Sorenstam's name is everywhere in the LPGA records book, but now she has her sights set on one more this week. The 34-year-old Swede tied Nancy Lopez's
1978 record of five-consecutive wins in tournament starts with an eight-shot victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and a win this week would be her sixth in a row in as many tournament starts giving her sole possession of the record.
A $2.2 million purse, first-class hospitality and a top-flight golf course have attracted the best players in the game to the par-71 River Course at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, Va., making Sorenstam's attempt that more challenging.
Sorenstam has played well, but not great, in the first two years of the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, finishing sixth in 2003 and tying for eighth last year. But with 59 career wins, Sorenstam has proven time and again that she is the one to beat every time she puts a tee in the ground.
Her winning streak dates back to the end of the 2004 season when she won the Mizuno Classic and the season-ending ADT Championship. This year she won the MasterCard Classic honoring Alejo Peralta, the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola and the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the season.
She has earned more than $1 million during the streak, which is even more impressive when you consider that only 10 LPGA players have eclipsed the $1 million mark in a single season since the LPGA was established in 1950.
Sorenstam, who is third on the all-times wins list, has also won seven of the last nine events she has competed in. She finished tied for second and tied for fourth in the other two.
Sorenstam also brings an impressive 43 straight rounds at par or better to the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill this week. Her last round over par was June 27, 2004, at the Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury, where she shot a one-over-par 73. Sorenstam has recorded par or better in all eight rounds she has played at the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
Se Ri Pak is the defending champion this week and has fond memories of winning here last year, as the victory gave her the requisite 27 points needed to gain entry into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame. She must now meet the 10-year membership requirement (2007) before achieving Hall of Fame status. Pak erased a four-shot deficit with a final-round 65 to win by two over Lorena Ochoa and Juli Inkster.
Perhaps 2005 will prove to be Ochoa's year in the colonial city. She has finished tied for second in both previous stops the Tour has made in Williamsburg. Standing from the steps to the scoring trailer by the 18th green she watched Grace Park roll in a birdie putt on 18 to win in 2003, and last year, as the final-round leader she was caught and passed by Pak's final-round 65.