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Making Sorenstam proud

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HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. – Anna Nordqvist's stirring recovery at the 18th hole made her the early leader in the clubhouse Thursday in the first round of the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
 
The Swedish rookie, who turned 22 on Wednesday, pulled her 5-wood left and into the water at the finishing hole but rebounded by holing her pitch from 40 yards with a 58-degree wedge. That impressive par topped off a 6-under-par 66, her lowest round in her brief LPGA career. This is just the fifth start of her first season. She won limited tour status coming out qualifying school last winter.
 
'(The hole-out) gives me good momentum for tomorrow,' Nordqvist said.
 
Nordqvist said her golf career was inspired by Annika Sorenstam. Unfortunately, Nordqvist's rookie season comes with Sorenstam in her first year of retirement.
 
'I never had the opportunity to play with her,' Nordqvist said. 'Hopefully, someday I will.'
 
Nordqvist met Sorenstam when she won the Annika Sorenstam Award in '05, given annually to the 18-year-old Swedish standouts in both men's and women's golf.
 
'That was probably one of the biggest golf memories I have so far,' Nordqvist said.
 
Nordqvist's coach is Henri Reis, Sorenstam's long-time coach. Nordqvist was the Swedish Junior of the Year in 2004 and '05 and left Arizona State in the middle of her junior season to turn pro.