Sorenstam adds another mark to record week

Sunday, March 18

PHOENIX -- Annika Sorenstam capped her history-making week with a victory Sunday, holding off Se Ri Pak in a dramatic head-to-head duel to capture the Standard Register Ping title.

 Annika Sorenstam
In four starts this season, Annika Sorenstam has two wins and two seconds.
Sorenstam, who became the first woman golfer to shoot 59 in Fridaty's second round, was relieved and happy after surviving the final day with a two-shot victory.

"I have felt really drained since shooting the 59, and I feel as though I've been on the road for 10 weeks," she said after capturing her second title in as many weeks in the Arizona desert. "But I played with everything I had today and I really wanted to win."

The win, worth $150,000, did not come easily for Sorenstam, who appeared to have all but locked up the title Friday when she bolted to an eight-shot lead with her astonishing second round.

Pak, who also finished second to Sorenstam last week in Tucson, shot a sparkling 63 Saturday to trim the lead to three heading into the final round and kept up the pressure right to the end.

"All credit to Se Ri," said Sorenstam. "She really put up a great show and I was under real pressure. But now it's great to have won."

With her sixth birdie of the day, Pak had pulled even with Sorenstam with just four holes to play. But she immediately bogeyed the next hole, No. 15, and a Sorenstam birdie from 25 feet at the 16th all but ended the duel in the sun with the rest of the field lagging far behind.

Sorenstam finished with a final-round 68 for a 27-under 261 total, one better than Karrie Webb's 72-hole LPGA record set in the 1999 Australian Masters.

Pak closed with a 67 for a 25-under 263.

Dottie Pepper and Yu Ping Lin shared third place at 275 -- 14 strokes behind the winner. Dorothy Delasin (68) and Akiko Fukushima (69) were another shot back at 276.

Webb, who finished with 67-68 after barely making the cut, first-round leader Kris Tschetter and Lorie Kane, a winner last month, were in a group of eight at 277. It was the fifth consecutive top-10 finish for Webb, the 2000 player of the year, after a tie for 51st in the season-opening tournament in Orlando, Fla., which Pak won.

Sorenstam kept the title in the family after younger sister Charlotta won here last year.

The back-to-back titles for Sorenstam, who finished second in her other two starts this year, provided a perfect build-up for the first major of the season, next week's Nabisco Championship.

Pak, who won the season-opening event, said her successive runner-up finishes just provided further incentive.

"The last two weeks will just make me work even harder," Pak said.