Sorenstam hopes to Trump competition

first_imgAnnika Sorenstam, who has had no shortage of success in Los Angeles-area LPGA Tour stops, begins her bid for Southland tour win No. 4 next month, playing on her third course in five years. The Office Depot Championship, which Sorenstam won in 2001 at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles and the past two years at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, will be played this year at Trump National Golf Club on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “I have not had a chance to play Mr. Trump’s course in L.A., but I am sure it is going to be fabulous,” said Sorenstam, who will lead a field that includes 96 of the top 100 players on the season’s money list. “I am excited to have the opportunity to win this tournament for the third time in a row. It is going to be a historical moment for me.” History and Sorenstam have become old acquaintances on the LPGA Tour, on which the 34-year-old Swede has demonstrated with an ability to play as well as anyone since Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and 10 others founded the organization in 1950. Among her recent accomplishments, the seven-time LPGA Player of the Year has set the tour single-round record (59), overcome a 10-shot final round deficit to win the 2001 Office Depot Championship at Wilshire, become the first woman since Zaharias to play in a PGA Tour event, and made a strong run in 2002 at Mickey Wright’s LPGA single-season record of 13 wins. Sorenstam’s 11 wins that year fell short of Wright’s record, but they were the second-highest total in tour history. She was the 1994 LPGA Rookie of the Year, won back-to-back U.S. Open titles in her first three years on the tour, claimed her 50th tour win at LAST year’s Office Depot tournament, and went on to win six of her first eight LPGA starts of 2005, including the first two majors. Consistency always has been her strength. The newest Office Depot venue, which offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from all 18 holes, stands in stark contrast to the tree-lined fairways of Wilshire and El Caballero. Sorenstam said she can’t wait to defend her titles against one of the season’s top fields on the 215-acre oceanfront course owned by Donald Trump. center_img “I have a swing that is very repeatable,” Sorenstam said. “There is not much to it. I am very consistent with my short game. I am a conservative player. Long term, over 72 holes, it works very well.” With Sorenstam, consistency is a direct reflection of her commitment to be the best player on tour. “There is obviously hard work behind it,” she said. “I practiced a lot this winter to work a little bit more on my swing and short game. I am always trying to find some improvements to be more consistent.” She returns to LPGA play Friday, in the Wendy’s Championship for Children at Dublin, Ohio, and will be facing most of the tour’s best players in the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Office Depot event, which is expected to feature every winner to that point in the 2005 LPGA season. The field is scheduled to include top 2005 U.S. players Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, U.S. Women’s Open champion Birdie Kim and Weetabix Women’s British Open champion Jeong Jang, and U.S. Solheim Cup team contenders Natalie Gulbis, Rosie Jones, Julie Inkster and Meg Mallon. Big area contingent: U.S. Open qualifier and fan favorite Jason Gore, of Valencia, will be at this week’s Buick Championship after the six-time Nationwide Tour career winner earned his third trip to the PGA Tour. Thursday’s Buick Championship starting field also has eight other players with area ties, including Occidental College graduate Olin Browne, a two-time PGA Tour winner who lost full-time playing privileges on the Tour last year by finishing 127th in earnings. Browne rivaled Gore for early heroics at the U.S. Open after getting into the event on the merits of a second-round 59 in his 36-hole qualifying tournament. He shot 67 to share the first-round lead at Pinehurst and also shared the midway lead before finishing tied for 23rd. Browne enters the Buick Championship ranked 116th in tour earnings after tying for 23rd in last week’s PGA Tour Reno-Tahoe Open. He needs to finish in the top 125 for the year to regain full playing privileges for 2006. Other area entries at the Buick Championship are former UCLA players Cory Pavin, Duffy Waldorf and Tom Pernice Jr., Kevin Stadler (USC), Brent Geiberger (Pepperdine) and Westlake High graduate Charlie Wi, the 1990 State Amateur champion, who finished 26th in PGA Tour qualifying school last December. Dave Shelburne covers golf for the Daily News. His column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at (818) 713-3609 or [email protected] ON THE GREEN PGA TOUR Buick Championship at Cromwell, Conn. Course: TPC at River Highlands (6,820 yards, par-70). Schedule: Thursday-Sunday. Purse: $4.4 million, $792,000 to winner. TV: USA (Thursday-Friday, 4-6 p.m.), Ch. 2 (Saturday-Sunday, noon-3 p.m.). LPGA TOUR Wendy’s Championship for Children at Dublin, Ohio Course: Tartan Fields Golf Club (6,515 yards, par-72). Schedule: Friday-Sunday. Purse: $1.1 million, $165,000 to winner. TV: ESPN2 (Friday, 1-3 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon) CHAMPIONS Jeld-Wen Tradition at Aloha, Ore. Course: The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, South Course (7,120 yards, par-72). Schedule: Thursday-Sunday. Purse: $1.6 million, $240,500 to winner. TV: The Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 3-6 and 7:30-10 p.m.). TOP SCORERS PGA Tiger Woods 68.59 Vijay Singh 69.01 Phil Mickelson 69.23 Jim Furyk 69.24 LPGA Annika Sorenstam 69.48 Jennifer Rosales 70.35 Grace Park 70.57 Cristie Kerr 71.04 CHAMPIONS Dana Quigley 69.55 Craig Stadler 69.69 Mark McNulty 69.70 D.A. Weibring 69.73 SPOTLIGHT TIGER WOODS The 10-time major champion took a big step toward winning PGA Tour Player of the Year honors for the seventh time in nine years, capturing the NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Arkon, Ohio. Woods, who includes the Masters and British Open among five victories this year, shot 66-70-67-71_274 to win his ninth title in 18 World Golf Championship events. Woods, who has four victories in six years at Firestone, finished a stroke ahead of Chris DiMarco, who shot a final-round 68 and held a share of the lead until Woods made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more