Sorenstam can once again add her name in the LPGA annals with players who have won the same tournament three consecutive years. It is a feat so rare that it has only happened six times in the 53-year history of the LPGA, but what would make it even more special is that Sorenstam would become the first player to do it twice.
A three-peat? Thats old hat for the Super Swede, a winner of 47 LPGA events. She went back-to-back-to-back at the Michelob Light Classic from 1997- 99 and will be shooting for three consecutive wins at the both the Kellogg- Keebler Classic and the Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi in 2004.
In addition, a win this week would officially clinch the Rolex Player of the Year title for Sorenstam, even with two official events remaining in the season. Still, it wont be that easy, as a stellar field is lined up to try and prevent her from winning four out of the last five LPGA tournaments held in Japan.
Nine LPGA tournament winners from 2003, including multiple winners Se Ri Pak, Candie Kung, Rachel Teske and Hee-Won Han all made the trip and will be aiming to take down the newly feted LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame member.
Lorena Ochoa, the 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, is also in the field, as well as is Suzann Pettersen, who along with Sorenstam helped the European Team to victory at The Solheim Cup. Laura Davies, the long hitter who owns the record for consecutive wins at the same tournament with four, is also bound to be a factor after a runner-up finish last week at the CJ Nine Bridges Classic Presented by Sports Today.
Tempting bookmakers may be in Sorenstams favor, but recent history is against it as the five-time 2003 winner has been in this position before. Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to become the first player to win a major' the Kraft Nabisco Championship' three consecutive years. Her bid came up short, as she finished second behind Patricia Meunier-Lebouc.
In 2002 at the Welchs/Circle K Championship, her effort was good enough for a tie for seventh, but not the record books. In 1997, she had two opportunities, but missed the cut at the U.S. Womens Open and tied for sixth at the Samsung World Championship of Womens Golf.
Last year, Sorenstam carded three consecutive rounds in the 60s and finished the Mizuno Classic at 201 (-15), which was two shots better than second place Grace Park. Pak finished third at 204 (-12), while Gloria Park placed fourth at 206 (-10).