Sorenstam Wins Third Straight at Safeway


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 4-under 68 Sunday to win the Safeway Classic. Sorenstam finished at 17-under-par 199, one shot ahead of Kate Golden.
Rosie Jones, who was the runner-up at this event in 1991, posted a final-round 68 to finish alongside Karen Stupples at 12-under-par 204.
Sorenstam earned her eighth victory of 2002 and her second in as many weeks. The Swede captured last week's Williams Championship.
Sorenstam began the day with a three-shot edge over her closest competitors at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and managed to hold off a surging Golden with a round of 68 that featured a birdie at the closing hole.
'What a finish,' said Sorenstam, who won for the 39th time on the LPGA Tour. 'Kate played so well today and the pressure seemed like it just built up and built up. I tried really hard and played as good as I could up to pretty much the last putt, and it was really exciting.'
More from Sorenstam on her win.
Golden was four shots off the lead to start the round and jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the first. She added a stretch of three consecutive birdies starting at the fifth to make the turn at 13-under.
At the par-4 11th, Golden hit a wedge to eight feet and ran home the birdie putt. She drained a 15-footer at the following hole and reached 16-under with a birdie at the last after the landed a 7-iron inside 10 feet.
Golden, who overcame a six-shot deficit to defeat Sorenstam in the final round of last year's State Farm Classic, came close to a second comeback but the Swede knocked a 9-iron to 11 feet at the last and sank the putt to secure the title.
'She's awesome,' said Golden, who finished at 16-under-par 200. 'It was just fun for the both of us. I think it was really fun for the gallery, watching the scores go back and forth. I think it was a really fun tournament.'
Sorenstam was in control early with three birdies on the front nine. She chipped inside of four feet for birdie at the par-5 10th but ran into trouble with a bogey at the 15th as her advantage over Golden was disappearing by the minute.
'I wasn't going to make any mistakes. I figured she has to catch me and I was doing good until then,' said Sorenstam. 'That was my first bogey of the day.'
The 31-year-old persisted and carried her resilience to the par-4 18th where she clinched the win with a decisive birdie.
'I was in a position to win again, and I didn't want to let it go,' said Sorenstam. 'It was emotional. I was really focused all day.'
Sorenstam's second straight victory comes days before her European squad will defend their title at the Solheim Cup at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota.
'I think it's going to be exciting,' said Sorenstam. 'We all get together and play the best we can, and it's really exciting.'
Emilee Klein, a member of the American team that will look to dethrone the Europeans at Interlachen, shot a final-round 68 to finish alongside fellow teammate Michele Redman at 9-under-par 207.
Karrie Webb posted a 2-under 70 to finish alongside Akiko Fukushima, Donna Andrews, Jamie Hullett and Penny Hammel at 8-under-par 208.

Final results from the Safeway Classic