Sorenstam in position to bid for all-time wins mark

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- Annika Sorenstam likes to set goals. Whether it's eyeing the Grand Slam, tying the record for most consecutive victories or trying to make a birdie on every hole, the world's most dominant female golfer usually finds a way to stay motivated.

For some reason, she hasn't considered Kathy Whitworth's 88 wins on the LPGA Tour.

"I never really thought that 88 was in my reach," Sorenstam said. "It's never been a goal of mine because it seemed like it was so impossible to do."

Not anymore.

With 60 career wins in just her 11th season and riding one of the most dominating runs of an already remarkable career, the 34-year-old Swede is closing in on the only two players to win more -- Whitworth and Mickey Wright (82 victories).

Actually, at the rate Sorenstam is going -- winning six of her last seven tournaments, eight of the past 11 and 37 overall since the start of the 2001 season -- Sorenstam could reach Whitworth's hallowed mark sooner rather than later.

"She needs 28. Assume she plays six years until she's 40," Patty Sheehan, a 35-time LPGA Tour winner, said Monday. "That's about four per year. That's not much for her."

Sorenstam clearly is in a league of her own, which was evident this past weekend at Eagle's Landing Country Club near Atlanta.

Over the course of four remarkable rounds, Sorenstam made No. 60 one of her most dominating wins. She practically lapped the field in the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship by 10 strokes.

"I hope people appreciate it with the caliber of fields that she's facing week in and week out," said Cristie Kerr. "It's amazing, but that's Annika."

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