Swede makes Davies suffer

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The Independent Online
Annika Sorenstam displayed the ruthless streak of a golfer determined to dethrone Laura Davies as the world No 1 by collecting her second straight US Open crown at Pinehurst, North Carolina, yesterday.

She carved a final round of 66 out of the heavily wooded Pine Needles course for a championship record eight-under par 272 and a six-shots victory over Kris Tschetter (66) with Davies again the best of the British with a 69 for sixth place on 281.

The 25-year old Swede never relaxed her stranglehold on the championship after taking the lead after nine holes on Friday and the rest of the field were resigned to playing for second place after she covered the front nine in 33 and followed with a 25-foot eagle at the 10th.

That put her seven ahead of her pursuers and from that point, there was never any doubt she would become only the sixth player in history to successfully defend the title. When she won last year, she came from five behind for a one-stroke victory but this time she confirmed her class by refusing to wilt under the fiercest pressure on such a demanding course.

A tearful Sorenstam said: ''It is a dream to win the US Open once but to do it again the following year is unbelievable. I impressed myself with the way I kept control of my emotions.''

Davies was never in the hunt after missing seven of the 14 fairways, despite opting to play her long irons instead of her driver.

Davies had insisted that to use her driver on this tight, Donald Ross- designed course was suicide but it needed a kamikaze effort if she was to overhaul the six-shot overnight lead held by the Swede.

She said: "You cannot make an impact by doing that on a course like this, it suited Annika ideally because she is such an accurate player. Had we been playing a course demanding lots of birdies, I don't think she would have dominated so much.''