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Perfect Sorenstam

Posted November. 09, 2003 23:11,   


The tour was “of the Sorenstam, by the Sorenstam, for the Sorenstam.”

In this tour, 78 players competed, but it seemed that everyone there were only guests to congratulate the winner with applause except for one player.

The third round of Mizuno Classic, U.S. LPGA Tour, was held at Seta`s North Course, Par 72, in Otsu, Sigaken, Japan, with a $1.13 million prize purse at stake on November 9. Annika Sorenstam, who shot consecutive 9-under-par and took the lead over the last two days, hit six birdies without a single bogey in the final round to win the Mizuno Tour easily and comfortably with a final 24-under, 192 strokes total. She was nine strokes ahead of the second place group which composed of three players: Pak Se-ri (CJ), Park Ji-eun (Nike Golf), and Sweden`s Sophie Gustafson.

The quality of play also showed the state of perfection. In 54 holes of play, Sorenstam didn’t hit a single bogey and had 24 birdies, nearly half of the entire number of holes.

Various records came out, and Annika confirmed the individual titles already. First of all, Sorenstam became the first LPGA Tour player to win more than one event three consecutive times. There are only six players have won an LPGA Tour event three straight times, with Sorenstam accomplishing the feat at the Michelob Light Classic from 1997-99, but she is the first player to win three consecutive times in two separate events.

She also broke the LPGA Tour record for a 54-hole event. Sorenstam shattered the former record, 21-under par, which she and Wendy Ward (U.S.) shared at the Kellogg Keebler Classic last year, at Wendy’s Championship 2001 respectively. She also lowered her lowest stroke record of this tour by nine strokes. The previous record was set by her last year with a 15-under par, 201 strokes.

She has also clinched the player of the year award, the money prize leader of the year award, and the most victorious player of the year award with a victory on Seta`s North Course, regardless of the outcome of the remaining two U.S. LPGA tour games’ result. Sorenstam earned $169,500 for her sixth victory of the year to push her tour-leading total to $1,914,506 and out of 2nd place Pak Se-ri’s chasing range completely.

Sorenstam won the money prize leader of the year award for three years in a row and six times in her professional career. She is now trailing only Mickey Lite (U.S. 8 times) in prize leader of the year awards.

Sorenstam also has won six tournaments this season to take the lead in the most victorious player category, beating out 2nd place Pak Se-ri (three victories) and Candy Kung (Taiwan) for the most victorious player award. She has won 48 times in her career.

After Pak Se-ri lost to Ahn Shi-hyun (Kolon) at the CJ Nine Bridges Classic last week, she also took the 2nd place finish in this tournament consecutively. Park Ji-eun failed to win two years in a row under the Sorenstam wall.

Meanwhile, Park Hee-jung (CJ) and Lee Jung-yeoun (Hankook Tire) were tied for 7th place with a total of 12-under par. Kang Soo-yeoun (Astra) took 9th place and Kim Cho-rong tied for 10th place with a 10-under par total. Six Korean players are in the top 10. Kim Mi-hyun (KTF) and Goh Woo-soon (Honma) tied for 13th place.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com