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Sorenstam Defends First of Five Titles

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The LPGA Tour takes two weeks off before heading to the 21st annual Welch's / Circle K Championship in Tucson, AZ. A $750,000 purse, the largest in this events history, is up for grabs with $112,500 dog-eared for the champion.
 
Annika Sorenstam defends the first of her five 2000 titles during the Welch's/Circle K Championship. Sorenstam, still looking for her first win of the 2001 season, will hope to repeat the success she had at the Randolph North Golf Course last year.
 
Her 19th career victory was especially sweet for the former University of Arizona player. The win provided Sorenstam with the final points needed to qualify for the Hall of Fame. 'It just feels so unreal,' Sorenstam said after last year's win. 'It's exciting to think that when I get older, I'll be able to say I'm a part of the Hall of Fame.'
 
Cristie Kerr held the lead after the first two rounds. Kerr carded 64-68 and maintained a two shot lead going into the weekend. Unfortunately weekend rounds of 72-70 left Kerr out of the race while Sorenstam gained momentum.
 
The Swede posted four sub-par rounds to tie for the lead with Pat Hurst at 19-under 269.
 
Hurst went on a birdie spree, making birdie on five out of six of the last holes as she made her way through the back nine. Her strong finish forced a sudden-death playoff.
 
It was back to the par-5 18th where both competitors once again tied after making birdies. Two extra holes later, and their third trip down the 18th hole in a single day; Sorenstam prevailed taking home the $105,000 first place check.
 
This year's event will be televised by The Golf Channel. Coverage begins on Thursday, March 8th.