The two are clearly at the top of their profession. They have each brought welcomed attention to their respective tours. And their desire to win major championships is equaled only by one another.
This week, Sorenstam competes in the Weetabix Womens British Open at Royal Birkdale. Should she win, it will also be her 10th career major championship victory, and would also give her a second trip around the career Grand Slam.
Hows that for uncanny?
Like Woods, Sorenstam enters the British Open without an opportunity to capture the seasonal Grand Slam. And like Woods, that opportunity was lost at the U.S. Open.
Having won each of the first two majors of the year, Sorenstam failed to break par over four days at Cherry Hills Country and settled for a tie for 23rd.
She tied for 12th in her most recent start at last weeks Evian Masters. That means she has gone three consecutive events without winning. Amazingly, thats her longest winless stretch of the season.
In fact, that means shes only gone three straight tournaments without a win twice in the last two years.
And we dont expect that to happen again.
Five for the Title:
Sorenstam may not have a chance to win the seasonal Grand Slam, but she does have a chance to set a personal best by winning three majors in the same campaign ' and become the first LPGA player since Pat Bradley, in 1986, to accomplish that feat. Sorenstam won this event in 2003, when she defeated Se Ri Pak by a stroke at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. She tied for 17th the last time Royal Birkdale hosted this championship.
Creamer had designs on winning an LPGA event in her first season on tour. And once she did that at the Sybase Classic, she set her sights on winning a major championship. The 18-year-old captured the Evian Masters last week in France in convincing fashion. Playing alongside Sorenstam in the third round, she shot 66 to Annikas 72. She went on to earn her second title of the year by a full eight strokes. She tied for 19th in both the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Womens Open. She also tied for third in the McDonalds LPGA Championship.
Wie has yet to win, but she has been nonetheless impressive this year. She collected her third runner-up finish in 2005 at the Evian Masters, firing 68 in the final round to move up the leaderboard. The 15-year-old also shared the third-round lead at the U.S. Womens Open, before wilting with an 82. This will be her first appearance in this particular major, but she has competed in seven majors in her brief amateur career and has yet to miss a cut.
Ochoa had a great opportunity to win this years U.S. Womens Open, but made a quadruple-bogey-8 on the final hole and was unable to post a target number. She won this years Wegmans Rochester LPGA and has four runner-up finishes, including last week in France. She has recorded seven top-10s in 15 previous majors played, two of which have come this season. She finished fourth in this event a year ago at Sunningdale Golf Club.
Stupples is the defending champion. She won last years championship by starting eagle-double eagle en route to a closing 64 and a five-stroke triumph. She was tied with Wie and Morgan Pressel after 54 holes of the Womens Open, but succumbed to a 78 and tied for 10th. That is her lone top-10 of the season.
Playing Out the Front Nine
Four more to keep an eye on
*Birdie Kim, who shocked everyone ' including herself ' by winning the Womens Open. She has finished outside the top 25 in her two starts since holing out from a bunker on the 72nd hole to prevail at Cherry Hills. This will be her first British Open start.
*Karrie Webb, who has won this event three times. Webb officially earned her way into the Hall of Fame earlier this year, but she is still in search of her first tour victory since last years Kellogg-Keebler Classic.
*Sophie Gustafson, who won this event the last time it was contested at Royal Birkdale in 2000. Gustafson was not credited with a major victory back then, because the tournament didnt achieve major status until the following year. She missed the cut a year ago, but has four top-10s in her career at the Womens British.
*Rosie Jones, who is playing in what may be her final major championship. Jones has said that this is her final season on tour. If it is, then this her last opportunity to capture her first major. She is 0-for-87 in the majors over her career.