Sorenstam Posts Third Straight Victory Wins Third Major
The victory was also her third straight in 2001, making her the first player since Kathy Whitworth in 1971 to make a major her third tournament win in a row.
The 30-year-old Sorenstam collected the $225,000 first-place check for her 26th title since joining the LPGA Tour in 1994.
'I don't know why all this is happening to me,' said Sorenstam following her round, 'but I'm very, very thankful. This is what golfers dream about and I'm the lucky one.'
Trailing third-round leader Rachel Teske by one stroke, Sorenstam dropped to 3-under with a bogey on the 3rd but birdied the 4th and 7th to take a one-shot lead into the back nine. She sandwiched a bogey between birdies at Nos. 11 and 13 for a two-stroke edge, then closed with a birdie at No. 18 to win with a 72-hole total of 7- under-par 281.
I didnt shoot 59 this week but under the circumstances on this golf course this really ranks up there with the 59, Sorenstam said in reference to her record-setting 59 at last weeks victory in the Standard Register Ping. Its a dream come true.
All winter at home I practiced my putting thinking This is the one that will win the Nabisco Championship, Sorenstam went on to say. These are the fantasies you have and mine came true.
Teske finished the event with a 1-over 73 made up of one bogey and 17 pars. She tied for second at 4-under 284 with fellow Australian and defending champion Karrie Webb, Scotland's Janice Moodie, two-time Nabisco champ Dottie Pepper and Japan's Akiko Fukushima.
Said Pepper of Sorenstam's performance: 'She has played really spotless golf for three weeks and nearly spotless golf for the 5 tournaments that she has entered. I just hope it doesn't get bypassed because we are up against the TPC and because Tiger won last week, the week she happened to shoot 59.'
Sophie Gustafson and Brandie Burton finished joint seventh at 3-under, one shot ahead Laura Diaz and second-round leader Pat Hurst.
Hurst vaulted to the top of the leaderboard at 6-under with birdies at holes five and six, but bogeyed four holes from the 8th through the 15th to post her second consecutive round of 2-over 74.
Hurst captured the Nabisco Championship in 1998.
Mission Hills Country Club has hosted this event since its inception in 1972. The Nabisco Championship was designated an LPGA major in 1983.
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“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.
Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.
If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.