Originally created 11/05/01

Sorenstam captures Mizuno Classic



HANNO, Japan -- In a season in which she made history with the smallest number, Annika Sorenstam wound up with another record for the LPGA's biggest number ever.

Sorenstam set a record for LPGA Tour money winnings and won her eighth tournament of the season Sunday, with a one-stroke victory over Laura Davies in the Mizuno Classic.

The $162,000 first-prize check pushed Sorenstam's purses for the year to $1.99 million, breaking the record of $1.88 million set a year ago by Karrie Webb.

It clinched Sorenstam's fourth money title and, barring a withdrawal from the season-ending Tour Championship, virtually guaranteed that she would be the first woman to make more that $2 million in one year.

Not a bad season for the Swedish star, who already had clinched play-of-the-year honors and secured a place in golf history last spring when she recorded the first 59 in LPGA tournament play.

"It is more of a goal for me to be the first one to break it," she said. "I have had such a great year in so many ways and that tops it all off. It is tough to compare it to any other year - I mean, I was the first one to break 60 and then to break $2 million. I just have to think about it."

Sorenstam wrapped up the victory with birdies on the final two holes. She hit a 6-iron to 14 feet for a 3 on No. 17, then followed with a 4-wood and a short chip to 4 feet for a birdie-4 on the closing hole.

On a blustery day, Sorenstam finished with a 2-under-par 70 and a 54-hole total of 13-under 203.

"It was tough out there today," Sorenstam said. "The wind was swirling around all day, and I just tried to be patient and it paid off."

Sorenstam defeated South Korea's Se Ri Pak last week in the World Ladies Match Play Championship to wrap up player-of-the-year honors.

"It's been a great year for me. This was a very important tournament for me to reach many of my goals and to secure the money title feels great," Sorenstam said.

It was the first time since 1998 that Sorenstam has topped the money list and ended a two-year string in which Webb had pulled ahead in the rankings.

"I worked a lot in the off-season on my short game and my putting and I think that made a big difference for me this year," Sorenstam said.

Davies, who began the final round two strokes back of Sorenstam, struggled with the wind and could only manage a 71 after three bogeys and four birdies.

"The wind made it difficult," said Davies, who birdied Nos. 16 and 17 but couldn't keep it going when her second shot on the 18th hole found the bunker at the side of the green.

South Korea's Ko Woo-soon finished in a tie for third place at 8-under 208 along with Colombia's Marisa Baena. Baena, the 1996 NCAA champion at the University of Arizona, shot a 71.