2004: Duelin’ Doolan tops Sorenstam

Evian, France

Heading into the final round of the Evian Masters, it was looking like another Annika Sorenstam victory. But Wendy Doolan had other thoughts.

Doolan shot a final-round 7-under-par 65 July 24, including a birdie on the final hole to score a one-shot victory over Sorenstam. Doolan finished at 18-under 270 and earned $375,000, the second largest prize on tour this year.

“Every win is a special win,” said Doolan, who won for the third time and first since 2003 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship. “I haven’t figured out yet what this win means, but I do know that I have been working hard and this has showed me that what I’m doing is working.”

Doolan really got it going with a five-hole stretch in which she went 7 under. She birdied Nos. 6, 8, 10 and eagled Nos. 7 and 9.

“That was a lot of birdies and eagles,” Doolan said. “I think I’m going to cherish that for a while.”

Doolan, 35, made bogey at Nos. 12 and 16 and had birdies at No. 15 and 18 for her final tally.

Sorenstam, who started the day with a three-stroke lead (and six better than Doolan), played the first 15 holes in 2 over. She finished at 17-under 271 after a 1-under 71 Saturday.

She wasn’t expecting Doolan’s rally.

“I was a little surprised when I got to the ninth hole and saw Wendy at 17 under,” Sorenstam said. “I knew she must have made eagle or something, but there weren’t many cheers out there.

“I figured someone would do something out there today and I was kind of hoping it was going to be me.”

Sorenstam, who has led going into the final round 54 times and won on 35 of those occasions, had a chance to tie with a 35-foot eagle putt on the final hole. It came up 6 inches short, however, and she settled for birdie.

Despite finishing second, Sorenstam, 33, said she was ready for her Weetabix Women’s British Open defense this week.

“This is a big tournament for me, and I’m disappointed, and it goes to show there are a lot of good players out there and the golf is getting better and better so I have to keep sharp,” Sorenstam said. “But I’m happy with the way I’m playing, and now I’m even more fired up for next week.”

Doolan had no plan to celebrate.

“I’ll be following my usual routine before (the) British Open. Nothing different,” she said.

Except she heads to Sunningdale coming off a victory.

– Staff and wire reports

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