Annikas Grand Slam Hopes Renewed

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2005 McDonaldHAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Annika Sorenstam has one goal that she is shooting for in 2005 - winning the Grand Slam.
 
With phase one complete, Operation Soren-slam moves into phase two as Sorenstam defends her two straight titles at the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola.
 
Sorenstam began her quest for the Grand Slam in dominating the field at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, walking away with an eight-shot win.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam needs a victory at the McDonald's LPGA Championship to keep her Grand Slam hopes alive.
But this year, Sorenstam's title defense at the McDonald's LPGA Championship comes at a new venue as Bulle Rock Country Club hosts this year's event for the first time.
 
'I'm looking forward to the challenge,' said Sorenstam. 'I hope to get a few practice rounds in at the new course, try and figure it out. It's a very prestigious event and I want to do well.'
 
The week is a double shot at history for Sorenstam.
 
First, she has a chance at becoming the first player ever to win a major three straight times. Three players have tried to win the McDonald's LPGA Championship three straight times, the last being Juli Inkster in 2001.
 
But it is not uncharted territory for Sorenstam. She claimed the U.S.
Women's Open in 1995 and 1996 before falling in 1997.
 
Second, Sorenstam could become the first player since Pat Bradley in 1986 to win the first two major titles of the season. Bradley's year in 1986 is the closest any player has ever come to winning the modern Grand Slam. She claimed the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship and du Maurier Ltd. Classic but finished in fifth-place at the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Only two players have ever claimed all the majors available in one season, Babe Zaharias won all three majors in 1950 and Sandra Haynie won the two majors offered in 1974.
 
Sorenstam understands her place in the record books and wants more. With a win at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, Sorenstam would take over fifth place by herself with her ninth career major title. She's currently tied with Betsy Rawls with eight.
 
'I think I've said this the last how many years, but I'd like to win more majors,' said Sorenstam. 'I believe I can do that. Obviously I want to shoot 54. I shot 59, so that's one record. I keep track of the history books. I know what's out there, but there are certain things I just think it's going to be impossible to do.'
 
All that stands between Sorenstam and her second major title of 2005 and a winner's check of $270,000 is a field of 150 players. The field includes the number-two ranked player on the ADT Official Money List Cristie Kerr, as well as the current leader for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year title, Paula Creamer. Also joining the field are past champions such as Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Se Ri Pak and Laura Davies.
 
There are also six players that represent the LPGA's Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership, having to win their section or national tournament to get into the tournament. Cindy Miller won the national T&CP Championship a year ago to earn her spot in the field. Joining her in the tournament are sectional champions Suzy Whaley (Northeast), Kim Freeman (Midwest), Sherry Smith (Central), Jennifer Cully (Southeast) and Piper Wagner (West).
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - McDonald's LPGA Championship