Sorenstam coasts to US Open title

Annika Sorenstam won the US Women's Open yesterday with the largest margin of victory in a play-off at the major for 50 years.

Sorenstam won the one-sided 18-hole play-off against Pat Hurst with a 1-under-par 70 for a four-shot victory - the biggest play-off win since Kathy Cornelius won by seven shots in 1956.

The victory at Newport Country Club ends 10 years of frustration in this tournament - she last won in 1996. The Swede led by five shots at the turn, but there was not a hint of celebration until tapping in for par on the final hole, placing the putter behind her neck and raising her head in relief.

"It's fantastic," she said. "It's been a long wait, and a long road. On the way I learned a lot. The way the season has gone, up and down, to win the Open is pretty ironic."

Sorenstam's 10th major ties her with Babe Zaharias at fourth overall,five majors behind Patty Berg. She has won a major in each of the last six years, the second-longest streak in LPGA history. It was 68th time in her career, leaving her 20 short of Kathy Whitworth's all-time record.

"I didn't make any putts. That was what probably kept me back," Hurst said. "If I could have made some putts, it would have been closer, I could have put pressure on her."

However, Sorenstam consistently hit the fairway and stayed away from trouble - she missed only four greens in the play-off.

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