Sorenstam begins pursuit of second major title today

Thursday, June 9, 2005

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- A dozen or so fans chased after a cart that whisked Annika Sorenstam away from the 18th green at Bulle Rock on a steamy Tuesday, thrusting flags and caps for her sign. She is the center of attention wherever she goes, even if it might take her awhile to figure out where she is.

Sorenstam won the LPGA Championship the last two years about 40 miles up the road at DuPont Country Club, but the environment is much different this time.

It starts with the golf course.

Gone are the tree-lined fairways of DuPont, not to mention the inflatable Ronald McDonald atop the clubhouse. Bulle Rock is a Pete Dye design that asks players to navigate from Point A to Point B.

"You've really got to be able to control the ball this week. That's the key," Sorenstam said. "It's a true course for a major championship, I think. You have got to have all your game here."

The field was increased by six players to 150, in part so that title sponsor McDonald's could get 15-year-old Michelle Wie a tee time. The criteria was changed this year to invite "a leading amateur" for the first time in the 51-year history of the LPGA Championship.

Still, the biggest change is what's at stake.

The McDonald's LPGA Championship, which starts today, is the second stop on what Sorenstam hopes will make her the first person to win the professional Grand Slam in one calendar year.

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