Sorenstam wins PING

Annika Sorenstam was exhausted after her 59, but she held on to win the Standard Register PING in Phoenix...

Ted Finnerty's picture
Mon, 19 Mar 2001

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Annika Sorenstam secured her place in history at the Standard Register PING, but it wasn’t easy. Exhausted after a record-breaking 59 (-13) during the second round, Sorenstam fought hard to outlast a hard-charging Se Ri Pak, finishing the tournament at 261 (-27). Sorenstam won her 25th LPGA title and set or tied six LPGA records in the process: most birdies in a round (13); lowest nine-hole round (-8); lowest 18-hole round (-13); lowest 36-hole total (-20); lowest 54-hole total (-23); and lowest 72-hole total (-27).

“That’s a lot of records this week,” said Sorenstam, who heads to the first major of the season with back-to-back wins under her belt. “I can’t absorb everything yet. It’s been incredible. But I really just wanted to win this tournament; that’s what mattered to me.”

Pak made the task difficult. Although Sorenstam began the day with a three-shot lead and made three birdies on the front nine, Pak wouldn’t let her relax. The young Korean answered with birdies of her own on holes three, four, six, seven and eight. By the time the two made the turn, Pak had moved to within one slim shot of Sorenstam’s lead. On the par-four 14th, Pak hit her approach shot to five feet and holed the putt for birdie. Sorenstam couldn’t match her and the two headed to 15 tied at 26-under-par.

But bad luck, or a bad club, took Pak out of a tie for the lead in a matter of minutes. A three-quarter 7-iron on the par-three 15th pitched over the green into a tough lie, and Pak couldn’t get up and down for par. Sorenstam nailed a 17-footer for birdie on the next hole to put the tournament out of Pak’s reach.

“I knew today was going to be really tough, especially with Se Ri.” said Sorenstam, who has a commanding $114,343 lead over Pak on the LPGA money list. “She’s on a roll lately. I had three shots extra to start, just in case, and I’m glad I had them. I think I played some good golf today, but Se Ri really stepped it up. I was trying hard, and I saw she was coming closer and closer. It was a fight coming in.”

Sorenstam became the fourth player in golf history to shoot a 59 (-13) in LPGA or PGA competition, joining Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval. But more importantly, she was trying to avoid becoming the first person to shoot 59 in a tournament and lose.

“It was important to win, very important,” said Sorenstam. “But on the other hand, look at the score. If somebody goes out and beats me when I shoot 13-under one day, you have got to think, ‘hats off.’ That would be incredible golf.”

Pak and Sorenstam have become quite acquainted lately, playing in the final twosome on Sunday for the second week in a row. Both times, Sorenstam maintained her lead and Pak finished runner-up, even though Pak has recorded eight consecutive rounds in the 60s. She now holds the LPGA record for lowest under-par total for a runner-up at 263 (-25).

“It’s a little disappointing for me, especially this week,” said Pak, who is looking for her second victory of the season and 10th on the LPGA Tour. “I have an unbelievably great score and I still lost. But the only thing I can say is that I think my game is in pretty good shape for next week. I am really looking forward to Nabisco.

“I think maybe Annika doesn’t like me anymore. Today I gave her a really hard time.” Second-year Tour member Yu Ping Lin posted her career-best finish with a tie for third at 275 (-13) with veteran Dottie Pepper. Dorothy Delasin and Akiko Fukushima finished fifth at 276 (-12).

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Standard Register Ping
FinishedPlayerR1R2R3R4Total ScoreTo Par
1Annika Sorenstam65596968261-27
2Se Ri Pak65686367263-25
T3Dottie Pepper68677367275-13
T3Yu Ping Lin72656870275-13
T5Dorothy Delasin69697068276-12
T5Akiko Fukushima70667169276-12
T7Vicki Goetze-Ackerman73687165277-11
T7Rosie Jones70697266277-11
T7Rachel Teske67707367277-11
T7Michelle McGann72706867277-11
T7Pat Hurst69647668277-11
T7Karrie Webb73696768277-11
T7Lorie Kane67707169277-11
T7Kris Tschetter63697570277-11
T15Michele Redman71687069278-10
T15Jackie Gallagher-Smith68726870278-10
T17Kelly Robbins69707367279-9
T17Meg Mallon71717067279-9
T19Karen Weiss71697763280-8
T19Mi Hyun Kim68677471280-8
T19Catriona Matthew73696771280-8
T19Nancy Scranton68707072280-8
T19Laura Diaz676674(+1/17)207-8
T24Heather Zakhar73707464281-7
T24Wendy Ward71697170281-7
T26Hiromi Kobayashi66757566282-6
T26Juli Inkster73707168282-6
T26Marcy Newton73677171282-6
T26Michelle Ellis66727272282-6
T26Sophie Gustafson71706972282-6
T26Sherri Steinhauer69667473282-6
T26Kellee Booth72686973282-6
T33Kristi Albers73697467283-5
T33Kathryn Marshall69697669283-5
T33Amy Fruhwirth71707270283-5
T33Jane Geddes72707071283-5
T33Wendy Doolan74677072283-5
T33Cristie Kerr70677274283-5
T39Jenny Rosales72697469284-4
T39Stefania Croce69717371284-4
T39Penny Hammel69717371284-4
T39Maggie Will67707176284-4
T43Leta Lindley72717567285-3
T43Mardi Lunn76677468285-3
T43Barb Mucha71707470285-3
T43Denise Killeen71727171285-3
T43Alison Nicholas71717172285-3
T48Brandie Burton72717370286-2
T48Dawn Coe-Jones72717370286-2
T48Betsy King71727271286-2
T48Nanci Bowen68707573286-2
T48Heather Daly-Donofrio69717274286-2

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