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Sorenstam sets sights on fifth Major title

Annika Sorenstam, following her victory in the Kellogg-Keebler Classic on Sunday, is in prime form for this week's McDonald's LPGA Championship and believes she is due a fifth career major win.

The 32-year-old Swede coasted home by three shots on her return to the LPGA Tour, after her much-hyped appearance alongside the men at the PGA Tour's Colonial tournament, but readily concedes her results in the majors could be better.

"I definitely want to win more and this year I've set my preparations towards the majors," said Sorenstam, who has won two U.S. Opens and two Nabisco Championships.

"I feel really good coming into this week. It was great to be back, and to win, on the LPGA (Tour). I've done well here in the past and I feel I'm due one."

Although Sorenstam has never won the LPGA Championship, she has a fine record in the tournament with three top-10 finishes, including a third behind the triumphant Pak Se Ri last year.

Her confidence will be sky-high after her comfortable victory at the weekend, a perfect warm-up for the second women's major of the year, which starts at DuPont Country Club on Thursday.

The Swede, the first female player to compete in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Los Angeles Open, confirmed she is a class apart in the women's game by finishing at 17-under 199 after three rounds at Stonebridge Country Club.

It was her second win of the season and helped her leapfrog South Korea's Pak Se Ri into her familiar spot at the top of the LPGA Tour's money list with earnings of $734,501.

Sorenstam, who missed the cut at the Colonial, had always insisted the PGA Tour experience was a one-off test against the best in the world, and it is among her own kind that she still wants to break records and set new standards.

"I'm very thankful and honoured to have been there (at the Colonial) but I know where I belong," said the Swede, who has won 44 career LPGA Tour titles.

"I want to win tournaments and I want to set records."

Defending champion Pak, who won her first McDonald's LPGA Championship crown as a rookie back in 1998, is aiming for a third this week.

Last year, she won the title for the second time by three shots from veteran American Beth Daniel, with Sorenstam five behind in third place.

The Korean has also won twice this season, confirming she is Sorenstam's closest challenger in the world rankings.

Patricia Meunier Lebouc of France, who raised her game to a new level this season by winning the Nabisco Championship, the opening major of the year, is lying third on the money list and will also expect to be a factor this week.

Australia's Karrie Webb, Sorenstam's predecessor as world number one, would dearly love to be another contender at the LPGA Championship as she seeks to turn her season around.

Champion two years ago, Webb is having a relatively poor run and has slipped to 10th on the LPGA money list.

But the Australian, who won last year's British Open, has good memories of Dupont Country Club as it was there, two years ago, that she completed a career grand slam of all four majors.

 

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