Annika Shopping for Repeat Win

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GALLOWAY TWP., N.J. ' If fond memories can lead to good results, Annika Sorenstam might return to form this week.
 
Winless in her last six starts, the Swedish superstar heads into the ShopRite LPGA Classic hoping to find the game that helped her win the tournament three times but has eluded her recently.
 
'I have some great memories from this place,' Sorenstam said Thursday. 'It's been very good to me.'
 
The 54-hole tournament begins Friday at the Seaview Resort & Spa, where Sorenstam capped a memorable comeback last year with a 38-foot eagle putt on the final hole to beat Juli Inkster.
 
She isn't the only one to watch in the 140-woman field. Former winner Cristie Kerr is here, too, along with veteran Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa and perennial contender Inkster, all of them shooting for a piece of the $1.5 million purse.
 
To beat them, the 35-year-old Sorenstam will have to step up a game her peers might consider enviable but Sorenstam feels is flawed right now.
 
'I'm not driving it accurate. I don't think I'm hitting as many greens. It's just a little bit of everything, to be honest. I'm playing well. I'm just not scoring,' she said.
 
Once nearly unbeatable, Sorenstam hasn't won on tour since the MasterCard Classic in March, and missed the cut -- for the first time since 2002 -- at last month's Michelob Ultra Open.
 
'Everybody's talking about Annika's slump,' Inkster said. 'Slump? Whatever. She's third or fourth on the money list and she's still playing great golf. She's just not winning every week and that comes down to small things like making a putt for par.'
 
Last year, Sorenstam rallied down the stretch, finishing with a birdie and an eagle for a tournament record-tying 17-under 196, good for a four-stroke victory over Inkster.
 
Inkster has good memories here, too, though.
 
A two-time champion, the 45-year-old always seems to shine on the Donald Ross-designed course just outside Atlantic City, where she has cultivated an appreciative group of fans who follow her no matter how she's playing.
 
Nine times in the 10 years the tournament has been held at Seaview, she has finished in the top four.
 
'I don't know what it is, but I seem to play well,' Inkster said.
 
Ochoa, a 24-year-old Mexican, comes in with a hot hand. In her last six starts, she's won twice and finished second the other four times.
 
Webb, meanwhile, is playing some of the best golf of her career, still riding high from her victory in the season's first major -- the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
Conspicuously absent this time is 16-year-old Michelle Wie. She bypassed the Classic in favor of playing in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier, up the road at Canoe Brook in Summit, N.J.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - ShopRite LPGA Classic