On Nov. 5, 2004, it all started when Sorenstam had a ridiculously easy time of it at the Mizuno Classic by beating the field by nine shots. Since it was played in Japan, not too many on this side of the Pacific noticed. Sorenstam opened with a 63 and quickly defused all suspense. So easy, this winning of golf tournaments
Ho-hum now back to golf. Annikas schedule makes Tiger Woods seem like Dana Quigley. She plays a little, then she doesnt play, then she plays a little more. But one thing is almost always certain when she DOES play ' she wins.
Actually, the LPGA didnt start the season until the last week of February. Sorenstam missed the first two events, but the third one, she played. And, of course, she won. Sorenstam came from three shots down the start of Sunday to win it going away, taking home the hardware with a three-shot win.
Annika was getting serious about golf again ' she would play three consecutive weeks starting with that win at MasterCard. Week Number 2 came in Phoenix and Sorenstam had to go an extra hole to win it.
This was the one that very nearly got away. She was four shots down with only three to play. But leader Lorena Ochoa made double-bogey at the 16th and bogeyed the 17th, while Sorenstam got a clutch birdie at 18. In the playoff, Ochoa snap-hooked her tee shot into the water and this one was over.
That's why I practice, that's why I love this so much, she said afterwards. You know, you're always not going to win, but when you do, it just makes it so much sweeter. I'm still a little bit overwhelmed, but I would say I'm loving it.
There's only a slight part of me that thought it would be possible. But it does rank up here, of the things I've achieved You know, I've come from 10 behind, but then again, I had 18 holes to do it. Three holes is not a lot. But then again, I think today proved that you should never give up, just keep on grinding.
She left for Palm Springs just as soon as she calmed down, and the seasons first major ' the Kraft Nabisco Championship ' became her fifth victory in a row. She just won this one by eight shots, not making a bogey the last 53 holes of the tournament.
Now, almost a month after she won that event, shes trying to bump Nancy Lopez out of the record books. Lopez won her five in a row in six giddy weeks in the early summer of 1978. Annika has taken five months and three weeks to do it, but shes going to try for six.
Ironically, Sunday, when Sorenstam could get the record, is May 8. Lopez started her streak on May 12th in the opening round of the Greater Baltimore Classic.
I do believe things happen for a reason, said Annika. I believe in that type of stuff. I don't know if a good bounce is always a good sign, but hitting good shots and things going your way is always positive momentum.
There hasnt been a lot of attention paid to the try for six in a row, and the reason probably would be the length of time. Five or six months is a long time to sustain interest.
But if the fans are lackadaisical, Annika hasnt noticed. She says she is more than satisfied that her achievements get their requisite publicity, even if others in her organization arent so sure.
I think I get a lot of recognition in what I do, she says. I think people understand my success on the golf course. I mean, I feel it in my home country (Sweden.) I feel it here. I feel it among my friends. I feel it amongst you guys (the media.)
Sometimes maybe I take certain things for granted - you know, I win another tournament, but when I go home I really sit and enjoy it. I really look back at each tournament and I say, That was a good job.
I think that's very important. I don't want to just come here and go and forget about it. There's a lot of hard work behind every tournament. And I don't want to forget that.
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