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Annika Sorenstam set for third part of Grand Slam

Annika Sorenstam has hardly had time to draw breath since winning the LPGA Championship but says she is ready for the third leg of the grand slam at the U.S. Women's Open this week.

The phenomenal Swede, who has won the first two majors of the season in style, took her record third successive LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock in Maryland 10 days ago by a comfortable three-shot margin.

When play starts at Cherry Hills Country Club on Thursday, the 34-year-old will be going for a 10th major and a third U.S. Open having won back-to-back titles in 1995 and 1996, the first at the Broadmoor Golf Club in nearby Colorado Springs.

Sorenstam, who boldly pronounced at the start of the year that her goal was to win all four in one season, hopes to clutch the trophy on Sunday and then stage a perfect finale at the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale from July 28-31.

"I know there is going to be a lot of pressure this week, but that's the way I like it," said Sorenstam, who has won six of her eight tournaments this year and eight of the last 10.

"I set myself lofty goals and I love what I do."

Meg Mallon, who won by two shots from Sorenstam at the Orchards Golf Club in Massachusetts last year, defends the title, but the main threats to the world number one in recent years have all been struggling.

Grace Park, who chased Sorenstam closest throughout last season, has been plagued with back trouble and has not played since withdrawing midway through the second round of the LPGA Championship.

Fellow South Korean Pak Se-ri is in the middle of a bewildering season. She has yet to have a top 25 finish and is down at 102nd on the money list.

Australia's Karrie Webb, who preceded Sorenstam as world number one, is also having her poorest season since turning professional 10 years ago. A U.S. Open winner in 2000 and 2001, she is 23rd on the money list.


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