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Annika Sorenstam looking to match Tiger

Annika Sorenstam has her sights set on joining good friend Tiger Woods as an 11-time major winner at the British Open starting at Royal Lytham and St Anne's.

If she does repeat her 2003 victory over the famous Lytham links, then the 35-year-old Swede will also take a step nearer her ultimate goal of overtaking Patty Berg's women's record of 15 career majors.

Sweden's world No.1 admitted she had "great memories" of the Lancashire course where she won a Sunday duel against South Korean Pak Se Ri to take her only British Open crown three years ago.

"I remember a lot of the great shots I hit and the saves I made," she recalled. "Today was very windy but it's so nice to come back and play links golf. We don't get the chance to do it very often."

Sorenstam drew level with Woods when she won her tenth career major at the US Women's Open in Newport, Rhode Island, last month - but she slipped one behind after the Open Championship at Hoylake.

"It seems like I'm always trailing him and it doesn't take long until I get a text telling me who is ahead," she said.

"It is a fun game we have and a bit of a motivator."

Sorenstam has always been a serious goal setter, and she is drawing closer not only to Berg's number but also to the record 88 LPGA career titles held by Kathy Whitworth. Sorenstam has 68.

Asked which record she would prefer, she replied: "Well the 15 majors would be very, very special, but, hopefully, before I get to 15 I'm up at 90 overall."

Australia's Karrie Webb, who won the Evian Masters in France last Saturday, is chasing a record fourth British Open title, her first having been as a rookie at Woburn in 1995 and the others having followed at Sunningdale in 1997 and at Turnberry four year ago.

Webb, who went almost two years without a win, is the only three-time winner on the LPGA Tour this year, the list including her seventh career major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March.

It has been a great comeback for the 31-year-old who preceded Sorenstam as the world No.1 and is now back at No.3.

"It's all about confidence," she said. "I felt I was playing well the last few years, but I've learned that there is a very fine line between winning or finishing second, third or event tenth."

While Webb and Sorenstam have the weight of experience on their side, 16-year-old Michelle Wie, the world No.2, is the girl in waiting.

The Hawaiian teenager has had 13 top tens playing alongside the world's best women professionals, including seven in majors.

She finished tied second behind Webb in Evian four days ago and proved she has the game to adapt to links golf with a tie for third on her British Open debut at Royal Birkdale last year.

"I feel really good about my game and I really enjoy links golf," she said.

"The wind beats you up and it is hard physically, but I'm used to the wind back home."

Webb, who played with Wie in the final round at Evian, is in no doubt that the youngster will win soon.

"It's just a matter of time," she said.

"I think she's the most physically talented player out here because she has the height and the strength. And she has got all the shots."

 

 




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