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Sorenstam credits Tiger with chipping boost

Women's world number one Annika Sorenstam said on Tuesday that top man Tiger Woods had helped her improve her short game with a display of his dazzling variety of chip shots.

"I think that my short game has become a lot better," said Sorenstam, who achieved a grand slam by winning the British Open on Sunday -- her second major title since Woods impressed her with his masterful display with the lob wedge in April.

The lob wedge is used by many professional men but only around half a dozen of the top women.

"He (Woods) used only the lob wedge, wherever he was outside the green, from five metres, 10 metres or 40 metres," Sorenstam told a news conference.

"He experimented...he has such touch and fantasy," she said, excitement in her voice as she explained how Woods had altered his grip and angle to vary his shots.

"I was just standing there, watching, trying to learn everything," she said.

"The world's best player on the men's tour, he doesn't use the seven-iron. Why am I (using it)?" Sorenstam recalled asking herself at the time. The seven-iron is commonly used by most amateurs and many professionals, especially on the women's tour, for approach shots.

"Since then I have only practiced (approach shots) with the wedge," she said, adding that her 60-degree lob wedge had become one of her top-three favourite clubs.

"I have found the right touch by using the same club all the time," she said.

In her native Sweden to play a European Tour competition, the 32-year-old said she did not know how long she would continue her professional career, which began in 1993 and has so far brought in around $14 million in prize money.

"As long as I love what I do and I feel motivated to play the game and my goals come naturally, I will keep on playing," she said.

"I have not set a date, or a year, but my goal is to win 10 majors so I'd better get going."

Sorenstam, who got media exposure on a scale unprecedented for a female golfer when she took part in a PGA tournament in the United States in May, missing the cut, has so far won six LPGA tour majors.

"At the end of this year I will look back... (at) what haven't I achieved, and what would I love to achieve," she said.

Sorenstam feels she needs to improve her short game further to stay ahead.

"I have more to improve there, chipping and lifting my bunker play. I definitely can improve," she said.

"I can hit the ball pretty well, I hit a lot of greens and a lot of fairways but it is in my short game where I can save shots."


 

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