Sorenstam Eyes Wrights Record


04 Weetabix WomenBERKSHIRE, England -- A year after completing a career grand slam at the Women's British Open, Annika Sorenstam needs to repeat to match Mickey Wright's record-setting success in majors.
With a victory at Sunningdale Golf Club this weekend, Sorenstam has a chance to tie Wright's record of defending her title in all four majors.
Wright, a Hall of Famer who retired in 1980 with 82 titles over 35 years, won the U.S. Women's Open in 1958-59, the LPGA Championship in 1960-61, the Titleholders Championship in 1961-62 and the Western Opens in 1962-63. Her career victory total is second to Kathy Whitworth's career record 88 wins.
Sorenstam won the LPGA Championship last month for the second straight year. She won the U.S. Women's Open in 1995-96, and the Nabisco Championship in 2001-02.
She is keenly aware of Wright's record.
'I'm trying not to think about it,' said Sorenstam, a four-time winner this year. 'I don't want to put too much pressure on myself but, obviously, I'm aware of what a win here would mean.
'I have tried so many times to do well here. I had been second here three times (before it became a major).'
Women's Open champion Meg Mallon said Sorenstam's streak of consistent performances was her most amazing achievement.
'The longevity of this incredible streak ... I don't think any golfer's done this in history at the level she's played,' said Mallon, who has won four majors in 18 years on tour. 'You have seen Tiger (Woods) through four years or Karrie (Webb) through three. But six years?
'Even in the Jack Nicklaus era, he finished out of the top 20 quite a bit. This is incredible what she's doing. Because it's looking so easy to everyone, they're not appreciating how great it is.'
Sorenstam has 52 career titles, including seven majors, and has finished second at the Women's Open and last week's Evian Masters in France.
'I feel like I'm playing better this year than last time we were here,' Sorenstam said.
She is coming off a stunning loss to Australia's Wendy Doolan at the Evian Masters, where Doolan made up six shots in 12 holes for a one-stroke victory.
'Oh, I'm over it,' Sorenstam said. 'I got outplayed by her. She had a wonderful stretch in there in which she eagled and birdied and eagled and there's not much I can do there.'
Sorenstam, a five-time runner-up in majors, also wants to make up for her poor performance the last time the Open was at Sunningdale, three years ago.
'I did not play well last time and I want to improve on that and see what happens,' said Sorenstam, who tied for 32nd, 10 shots behind winner Se Ri Pak.
Pak, who finished second to Sorenstam at Royal Lytham last year, is another leading contender, although she has struggled since winning at Williamsburg in early May. She has won four majors - but none the past two years.
'Three years ago, I won this tournament and that's a perfect memory having enjoyed it,' Pak said. 'But I'm not having a great time this year. Basically, my driver is giving me a hard time. I've spent two years trying to find the right driver.'
The British Open field also includes two-time champion Sherri Steinhauer, who had back-to-back victories in 1998-99 before the event became a major.
Three-time winner Karrie Webb pulled out of the championship, citing personal reasons.
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