Golf Sorenstam inspires Sweden

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The Independent Online


reports from Cologne

Annika Sorenstam surged to her second victory in three weeks when she assured Sweden of a fifth consecutive Hennessy Cup title with a closing round of 68 here yesterday.

Sorenstam, with a 17-under-par aggregate of 271, collected the pounds 45,000 winner's cheque when she finished one stroke clear of Britain's Trish Johnson, who shared second place with the defending champion, Lotta Neumann of Sweden.

It was very much a battle between the Swedes from the outset. Sorenstam had started her final round one ahead of Johnson and three clear of Neumann.

Johnson fell behind as Sorenstam and Neumann shared seven birdies over their opening five holes, and then drove into the trees for a double-bogey six at the seventh to go out in 36.

She was now four behind Sorenstam and two adrift of Neumann, who had respective halves of 33 and 32. When Neumann chipped in for an eagle three against Sorenstam's birdie at the long 11th, only one stroke separated the Swedish duo.

They were level when Sorenstam dropped a shot at the 16th, and all depended on the long 18th. Neumann struck her five-wood second into a bunker there, then missed her birdie from four feet, following a fine recovery.

Johnson got back in the hunt following birdies at the short 12th and 15th holes, and another at the 17th. In a grandstand finish, she holed from 20 feet for her birdie to join Neumann at 16-under.

Sorenstam had also missed the green, but chipped to a couple of feet and hit her birdie putt into the middle of the hole. "This is the one of the best tournaments in Europe and to win means very much to me." she said. The rich vein of form she is showing makes her a serious challenger for the US Open in Colorado in two weeks' time.

Scores, Sporting Digest, page 25