reports from Zell-am-See
Patience finally paid off for Annika Sorenstam, of Sweden, when she won a long-awaited first European title in the OVB Austrian women's Open here yesterday.
In heavy rain, Sorenstam fashioned a closing round of 68 for a 22-under- par total of 270, two strokes better than the previous world record. She finished three strokes ahead of Laura Davies, with Corinne Dibnah a further stroke behind.
Over the past two years, she has finished second six times in Europe, and has been the runner-up twice in the United States this season. She did win the Australian Open last winter, but said: "I am very relieved to win after waiting a while."
Sorenstam had started her final round two strokes clear of the field, with Davies five behind. The expected charge from Davies materialised with a run of seven birdies in nine holes from the fourth, but even then the World No 1 was still four strokes adrift.
At the sixth, Sorenstam dropped only her second shot of the tournament, before a sand wedge to 15ft at the eighth gave her the first of three birdies in four holes. "It looked pretty good then, but I still had to finish the job off," Sorenstam said.
Second place assured Davies of becoming the first player to take her career winnings in Europe through the pounds 500,000 barrier.Reuse content