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Sorenstam Standing on Top

WILMINGTON, Del. -- She let us in on the bombshell that was coming when Annika Sorenstam warned Thursday, I really felt good today. I felt like I hit it really well. The putts just didnt drop, but I hit it solidly all day long.
That was Sorenstam after she opened the McDonalds LPGA Championship with a 70. But on Friday, there wasnt any question. She gored the DuPont Country Club course and the field with a score of 64, rushing to the top of the leaderboard with nine birdies and two bogeys. The score of 64 is one off the womens major championship record, held by four players.
It was totally a quality round, she said. I mean, the only bad shot I hit was the tee shot on 18 (leading to a bogey).
But it was flawless, I thought. I could have rolled in a putt here or there, but I hit a lot of good putts as well that didnt go in. So I rank it (the round) up there. I cant exactly put a number on it, but its definitely a top-10 performance for me at a major.
Sorenstam is two shots ahead of the field after the red-hot day. First-round leader Hee-Wan Han is in second place with a 6-under score of 136. Wendy Ward is third at 5-under 137. Sorenstam is 13 shots better than she was last year when she eventually finished third.
She started quickly, making birdies on three holes in a row starting at No. 2. That got her to 4-under for the tournament, but she dropped back when she bogeyed the fifth.
But she birdied three in a row again, starting at No. 9. And then she added birdies once again in a threesome, scoring them at 15, 16 and 17 before hitting the bad drive and making bogey on the last.
And it all goes back to the round on Thursday.
I felt like I played a lot of good, solid tee shots (Thursday), Sorenstam said. I think I missed one fairway yesterday, and I kept hitting good tee shots today ' a lot of good approach shots. My distance control has been very good this week, and I felt if I could just get going, roll in a few putts, then you get a momentum, a feel for the greens, especially the speed ' which I think was my problem yesterday.
Actually, this all started before this week, back three weeks ago when she played the men of the PGA Tour at Colonial. She played that week under intense scrutiny and pressure, then came to the LPGA and won last week at the Keebler Classic.
I think I am hitting the ball as well as I have all year the last three weeks, she said. I believe Colonial, being in the past now, that I am kind of relieved, in a way, and I am playing better golf.
I noticed that last week, and I feel the same this week. You know, last year I had some good moments. I played some good golf throughout the season, but I think right now I am striking the ball as good as I (ever) have.
The fact that this is one of four LPGA majors makes it doubly sweet to be in the lead. Sorenstam has won two Nabiscos and two U.S. Opens, but the other two have escaped her. This would be major No. 5, and scratch off another tournament.
The majors have been my priority all year ' actually, the last two years have been my priority, she said. And I believe I can play this golf course, I showed it last year on Sunday (when she shot a 65), and I think that today I showed it for myself, that I can play here.
So, yeah, this tournament means a lot. Its a major, its one that I havent won. I have been close, but the goal is to put in four good rounds. So far, so good.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the McDonald's LPGA Championship
  • Full coverage of the McDonald's LPGA Championship