Sorenstam a rude host as she wins her own tournament
by Associated Press
LODDEKOPINGE, Sweden (AP) - Sweden's Annika Sorenstam birdied the last hole from about nine yards Sunday to win the Scandinavian TPC, edging United States' Natalie Gulbis by one shot.
Sorenstam finished at 4-under 284 at Barseback, a course second only in length to the U.S. Open on the women's tour.
Sweden's Carin Koch shared third with France's Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Gwladys Nocera at 288. Koch and Meunier-Lebouc shot 71s; Nocera 74.
"It was a wonderful finish - it wasn't the world's best tee shot, but then I got the ball on the green and rolled in the putt," said Sorenstam, who was hugged by her parents after the win.
"We had it all today," she added. "We had tough conditions, we had some drama coming down the 18th, some birdies and to roll in a putt and win your own tournament, it doesn't get much better than that."
The 34-year-old Sorenstam, hosting her debut tournament, and Gulbis were both at 3 under going into the final hole.
Gulbis, who birdied three straight holes from the 14th to move into contention, missed a birdie putt at the last. Sorenstam drove right into the trees on the final hole, a par-4 rated the toughest on the course.
"I was lucky," Sorenstam said. "I was able to take a full back swing. I had an 8-iron, a perfect club, the ball went through the trees and on to the green. It was one of those shots that I probably will never forget.
"Natalie played some spectacular golf down the stretch. It was tough out there."
The win was Sorenstam's 75th career win and seventh of the year. She won the first two majors of the year - the Nabisco and LPGA Championships - and six of her first eight events. But she had a disappointing U.S. Open and had to settle with fifth in the British Open a week ago.
The 22-year-old Gulbis was looking for her first pro win.
"I birdied three of the last five holes and I was hoping to have my first playoff," Gulbis said. "Who better to have it against than Annika. I was excited to come over here, it was fun."
Norway's Suzann Pettersen, who trailed Sorenstam by one stroke after three rounds, hit a 76 and dropped to sixth at 289.
The TPC hosted by Annika is one of four LET events in the Volvo Cross Country Challenge in Scandinavia. The top 10 players in the final standings will share US$100,000 while a US$1 million jackpot was offered to the winner of all four tournaments.