Sorenstam Big Winner on Day 1

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LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Annika Sorenstam became the first woman to participate in the 21-year history of the Skins Game Saturday, and thanks to an amazing shot on the final hole, she made more history with her play. She won four skins over the first nine holes and took the first-day lead with $175,000, which is a new Saturday record in the made-for-TV event.
 
Phil Mickelson won four skins and is in second place with $100,000. Fred Couples, the all-time money leader in Skins Game history, took a skin on the opening hole and is in third with $25,000.
 
Defending champion Mark O'Meara did not win a skin on Saturday, when the quartet played the first nine holes at Trilogy Golf Club. The final nine holes will be played on Sunday.
 
There were no skins won from the sixth hole on, so the par-5 ninth was worth $175,000. None of the four players reached the green in two. Sorenstam was in a bunker 40 yards from the hole but blasted out and watched as the ball fell into the hole for an eagle.
 
After congratulating the No. 1 player in women's golf, the three remaining competitors tried to duplicate Sorenstam's magic but none could hole out from the rough.
 
'Under the circumstances, I would have been happy to get it within 10 feet. I would have been really happy,' said Sorenstam. 'It seems like it's my year. It's amazing. I'm enjoying it.'
 
Sorenstam dominated women's golf the last three years, completing the career Grand Slam in 2003 with wins at the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open.
 
But her biggest accomplishment of the season was her play at the Colonial on the PGA Tour. She became the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut at the tour stop.
 
Couples started out with a 12-footer for birdie at the first after he drove into fairway bunker. That putt earned him $25,000 after none of his fellow competitors could find the bottom of the cup before him.
 
Mickelson had the best chance to win at the short, par-3 second but his 15-footer slid by the hole. It was on to the third hole, which was now worth $50,000, that Mickelson took advantage. He knocked a lob-wedge to three feet and Sorenstam had the best chance to top him, but her eight-footer stayed on the edge. Mickelson rolled home the birdie putt to win the skins.
 
Mickelson continued his strong play at the fourth. He holed a left-to-right 25-footer for birdie but this time Sorenstam was able to answer. She sank an 18-foot birdie putt of her own to carry the skin over to the fifth hole.
 
At the fifth hole, O'Meara was in great shape to make birdie and take the two skins. His approach bounced up to five feet but once again it was Mickelson who upstaged the closer player. He drained a 35-footer for birdie and O'Meara pushed his birdie try so Mickelson upped his total to four skins and $100,000.
 
O'Meara and Mickelson both made birdies at the sixth to carry the skin over to No. 7. Couples and O'Meara holed short birdie putts at the par-5 seventh to make the eighth worth three skins. For the second time in three holes, O'Meara and Mickelson halved a hole to set up No. 9 and Sorenstam's amazing shot.
 
Sorenstam hit driver off the tee at the 524-yard hole, then knocked a 7-wood from 255 yards into the bunker. Her sand-wedge shot skipped across the green and went in. Then it was a hug from her caddie and congratulations from the men.
 
'To see it was fantastic,' admitted Couples, who set a Skins Game record with his 10th appearance. 'It was absolutely perfect. You have to be in that bunker to know how hard it is.'