OTSU, Japan -- Annika Sorenstam became the first player in
LPGA Tour history to win a tournament five straight times, shooting
an 8-under 64 in steady drizzle Sunday for a three-stroke victory
in the Mizuno Classic.
"Obviously I'm very, very happy to get a chance to do something
today that nobody has ever done before," Sorenstam said.
"I felt pressure all week, but I was able to control my nerves
and make some birdies when I needed to. To come here and do
something like this is very gratifying."
Sorenstam, 95 under in 15 rounds on the Seta course during her
winning streak, broke a tie with Laura Davies for the LPGA Tour
record for consecutive victories in an event. Davies won the
Standard Register Ping from 1994-97.
"I like this golf course," Sorenstam said. "I shoot under par
here because I'm making my putts. I feel confident when I come here
and I think that's important."
The PGA Tour record for consecutive victories in an event is
four, a mark shared by Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Tiger Woods.
"This is one of the biggest things I've done in my career,"
Sorenstam said. "it shows a lot of consistency. ... It's tough to
rate this against some of my other accomplishments because they're
all so different. But to do something nobody has ever done is going
to rank right up there."
Sorenstam pulled away from playing partners Jennifer Rosales and
Young Kim with birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 and also birdied the final
two holes -- both par 5s -- for the second straight day. After
opening with five straight pars, Sorenstam eagled the sixth hole --
holing a 15-foot putt after a 4-wood approach from 240 yards -- and
added birdies on Nos. 8 and 11 tie Rosales and Kim for the lead.
"That eagle putt got me going on the front and I think my solid
back nine was the key," Sorenstam said.
The Swedish star opened with rounds of 64 and 67 en route to a
21-under 195 total. She had only one bogey in the tournament, on
the 12th hole Saturday.
Rosales, the Filipino star who won the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in
February for her second LPGA Tour title, closed with a 66. She also
eagled the 483-yard sixth, holing a chip shot.
Kim, the South Korean player who led after each of the first two
rounds, shot a 70 to drop into a tie for third.
Sorenstam, who earned $150,000 to push her season total to
$2,373,240, has nine LPGA Tour victories in 19 starts this year and
also won a European tour event in Sweden. She has 65 career LPGA
Sorenstam also tied the tour record for victories in a single
event that she shares with Mickey Wright. Sorenstam matched Wright
last month in California with her fifth victory in the Samsung
Japanese money leader Yuri Fudoh (64) and Sweden's Sophie
Gustafson (66) matched Kim at 16 under, and South Koreans Meena Lee
(66) and Jeong Jang (69) and France's Karine Icher (67) followed at
The 78-player field featured 43 LPGA Tour players and 35 Japan