2005: LPGA - Sweet 60: Sorenstam regains stride

It didn’t take Annika Sorenstam long to start another streak. Truth be told, only about 36 holes.

One week after having her string of consecutive victories snapped at five, Sorenstam showed she’s as far ahead of the rest of the LPGA as ever, sailing to a 10-shot victory at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. It was her 60th career victory, tying her with Patty Berg for third, 28 behind Kathy Whitworth and 22 behind Mickey Wright.

“Here I am with 60,” Sorenstam said. “I have to pinch myself to believe it’s real.”

If she continues to play as she did at the Chick-fil-A, Sorenstam, 34, will be eyeing Whitworth’s mark in a few years. With four victories in 2005, she has 37 since the start of the 2001 season, the year she regained the No. 1 spot from Karrie Webb.

Sorenstam shot 64 in Round 2 to take a six-stroke lead, and from then on, the outcome was never in doubt.

She increased her advantage to 10 strokes heading into Sunday, then set her game on cruise control with a bogey-free 67 that left her with a 23-under 265 total, earning $240,000 and matching the largest 72-hole victory of her career. It fell just shy of her most dominating performance – an 11-shot victory at the 54-hole Kellogg-Keebler Classic in 2002.

“It’s been a great week in so many ways,” said Sorenstam, who finished the victory with a 3-foot birdie putt. “I’m very happy with the way I played.”

Who wouldn’t be? Sorenstam was solid from tee to green (hitting 82 percent of her fairways and 76 percent of her greens in regulation) and needed only 108 putts for the week. She didn’t make a bogey until her 40th hole; by that time it didn’t matter.

“We were playing a different tournament,” said runner-up Candie Kung. “She’s up there in her own little world.”

Kung shot a final-round 65 to finish at 13-under 275, one shot ahead of Cristie Kerr, who also shot 65 Sunday for her sixth top-3 finish in eight events. It was Kerr, of course, who ended Sorenstam’s bid for a record-breaking sixth consecutive victory the previous week at the Michelob Ultra Open, where Sorenstam tied for 12th.

“I think I made her mad last week when I beat her by 10 shots,” Kerr said. “She wanted to blow the field away, and she did.”

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