Shocking Finish for Sorenstam

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NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) -- Annika Srenstam was right where everyone expected her to be Sunday in the U.S. Women's Open -- in the fairway, in a share of the lead and poised to win another major.
 
With one swing, a bid for birdie ended up in the trees.
 
'That's what you get when you don't hit it straight,' she sighed.
 
In a rare collapse by the best woman in golf, Srenstam went from the trees into a bunker and took bogey instead of birdie, failing to get into the three-way playoff at Pumpkin Ridge.
 
She played aggressively, and it cost her.
 
'That's my nature and I'm here to win,' she said 'Birdie is what I needed.'
 
After a well-placed shot off the tee, Srenstam's second shot sailed right into the trees and behind the monster scoreboard on the right side.
 
She got a free drop, but a bunker still sat between her and the hole, and she had no room for error because the green ran away from her.
 
She had to be perfect. She wasn't.
 
'There was hardly any grass, it was dirt,' Srenstam said. 'I didn't expect the ball to shoot so high, and it hit the branch and then it went into the bunker.'
 
Kendra Graham, senior director of rules and competition for the U.S. Women's Open, said Srenstam was entitled to relief away from the big scoreboard.
 
Srenstam, the only LPGA Tour player to attend a USGA rules seminar, continually quizzed Graham about where she could drop, and it took about 20 minutes to continue playing.
 
'We had to clear a lot of people out just to ... be able to see these different things and just make sure we got it right,' Graham said.
 
Hilary Lunke, who also had a share of the lead at 1-under, waited over her ball on the fairway as the crowds were moved and a ruling on the shot was made.
 
She didn't want to sit down for fear of getting tight, but finally opened an umbrella to shade herself from the hot sun.
 
'On 18, it was definitely frustrating to wait for so long,' Lunke said. 'Mostly just because I thought when we got up there the wait would only be two or three minutes, and she would take a drop and move on.'
 
Srenstam finished with an even-par 284, a stroke back of Lunke, Angela Stanford and Kelly Robbins, who advanced to the 18-hole playoff Monday.
 
Srenstam drew worldwide attention nearly two months ago when she became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA TOUR, missing the cut at the Bank of America Colonial. A playoff victory last month in the LPGA Championship was her fifth major.
 
Before this year's event got underway, Srenstam said her goal now that she's played with the men is to collect majors. She said she will not make another run at the PGA TOUR.
 
'I'm disappointed, definitely,' she said. 'It's going to take a while to recover from this. But at the end of the day, it's just a golf tournament.'
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open
  • U.S. Women's Open Leaderboard
     
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