The Womens British Open begins Thursday at wind-swept Royal Lytham with a field featuring this seasons three major winners'the trio has won a combined 22 majors.
Sorenstam is going for her 11th major. That would put her even with Tiger Woods, who won his 11th major at the British Open at Royal Liverpool two weeks ago. If Sorenstam wins Sunday, shell reach for her cell phone and make sure Woods knows about it.
The Swede, who has dominated womens golf for six years and won 10 tournaments last season, acknowledges shes been way below her standards. Yet, she has won two events this season, including the U.S. Open, and has twice been runner-up.
Its a nice thing to have to cope with not winning for a few weeks, Sorenstam said. Im looking at my game rather than looking at the results all the time. I just felt inside it wasnt really there and I was just hoping it would turn around sooner rather than later.
Its kind of funny when people think youre in a slump when you havent won in two or three events. I think thats a compliment rather than taking it as a negative.
Webbs first of three victories this year came at the opening major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage. She also won last weeks Evian Masters in France and is chasing her fourth British Open and eighth major.
The Australian didnt win a tournament last year, however, and, before this season, had won only two since 2002.
Obviously the ball is getting in the hole a little sooner, she said. Ive been working on a few things in my game and I think it boils down to just the mental side of my game, getting it to the level where I was trusting myself on the golf course and backing myself every time I stood on the first tee.
Like Sorenstam, Webb doesnt think she was in a slump, just not playing as well as in the past.
I dont think it was as bad as some people think, Webb said. But obviously I set standards pretty high.
Pak won the LPGA Championship at the Bulle Rock course at Havre de Grace, Md., for her first victory in 14 months. The South Korean, who won two majors in her rookie season in 1998 and has five in total, has been restricted by a combination of burnout and injuries to her neck, shoulder, lower back and finger.
Wie tied for second behind Webb at Evian. The 16-year-old star from Hawaii had four seconds and four third-place finishes in the past 18 months.
I think a win is coming, she said. It just depends how lucky you are that week and how good youre playing. I think Im playing very solidly, but its a little frustrating that I have not been able to go to the next step.
Despite the array of major winners, the last two British Opens have seen the title go to outsiders.
In 2004, Karen Stupples won the title for only her second tournament victory and, last year, Jeong Jangs triumph at Royal Birkdale was the South Koreans first in six years on the LPGA Tour.