Sorenstam claims her seventh major

Monday, June 14, 2004

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Annika Sorenstam blew away the field over the first 18 holes with a 7-under 64 Sunday to build a six-shot lead, then survived a four-hole meltdown and a late charge by Shi Hyun Ahn to win the LPGA Championship for the second straight year.

Sorenstam closed with a 1-over 72, only her second round over par this year and the same final-round score she had a year ago. She joined Mickey Wright as the only player to successfully defend in three majors. Wright won all four majors back-to-back, and Sorenstam could match that with a victory later this year in the Women's British Open.

Sorenstam won her seventh major championship and her fourth tournament of the year. She finished at 13-under 271 and earned $240,000, pushing her over $1 million for the year.

Grace Park had a fleeting chance to win the second leg of the Grand Slam, getting within three shots late in the round before Sorenstam pulled away. Park closed with a 3-under 68 to finish third at 276.

Ahn twice got within two shots on the back nine. She closed with a 66 and finished at 274.

The 36-hole final was caused by heavy rain that washed out the second round, which was postponed until Saturday. The last time two rounds were played Sunday in a major was the 1990 U.S. Women's Open.

PGA TourHARRISON, N.Y. -- Sergio Garcia won a three-man playoff for the second time in five weeks, holing a 7-foot birdie putt to beat Rory Sabbatini on the third extra hole in the Buick Classic.

Padraig Harrington was eliminated on the second extra hole in the seventh playoff in the last 12 years on the Westchester Country Club course.

Garcia, who beat Dudley Hart and Robert Damron last month on the first playoff hole in the Byron Nelson Championship, earned $945,000 for his fifth PGA Tour victory and second on the hilly, tree-lined course.

The 24-year-old Spanish star set up his winning putt on the par-5 18th hole with a 90-yard wedge shot, after Sabbatini left his 70-yard third shot 21 feet short of the hole. Sabbatini's putt finished 3 feet from the hole, setting the stage for Garcia in the final event before the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

All three players birdied the 18th in regulation to top the field that featured 25 of the top 30 players on the money list.

Garcia was the first to reach 12 under, finishing off his second straight 4-under 67 with a 4 1/2-foot birdie putt. Harrington holed a 16-foot birdie chip from the right fringe for his fourth 68. Sabbatini followed with a 7-foot putt for his second consecutive 70.

Fred Couples (68), Vijay Singh (70) and Tom Byrum (71) tied for fourth, two strokes back.

Champions TourPARKVILLE, Mo. -- Allen Doyle won the Bayer Advantage Celebrity Pro-Am after the final round was canceled because of rain.

Overnight rain made The National Golf Club of Kansas City course unplayable Sunday, and officials shortened the tournament to 36 holes.

Doyle finished at 13-under 131 for his first Champions Tour victory of the season and first since winning the Fleet Boston Classic in August. Jerry Pate, who matched the course record with a 7-under 65 Saturday, was second at 12 under.

Andy Bean, Mark James, Bob Gilder and David Eger finished four shots back.

Scottish PGAGLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Miles Tunnicliff shot a 4-under 68 for a five-stroke victory at the Scottish PGA's Diageo Championship.

Tunnicliff had four birdies on the Gleneagles course and finished at 13 under for his second European title.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell was second after closing with a 67.

Steven O'Hara of Scotland (67) and Australia's Nick O'Hern (71) finished at 7 under. Colin Montgomerie had a closing 72 and finished at 1 under.

Curtis CupFORMBY, England -- Michelle Wie helped the United States retain the Curtis Cup with a 10-8 victory over Britain and Ireland.

The Americans have won four straight and 24 overall in the biennial amateur competition, which has been played 33 times.

The 14-year-old Wie beat Nicola Timmins 6 and 5 to give the United States a 7-6 lead. Wie, the youngest player in Curtis Cup history, is part of a U.S. team that doesn't have a player over 22.

Paula Creamer won her singles Sunday afternoon, Jane Park lost hers, then Elizabeth Janangelo beat Shelley McKevitt 1-up to give the United States an insurmountable 9-7 lead.

Claire Coughlan beat Brittany Lang, but Annie Thurman downed Danielle Masters for an outright win.

Britain and Ireland won two of three alternate shots Sunday morning to tie the match at 6.

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