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Annika Sorenstam favourite for Jamie Farr

Annika Sorenstam will play in the Jamie Farr Classic for the first time in five years.

The $1.2 million event begins Thursday at the Highland Meadows Golf Club.

Sorenstam has two wins this year and 68 for her career. The last time the Swedish superstar played here back in 2001 she had 40 career wins. That was before she became recognized by just her first name. Sorenstam has earned more than $19 million in her career and has finished atop the money list eight times.

"I don't know in the past it's been tough to make it here because of scheduling," Sorenstam said. "But I like it here. I'm happy to be back. This is a very supportive town."

Sorenstam won this event in 2000 after making birdie on the second hole of a sudden death playoff to beat Rachel Hetherington. In her last appearance the following year, Sorenstam finished tied for 47th.

Heather Bowie earned her first career LPGA title here last year, beating Korean Gloria Park on the third playoff hole.

She comes back as Heather Young after marrying her caddie, Jeremy Young, in February.

"It's the first time I've defended," Young said. "When I got into town, I got a good vibe and I'm just glad to be here. But I try not to think about having pas success here because that doesn't guarantee future success. You still have to go out and do it."

In 15 events this year, Young's best finish came at the Ginn Clubs and Resorts Open, where she tied for ninth.

Se Ri Pak is a four-time champion here and won the LPGA Championship last month.

Last year, she finished in a disappointing tie for 36th. But in the previous seven years, she compiled four wins, a tie for second, a solo third and a tie for seventh.

Five wins in a tournament is an LPGA record. Sorenstam won both the Mizuno Classic and the Samsung World Championship five times and Mickey Wright captured the Sea Island Open five times.

The par-71 course is a 6,408-yard layout.

July 13, 2006

 




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