Annikas Star Power Matched by Wie


2005 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- This week Annika Sorenstam can do something she has never done before. And for someone who has shot 59, won 63 tournaments and is a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame that is saying something.
But this week, if Sorenstam wins the elite 20-player invitational Samsung World Championship, it will be her fifth win in the event and that is something even the Super Swede has not accomplished. Sorenstam won the Samsung World Championship in 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2004. A win this week would tie her with the legendary Mickey Wright for most all-time at a single event. Wright won the Sea Island Open five times (1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963) and is also one spot and 19 victories ahead of Sorenstam on the all-time wins list with 82-career victories.
The only other tournament Sorenstam has won four times is the Mizuno Classic, a feat she has accomplished every year since 2001. Sorenstam has won an additional eight tournaments three times.
In addition to going after her fifth Samsung World Championship title, Sorenstam is also defending her sixth title this year. She is three for five this year having successfully defended the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola and the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic. In her other two title defenses, the LPGA Corning Classic and the Office Depot Championship at Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, Sorenstam tied for second and ninth respectively.
Sorenstam is enjoying one of the best years of her magnificent career. She has won seven of 16 LPGA tournaments she has entered, including two majors, which is the most she has won in a single season in her 12-year career. Her seven wins are the third most she has won in a single season and is only surpassed by her eight wins in both 2001 and 2004 and her 11 wins in 2002.
At last year's Samsung World Championship, Sorenstam charged back from a three-shot, final-round deficit to Grace Park and ended up beating Park by three shots. Sorenstam shot in the 60s every round and her winner's share of $206,250 pushed her over the $2 million mark in season earnings for the fourth consecutive year.
This year, Sorenstam has earned $1,992,604 and even if she finishes in last place at the Samsung World Championship (guaranteed $10,624 paycheck) she will cross the $2 million in earnings for the fifth consecutive year. No other player in LPGA history has earned more than $2 million in a single season.
This week also marks the play-for-pay debut of Michelle Wie, who turned 16 this week and turned professional last week. Wie is playing via a sponsor exemption this week and has played in 24 LPGA tournaments in her career, including seven this year. She has made the cut in her last 16 events and has made 20 cuts in her career. This year alone, the young prodigy has three second-place finishes and also tied for third at the Weetabix Women's British Open. Her worst finish this year is a tie for 23rd at the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Samsung World Championship