Sunday, March 23, 2003

Sorenstam closes in on 1st win of season

The Associated Press

PHOENIX - Annika Sorenstam's new year already is starting to look a lot like her old one.

In relentless pursuit of her first win of the season, Sorenstam shot a 7-under-par 65 Saturday to separate herself from some would-be rivals. Sorenstam took a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Safeway Ping tournament.

The most dominant player in women's golf, winning 11 tournaments last year, Sorenstam birdied three of her first four holes and nine overall to get to 18 under through three rounds at the Moon Valley Country Club.

It was a familiar position for Sorenstam, who has led after three rounds for three straight years. It could have been better had she not taken four strokes to get in from off the green on No  10 and missed a short birdie putt on 18.

"All the pieces are really falling together," Sorenstam said. "I'm where I want to be, and my game's where I want it to be."

Sorenstam, who has improved by one shot each day, was two strokes ahead of Frenchwoman Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, one of her playing partners.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Australia's Rodger Davis shot a 7-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead over Jim Ahern into the final round of the Toshiba Senior Classic in Newport Beach, Calif.

Davis had a tournament-record 13-under 129 total on the Newport Beach Country Club course, breaking the mark of 130 set by Terry Mauney in 2001.

MADEIRA ISLAND OPEN: Bradley Dredge of Wales missed birdie putts on the last two holes, squandering a chance to shoot the first 59 on the European Tour at Anto Da Serra. Dredge had 10 birdies and an eagle in 16 holes but missed birdie putts of 11 and 30 feet at Nos. 17 and 18.

Dredge's 60 is the 11th in European Tour competition, and just the fourth on a par-72 course. Darren Clarke has shot 60 twice.

Full coverage at

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