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Annika Sorenstam wins own tournament

Sweden’s Annika Sörenstam exacted a fairytale finish to her own tournament; the Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika, at Barsebäck G&CC in Sweden.

The hostess won her 75th worldwide career title and seventh of the season with a dramatic nine metre putt at the last to beat her American friend Natalie Gulbis by a shot.

The World no.1 fired rounds of 70, 75, 67, 72 to finish at 284 (-4) in a tense final day battle which came down to very last.

Playing in the penultimate group, Gulbis tormented the home fans at Barsebäck G&CC by taking a one shot lead over the Swede after 16 holes but when Sorenstam replied with a birdie there, the pair tied at three under par coming down the final hole.

Gulbis, 22, had an eight metre birdie opportunity at the par-four 18th and a chance to claim her first professional victory, or at the very least force a play-off, but failed to convert it. Her final round 70 was good enough to take her to 285 (-3).

Sörenstam, who had suggested that it might be slightly rude to win her own tournament couldn’t resist taking the opportunity that she had given herself on 18 and drained her nine metre putt to clinch the victory in front of thousands of spectators. In doing so she successfully defended the HP Open title that she won last year at Ullna GC, near Stockholm.

Carin Koch, another Swede, had a strong finish with a 71 and tied for third position with French women Gwladys Nocera, who had a 74, and Patricia Meunier Lebouc, who had a 71, at level par 288.

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who is playing in only her seventh golf tournament this year after eight months off due to back problems, slipped back into sixth position at one over par after a 76.

Helen Alfredsson and Maria Hjorth tied for seventh position at three over par while Scotland’s Catriona Matthew and Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann also earned Solheim Cup points by finishing just inside the top ten; they tied for ninth position at five over, with only two events left until the cut off point for automatic Solheim Cup qualification.

Sörenstam, who has had an increased schedule of duties as the hostess of this week’s event, did not let them distract her from her task of winning.

“I had a great time at this party, I hope everybody else did,” she admitted.

“I think we had it all today. We had tough conditions, we had some drama coming down 18, some birdies, and to win your own tournament; it doesn’t get much better than that.

“It really got exciting I think, I mean Natalie played some great golf down the stretch and had a good round today. She pushed me until the end.

“It was tough out there. The wind was a little different to it had been on the previous days and I thought it was quite strong down by the seaside and that made the course really difficult.”

Gulbis, who is playing in her third event of the season in Europe, added: “Annika invited me to come over here and play in the event. I played great, I had three straight birdies in the last few holes (14,15 and 16), so it was a lot of fun.”

At next year’s Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika, the hostess will defend at her home course, Bro-Bålsta Golfklubb in Sweden.

“I mean that’s totally exciting news,” said the 34-year-old, adding: “I got it this morning and I’m happy about that.”

“I grew up in Bro and that was the club where I started to play golf. I remember the club to start with there was only six holes and then twelve holes and me and my parents were there from the beginning. We started with tents and trailers and now there’ll be a tournament. I hope I can get some more players to come next year because I think it’s a pretty neat story.

284  - Annika Sorenstam (SWE) 70 75 67 72

285  - Natalie Gulbis ( USA ) 74 72 69 70

288  - Carin Koch (SWE) 70 74 73 71, Patricia Meunier Lebouc (FRA) 72 74 71 71, Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 74 69 71 74

289  - Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 72 72 69 76

291  - Helen Alfredsson (SWE) 71 74 73 73, Maria Hjorth (SWE) 72 74 71 74

293  - Catriona Matthew (SCO) 75 73 73 72, Liselotte Neumann (SWE) 68 74 76 75

295  - Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 72 72 83 68

296  - Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 74 72 78 72

297  - Trish Johnson (ENG) 73 74 75 75, Karine Icher (FRA) 74 74 72 77

298  - Louise Stahle (SWE) 79 72 74 73, Bo Bae Song (KOR) 73 73 75 77

299  - Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 77 75 73 74

300  - Iben Tinning (DEN) 75 77 76 72, Reilley Rankin ( USA ) 74 74 78 74, Diana Luna (ITA) 75 75 76 74, Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 71 77 75 77, Joanne Mills (AUS) 73 75 74 78

301  - Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 76 74 75 76, Karin Sjodin (SWE) 79 72 74 76

302  - Charlotta Sorenstam (SWE) 74 75 77 76, Carmen Alonso Fuentes (ESP) 74 76 76 76, Judith Van Hagen (NL) 76 76 74 76, Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE) 74 74 75 79

303  - Marta Prieto (ESP) 72 78 77 76, Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 79 73 75 76, Becky Morgan (WAL) 72 78 75 78, Elizabeth McKinnon (NZ) 79 73 71 80

304  - Nicole Perrot (CHL) 73 81 79 71, Miriam Nagl (GER) 74 76 79 75, Elisa Serramia (ESP) 78 76 74 76, Kris Lindstrom ( USA ) 77 73 77 77, Virginie Lagoutte (FRA) 77 75 75 77

305  - Marine Monnet-Melocco (FRA) 77 76 78 74, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 75 76 78 76, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 76 76 75 78, Janice Moodie (SCO) 76 74 75 80

306  - Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 78 75 79 74, Asa Gottmo (SWE) 80 73 77 76

307  - Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 73 78 78 78

308  - Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 78 75 84 71, Caroline Westrup (Am) (SWE) 71 79 78 80, Lynn Kenny (SCO) 76 74 78 80, Olof Maria Jonsdottir (ICE) 71 75 79 83

309  - Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 77 77 80 75, Sara Jelander (SWE) 75 77 76 81

310  - Sarah Heath (ENG) 78 74 85 73, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 73 81 80 76

311  - Julie Forbes (SCO) 78 75 81 77,  Georgina Simpson (ENG) 72 82 77 80, Emma Zackrisson (SWE) 76 72 82 81, Barbara Paruscio (ITA) 73 78 78 82

312  - Margherita Rigon (ITA) 75 77 84 76

313  - Natascha Fink (AUT) 74 78 84 77, Lisa Jean (AUS) 74 78 82 79

315  - Fany Schaeffer (FRA) 77 74 77 87

321  - Nora Angehrn (SWI) 76 76 81 88

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