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Steinhauer’s career comes full circle as she retires in Canada

Posted by on Aug 28th, 2011 and filed under Golf. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Coming full circle
Steinhauer ends stellar career with emotional day in Canada

BY NEAL REID

Sherri Steinhauer passes a torch to Vicky Hurst to symolize one generation stepping aside to put the spotlight on the young stars on the LPGA Tour.

It had been a long time since Sherri Steinhauer was nervous on a golf course.

But the 26-year veteran admittedly had butterflies as she stood over a five-foot putt on the 18th hole of the Hillsdale Golf and Country Club Friday. After a first-round 79, Steinhauer was going to miss the 36-hole cut at the CN Canadian Women’s Open in Quebec, but her putt carried a special significance and importance.

It was, after all, to be the last putt of her illustrious career, and Steinhauer needed a par to finish her final LPGA round under par. With her family and friends, a group of Tour players and caddies and fans looking on, Steinhauer sank the putt for a 1-under 71 that closed out a chapter in her life.

It was an emotional ending to a career that began in 1986 and that was highlighted by eight wins – including two majors – more than $6 million in earnings, 84 top-10s and four appearances as a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

“It was a big five-footer, and I wanted to end (my career) by making it,” said Steinhauer, who will serve as an assistant captain to the U.S. squad at this year’s Solheim Cup in Ireland. “One of the reasons I’m retiring is that I couldn’t get nervous or excited anymore. I got over that putt, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I actually am nervous.’ It’s been a long time since I was nervous.

“That’s what I always loved about golf – seeing what you can do under those circumstances. It wasn’t fun when I wasn’t feeling the nerves, so I’m glad I could experience that again. That was a nice way to end.”

Steinhauer celebrated with the group assembled at the green and lit a torch that she passed to third-year pro Vicky Hurst, a symbol of one generation stepping aside to let the spotlight fall on today’s young stars.

“It was to signify out with the old and in with the new,” Steinhauer said. “It signified that it’s time for me to step away, and there are so many great up-and-coming young players. It’s time to make room for them.”

Steinhauer chose the Canadian event as her final tournament, she said, partly because her first LPGA victory – the 1992 du Maurier Ltd. Classic – came north of the border. She also chose the Aug. 24-27 tournament as her last because Aug. 24 would have been her parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

Steinhauer lost her mother, Nancie, in December and chose to fittingly end her career on a weekend that was special to her family. Her father, Fritz, and four brothers traveled to Quebec to be with Steinhauer during her final tournament week, and having her family present helped her end her career in the comfort

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