Its Official Annika in the Hall

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Annika Sorenstam officially became a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame on Friday when the first round of the Samsung World Championship was completed.
Sorenstam finished the first round of her 15th event of 2003, which completed her 10th official season, her final requirement for admittance.
Sorenstam, who turned 33 on Thursday, opened with a 2-under-par 70 at The Players Course at The Woodlands and shares second place with Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel, Rachel Teske and Grace Park.
Se Ri Pak, Sorenstam's playing partner and closest competitor, carded a 3-under-par 69 and is alone in first place.
'Obviously I'm very pleased and now we've got to turn around and play again, so it's a little different feeling,' said Sorenstam.
The first round was completed Friday morning as heavy rain washed out all of Thursday's action. A few golfers played some holes Thursday but when play resumed Friday morning, all scores were wiped away and the tournament started over.
The second round began immediately after the first round. The hope is to play 36 holes on Friday but the more likely plan is for golfers to play as much as possible on Friday with the completion of the second round some time Saturday morning.
Cristie Kerr and Juli Inkster share seventh place at 1-under-par 71, followed by U.S. Women's Open champion Hilary Lunke, Angela Stanford, one of the runners-up to Lunke, Karrie Webb and Sophie Gustafson. That group stands at even-par 72.
Despite the elite field, all eyes were on Sorenstam Friday.
Sorenstam, who won this event last year, birdied the par-5 first and added another at the seventh. She parred out her last 11 holes, including a great save at the last when she drove into the water.
If play had gone on Thursday, the plan was to have a small ceremony for Sorenstam to celebrate her entrance into golf's upper echelon.
The LPGA requires 27 points for the Hall of Fame and a player receives one point for a victory, two for a major championship, one point for being player of the year and one point for winning the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Sorenstam collected 63 points with 47 victories, including six major championships, to rank seventh on the all-time wins list. She has won Player of the Year honors five times and also claimed the scoring title five times.
In this, her Hall of Fame season, Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to tee it up with the men as she missed the cut at the PGA Tour's Colonial. She defeated Park in a playoff to win the LPGA Championship and overcame Pak in the final round to complete her career Slam at the Women's British Open. Only Webb, Inkster, Pat Bradley, Mickey Wright and Louise Suggs have captured the four major championships.
Sorenstam's season became complete last month when she led her European mates to the most lopsided victory in Solheim Cup history, 17 1/2-10 1/2.
Sorenstam became the first player in LPGA Tour history to shoot 59 in the second round of the 2001 Standard Register PING in Phoenix. That year she also became the first woman to surpass the $2 million mark in a single season.
Her 2002 campaign was even stronger with 11 LPGA Tour victories and 13 worldwide.
'It will happen eventually,' Sorenstam said after news of Thursday's rainout. 'I know I'm very exited and very honored to be part of such an elite group of women. I'm certainly excited about the opportunity.'
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