since that first check has won 32 singles titles, including nine Grand Slams en route to her nearly $23 million payday.
Dear LPGA fans,
My last event is over and it is time to step away from competitive golf. As I sat on the plane home from Dubai I had a chance to reminisce about the last 15 years. It has been an incredible ride and I could not have asked for anything more. This wonderful game took me from a small town in Sweden and introduced me to the world. I have met some incredible people and traveled to so many wonderful places. I have learned many lessons, matured and built friendships that will last a life time. I have so much for which I am thankful!
December 18, 2008 – Two of the game’s all-time greatest players, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam, will serve as Global Ambassadors in support of the IGF’s bid to reinstate golf as an Olympic sport, the International Golf Federation announced on Thursday.
“It is an honor and privilege to take an active role in assisting golf’s bid to become an Olympic sport,” said Sorenstam, a native of Sweden whose stellar career includes 89 world-wide victories as a professional, 72 on the LPGA. “Now, as I step aside from competitive golf, a major objective of mine is to help grow the game around the world and I can think of no better way to grow it than through the Olympics.”
Golf is one of seven sports vying for inclusion in the 2016 Games. The others are baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash. Golf was last an Olympic sport in 1904 in St. Louis, Mo.
What do you think? Should golf be added as an Olympic sport?
December 16, 2008 – The list of winter quarter graduates at Ohio State includes an unexpected name. The great Katie Smith, a terrific scholar-athlete whose professional basketball journey took her away from OSU before she earned her degree, finished a dozen years later. A lot of pros often speak to that intention but never quite get around to it. Smith remained true to her intention. (thanks Women’s Hoops Blog)
Over at the University of Arizona, LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member and U of A alumna Annika Sorenstam will serve as guest speaker at Dec. 20th winter commencement ceremony. As a member of the Wildcat’s women’s golf team from 1990-92, Sorenstam won seven NCAA titles, and was the first freshman to win the individual NCAA Championship. (via LPGA.com)
It was just a year ago that Venus Williams walked across the commencement stage at the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale to earn her associate degree in fashion design.
Although graduation may be a life-altering transition and a memorable time for student-athletes, the toss of the tassel to the other side of the cap means more than just a testament of hard work and dedication. For many, it also shows the ability to be a team player as well as the tenacity to succeed in competition amongst the best in the nation.
Congrats to all the winter graduates!
December 8, 2008 – As ESPN Magazine says goodbye to 2008, Chris Jones recounts the best storylines of the entire year in one massive yarn. “The Things We Forget” is a chronicle of 2008 in sports presented in 11 parts. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but most of all, you’ll remember.
In particular, check out Part 4 on Annika Sorenstam:
In May, Annika Sorenstam announced that 2008 would be her last year on the LPGA Tour. One of the most dominant athletes of the past decade had decided to disappear. She had known she would retire since the previous winter, when she peeked at her watch on the driving range and wondered if it was time to go home. “I stopped and thought, Wait a minute, I used to love this,” she said. “All of a sudden, I’m watching the clock. That’s when I knew this would be my last year.”
And Part 6 on Venus and Serena Williams:
Of all the great stories of this year, the resurgence of Venus and Serena Williams was the most overlooked. After their domination at the All England Club—the first time they had met in a Grand Slam final since 2003 and the fifth time Venus had won Wimbledon—they snagged doubles gold together in Beijing. Serena then went to New York and won the U.S. Open without losing a set. (Her toughest opponent was Venus in the quarters.) After being ranked as low as 140 two years ago, Serena was once again the best women’s player on the planet. In almost any other year, the Williams sisters might have basked in a long glow. Instead, even for them, 2008 was a flash that was doused too soon.
November 21, 2008 Arguably the most dominant female golfer of all time, Annika Sorenstam has transcended her sport to become a prominent mainstream athlete and celebrity. Throughout her career, she has rewritten the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards and events and brought unprecedented attention to women’s golf. Along the way, she has inspired millions of young women worldwide.
And today, Sorenstam’s storied LPGA Tour career is coming to an end.
The 72-time tour winner shot a 3-over par 75 on Friday at the ADT Championship, making her 5 over through two rounds of the LPGA’s season-ending event. The projected cut was 1 over, meaning it was virtually certain Sorenstam’s week — and career — was done.
“I know it’s over,” Sorenstam said.
She announced six months ago she was leaving the tour at year’s end to pursue business interests, get married and start a family. Sorenstam is still is No. 2 in the world rankings, but at 38 she says it’s time for new challenges.
Annika’s legacy is undeniable. Often called the female Tiger Woods, Sorenstam locked up 72 LPGA titles, made more than $20 million in earnings on the LPGA, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2003.
A win this week would have been the perfect ending to her career, but alas…the legend departs before our eyes. She is, and has always been, a class act who will be sorely missed on the LPGA.
After her LPGA Tour swansong this week Sorenstam will play in the Lexus Cup in Singapore later this month before bringing down the curtain on her competitive career at the Dec. 11-14 Dubai Ladies Masters.
Sorenstam won’t be out of the limelight for long however. Surely she’ll be back for a random tournament here and there and she’s launching a signature fragrance called ANNIKA for Mother’s Day 2009. The fragrance is said to evoke the essence of Annika – confident, casually elegant and naturally beautiful. Won’t be nearly as good as watching her play but hey….it’s something.
It may have been the smallest of Lorena Ochoa’s three margins of victory at the event but the Rolex Rankings’ number one pulled off her third-straight victory at the event with a one-stroke margin on Sunday, becoming the first player since Annika Sorenstam in 2005 to win the same event in as many years.
Ochoa (68-67-71=206, -10) also supplanted Sorenstam as the fastest player in LPGA Tour history to reach the $12 million mark, as her $300,000 share of the $2 million purse boosted her across the mark in 5 years, 2 months, 12 days, compared to Sorenstam’s previous record of 9 years, 4 months, 4 days. The win marks Ochoa’s sixth of the season and the 23rd of her career.
Another stroke of genius by Ochoa.
For the first time in several years, Annika Sorenstam is starting her season in Hawaii. Healthy after a winless 2007, she’s hoping to challenge Lorena Ochoa’s supremacy and regain her status as number one. Or will Suzann Pettersen be the one to take on Ochoa?
Also, meet this year’s rookies - does one of them have what it takes to step forward and become a threat this year?
Stay tuned. We’re all looking forward to a great season!
Dec. 21, 2007 – Lorena Ochoa was the overwhelming choice as the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. It was the fifth straight year a golfer has captured the Female Athlete award, the longest streak of any sport.
Ochoa replaced Annika Sorenstam at Number-1 in the women’s world ranking in April and won her first major championship at the Women’s British Open this summer. She ended the season with eight victories and finished out of the top 10 only four times while becoming the first LPGA Tour player to top $4 million in prize money in a single season.
Ochoa received 71 votes from members of The Associated Press, equal to the combined total of the next seven athletes below her on the list.
She joined Sorenstam, Kathy Whitworth, Mickey Wright and Babe Zaharias as the only golfers to win the award in consecutive years.
“Being compared with such exceptional players makes me feel honored,” Ochoa said in an e-mail from Mexico, where she is spending a hard-earned vacation. “My main goal is to maintain myself as the No. 1. Therefore, I can promise to keep improving.”
Justine Henin, who won her third straight French Open title in tennis, was second with 17 votes. Rounding out the top five were New York Marathon winner Paula Radcliffe, Tennessee basketball player Candace Parker and Allyson Felix, the second woman in history to win three gold medals at the World Track and Field Championships.
Read full article at USA Today
Perth, Australia – December 9 2007: Despite winning nearly half of its singles matches on Sunday afternoon, Team International was unable to overcome an early 6-0 deficit in the 2007 Lexus Cup, and Team Asia retained the cup after posting a 15 – 9 victory in the third edition of the international match-play championship at The Vines Resort & Country Club in Perth, Australia.
In her debut as Team Asia captain, Se Ri Pak (KOR) led her team to a sweep of Friday’s six foursome matches, which proved to be the final point deficit for Team International after the conclusion of Sunday’s single matches. Team International and its captain, Annika Sorenstam (SWE), looked to rebound from the disappointing beginning in Saturday’s four-ball competitions, but Team Asia fought on to win half of its matches for the 9 ½ – 2 ½ lead. Read more