Annika Dominating at Chick-fil-A Classic


STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take an eye-opening 10-stroke lead into the final round of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. She stands at 18-under-par 198 as she has almost certainly guaranteed her 60th victory on the LPGA Tour.
'Tomorrow, I've got to play my own game,' said Sorenstam. 'I just want to win the tournament. That's really all that matters to me. I've had a five-shot lead that I have missed in the past. I have come from 10 behind in one day and won a tournament, so it has happened.'
Emilee Klein carded a 4-under 68 and is in second place at 8-under-par 208. Silvia Cavalleri fired the low round of the day on Saturday with a 7-under 65. She is tied for third place with Wendy Ward (67), Candy Hannemann (68), Lorena Ochoa (70) and Heather Bowie (72) at minus-7.
Or, 11 shots behind Sorenstam.
Sorenstam has a 10-shot lead for the second time in her Hall of Fame career. At the 1995 GHP Heartland Classic, the Swede held a 10-shot, 54-hole lead and won by the same number.
Only two players in tour history have overcome a 10-shot deficit in the final round - Sorenstam in the 2001 Office Depot Hosted by Amy Alcott, and Mickey Wright at the 1964 Tall City Open.
Maybe history is the only thing that Sorenstam will be competing against on Sunday.
If Sorenstam avoids a complete, final-round meltdown, and with a 66 percent winning percentage with the 54-hole lead, it seems unlikely, she will collect her 60th win on the LPGA Tour. That would tie her for third place on the all-time list with Patty Berg.
'Of course I think about it,' admitted Sorenstam, who lost a chance at six consecutive wins last week. 'Anything can happen here. I have to go out there and do the work. There are not going to be any shortcuts.'
Sorenstam began Saturday's third round with a six-shot lead and quickly padded her advantage with a 28-foot eagle putt at the second. She dropped her first shot of the tournament at the fourth when she missed a 3-footer, but closed her front nine with three birdies in a four-hole span.
At the 12th, Sorenstam missed the fairway and only managed to hit her second to 30 feet. She ran home the long birdie try to build an 11-shot advantage. The Swede converted a 5-footer for birdie at 13, but tallied her second bogey of the round at 14 when she three-putted from 18 feet.
Sorenstam's edge dipped to nine at the 17th when she hit a 7-wood over the green. She chipped to 8 feet, but two-putted for bogey. Sorenstam reclaimed the lost stroke with a birdie at Eagle's Landing Country Club's closing hole.
'I got a little bit irritated at the end,' admitted Sorenstam, referring to her putting woes on the back nine. 'I know I can do better. But, I finished with a birdie. It was a great day.'
Now Sorenstam can chase another record along with her 60th win. The record for largest margin of victory on the LPGA Tour is 14 when Cindy Mackey titled at the 1986 MasterCard International Pro-Am.
Beth Daniel (70) and Candie Kung (70) share eighth place at minus-6.
Cristie Kerr, who won last week at Kingsmill, shot a third-round 70 and is tied for 10th with Laura Davies (69), Birdie Kim (69) and Lorie Kane (73). The group is knotted at 5-under-par 211.
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