|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Sorenstam wins World Championship
Elspeth Burnside | October 17, 2005 13:28 IST
Michelle Wie was sensationally disqualified on her professional debut on Sunday, overshadowing a brilliant display by Annika Sorenstam, who eased to a record fifth victory in the Women's World Championship.
Sorenstam dominated the event from the opening day and the Swede, who led by four strokes overnight, eased to an eight-shot triumph with a final round three-under-par 69 for a 270 total, on a day that included over three hours of weather delays.
Wie had slumped to a final-round 74 that was still good enough for a creditable fourth-place finish, but a drop violation in her third round on Saturday was highlighted to officials and the 16-year-old Hawaiian was subsequently disqualified.
American Paula Creamer fired a final round 70 to finish alone in second place, a stroke clear of South Korean Gloria Park who slumped to a 74.
However, neither player came close to stopping the world number one from picking up her eighth victory on the LPGA Tour this season and ninth worldwide.
It was also the first time that Sorenstam had won the same tournament five times -- equalling an LPGA record set by Mickey Wright in the Sea Island Open between 1957 and 1963 -- and the $212,500 saw her clinch both her eighth LPGA money list title ($2,205,104) and a record eighth Player of the Year title.
"I'm very proud of the way I played," Sorenstam said.
"I played four solid rounds of golf and I want to try to finish the season as hot as the way I started it (three wins in a row)."
The Swede refused to admit that Wie's presence had been an extra motivator, but she did add: "This was a week with a little bit extra on the line. I had the chance to make history and clinch the Player of the Year title and so on.
"I don't feel I need to make a statement, but I do love the challenge. There is no doubt that the young players will take over eventually, but I'm not going to give away the number one ranking easily."
Wie was clearly upset at the situation, but put on a brave face when she addressed reporters.
"I am really sad but rules are rules and I respect them."
Despite her strong finish, the 19-year-old Cremer was a little disappointed to trail Sorenstam by such a big margin.
"I don't like finishing second, and especially not by eight shots," she said.
"But I think that Annika definitely sent out a statement this week, saying 'I'm still here and I'm the number one player in the world.' It was certainly remarkable round today. But she also had no pressure, no one pushed her."