Sorenstam Gets Number 10 for 2002


OHTSU CITY, Japan -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 5-under 67 Sunday to capture the Mizuno Classic for her 10th win of the year. Sorenstam finished at 15-under-par 201, two strokes ahead of Grace Park.
With the victory, Sorenstam became the first player since Kathy Whitworth and Carol Mann in 1968 to win 10 times in a single season. The Swede also has two additional titles worldwide in 2002.
'I told my caddie today that I'm in the position that I want to be in and that this is what I've been waiting for - to win my 10th,' said Sorenstam. 'I said that I'm going to do everything I can and nothing is going to stop me.'
Sorenstam fired a 65 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after 36 holes at Seta Golf Course and jumped out of the gate during the final round with a birdie at the first.
She faltered with a double bogey at the fifth but recovered at the following hole after she hit a 4-wood to 12 feet at the par-5. Sorenstam drained the putt for an eagle and dropped her second shot inside five feet at the par-4 seventh for a birdie to reach 12-under.
'That got me a little angry and I said, 'Let's get it back, nothing's going to stop me,'' Sorenstam said of the double bogey. 'I killed my drive on six, hit a good shot up to the green and made a good putt for eagle.'
Sorenstam hit a sand-wedge to 10 feet for birdie at the 10th and as her competitors put together a late challenge, she birdied each of the final two holes to win her second straight Mizuno Classic.
'I thought it was very exciting and came down to the last few holes, but that's what I like,' said Sorenstam. 'I like to be challenged. That's the whole part that makes it so much fun.'
Sorenstam pocketed $169,500 for her 41st career victory on the LPGA Tour. She will ultimately fall short of Mickey Wright's single-season record of 13 wins, but the 2002 campaign has been a memorable one.
'I'm a little in shock I think,' said Sorenstam. 'I set high goals for myself, but sometimes you wonder if you can achieve them. Here I am and I definitely achieved one of my goals. I feel like crying in a way, but I'm so happy that I feel like jumping high. It's wonderful.'
Se Ri Pak finished three shots off the lead at 12-under-par 204. Pak shared the lead with Sorenstam at one point during the final found but could not keep pace.
Gloria Park finished alone in fourth at 10-under-par 206. She was followed by Lorie Kane, who won this event in 2000, and Kasumi Fujii at 9-under-par 207.
Maria Hjorth, Liselotte Neumann, Woo-Soon Ko and Rosie Jones were one shot further back at 8-under-par 208.
Catriona Matthew and Ji Hee Lee finished tied for 11th at 7-under-par 209.
Mi Hyun Kim, who held the lead after the first round, posted a 1-over 73 to finish 10 shots off the lead at 5-under-par 211.
Final scores from the Mizuno Classic