2004: LPGA - Grand Slam bid ends quickly forSorenstam
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Annika Sorenstam made her goal for the season abundantly clear: Win the Grand Slam by capturing all four major championships in one year. It’s the only thing the 49-time LPGA winner hasn’t accomplished in her illustrious career.
Three events into the season, Sorenstam must now find other means of motivation, because the opportunity to attain her lofty goal is over. The 33-year-old Swede shot 71-76-69-69 for a 3-under-par 285 total to tie for 13th place at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“The players here this week are very, very good,” Sorenstam said. “If you don’t play well or score well, you’re not going to win. . . . It shows the growth of women’s golf.”
Sorenstam was never in contention for the victory, finishing eight shots behind winner Grace Park. Trailing by five after Day 1, her hopes were dashed with a second-round 76, her worst score in a major since she shot 77 in Round 2 of the 2002 Women’s British Open.
On the final hole Friday, Sorenstam hit her second shot on the par 5 into a deep right fairway bunker. Her third attempt was short of the island green and found the water. She then took a drop, pitched the ball to 18 feet and two-putted for a double bogey, ending the round nine shots out of the lead.
Her position was an unfamiliar one. At 3-over-par 147, Sorenstam found herself with a 7:40 a.m. Saturday starting time off the 10th tee. Consecutive rounds of 69 on the weekend weren’t good enough to mount a serious charge.
The 72nd hole Sunday was perhaps a fitting finish to her frustrating week. With nothing to lose, Sorenstam hit her second shot to the back of the 18th hole’s island green, and it took a hard bounce into the water. After a drop near the television tower, Sorenstam chipped her fourth shot onto the green, her ball hitting the pin before it nearly rolled off the front. Two putts later, Sorenstam was left with a bogey 6.
Ball striking was not the problem for the Swede – she hit 75 percent of fairways and greens, averages well above those of anyone in the top 20. However, putting again was her nemesis. Her 124 putts ranked 59th in the field.
“If I say I’m going to go out and win a tournament, that’s not going to motivate me anymore,” Sorenstam said. “It’s the majors that I want to win. . . .
“It’s disappointing not to achieve it, but on the other hand, it gets me fired up because I didn’t achieve what I wanted.”