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Grace Park Loses Title to Sorenstam

Posted June. 09, 2003 21:45,   


Why do we call Annika Sorenstam the world golf queen?

It seems not simply because she can hit the ball far and straight-ahead. Three days of tournament will distract players, no matter who the player is. It`s also true of Sorenstam. Even in a worst situation, however, she can make out something better than the other players can, discouraging them.

Yesterday at Wilmington DuPont Country Club, 2003 McDonald`s LPGA Championship held the third and fourth round together since heavy rain stopped the third round in the middle. Sorenstam par-saved her crisis in three holes of the fourth round, proving her excellence again.

Three weeks after testing her game on the PGA Tour, Sorenstam came up with clutch shots down the stretch Sunday and was flawless in the playoff, making a routine par on the toughest hole to beat Grace Park from Korea and win the LPGA Championship. Sorenstam won her fifth major among 45 career victories, and had to work harder than ever for this one.

It was her success upon the 9th trial. The past eight challenges ended up without any results. A victory this summer in the Women`s British Open at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes would make her the fourth woman in the modern era to complete the career Grand Slam.

Sorenstam later said that the pressure she had experienced at the PGA Tour helped her. Grace Park had to wrap up her dream in the playoff.

In the meanwhile, Hee-Won Han, who came out of the first round with lead, collapsed in her competition with Sorenstam in the 36th hole. Se Ri Pak, who tried in vain to defend her title, finished at 10-over 294.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com