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“Sorenstam Barrier” Looms Large

Posted March. 18, 2005 22:40,   


The "empress of golf" Annika Sorenstam of Sweden, is off to a strong start in her journey to claim victory in a LPGA tournament for the second time in a row.

The first round of the LPGA’s Safeway International (total prize money: $1.4 million) at Arizona’s Superstition Golf Club (par 72) kicked off on March 18.

Last year’s champion Sorenstam ended the day at 6-under under with no bogeys and six birdies for a total of 66 shots. She finished in third place tied with U.S. golfer Julie Inkster. The co-leaders of the tournament, Lorena Ochoa of Mexico and Siew-Ai Lim of Malaysia, are one stroke below Sorenstam.

Sorenstam started off this year by winning the MasterCard Classic, which ended on March 7. She displayed an amazing average driving distance of 287 yards and a high on-green percentage of 83.3 percent in Friday’s round.

On the other hand, 15-year-old golf genius Michelle Wie, who started off this year by setting a personal best on the LPGA tour with a second-place finish at the SBS Open, birdied three times, but also shot two bogeys and a double bogey to end the day one-over in 63rd place with a total of 73.

Among the 27 Korean players who began the tournament, Kang Soo-yun (Samsung Electronics) and rookie Yim Sung-ah (MU) had the best finishes, with both ending the day tied for sixth place.

Se Ri Pak (CJ), who has been off to a slow start this season, hit three-under until the 16th hole, but bogeyed on the 17th and double-bogeyed on the 18th hole, finishing in 42nd place with Han Hee-won (Fila Korea), Park Hee-jung (CJ), and Chung Il-mi at even-par.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com