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Annika Sorenstam defends Scandinavian TPC

Sweden 's Annika Sorenstam birdied the final hole to retain her Scandinavian TPC title by a stroke from Mexico 's Lorena Ochoa on a thrilling final day at Bro Balsta Golf Club, her home course where she had played since age 12.

Sorenstam closed out her defence with a flawless eight-under-par 65, to equal the course record set by Ochoa in the second round on Friday. The World no.1 won on a total of 21-under-par 271 after rounds of 66, 71, 69 and 65 to claim her 82 nd worldwide victory and third of the season.

Sorenstam won the event last year at Barsebäck G&CC and it is the fifth time she has claimed the Swedish trophy. She last won six weeks ago at the US Women's Open. She led alone after the first round and set a course record of 66 on Thursday. The World no.1 entered the final round tied for the lead with Ochoa, the World no.2.

Sorenstam eagled the first hole for the second day in succession, which Ochoa birdied, to quickly establish a one shot advantage. The Swede then birdied the second to pull two shots clear. Both players birdied the fifth, giving Sorenstam a two shot advantage at the turn.

Ochoa picked up a birdie at the par-four 11 th to close the gap to one shot. Both players birdied hole-14, a long par-five, with Sorenstam moving to 18-under-par total.

Ochoa birdied the par-four 15 th and drew level with Sorenstam on 18-under. Sorenstam hit her tee shot to two feet to birdied the par-three 16 th and regain her one stroke advantage. Ochoa then hit her second shot to eight feet and eagled the par-five 17 th , which Sorenstam birdied and the players were tied at 20-under-par coming down the last.

However Sorenstam played an accomplished shot to eight feet at the final hole to claim victory, while Ochoa, who leads the US money rankings, had to be content with her sixth second place finish of the year.

After recollecting her trophy – and a winner's cheque for 75,000 euros – Sorenstam jumped in the lake by the 18 th with her sister Charlotta and her mother Gunilla. She said it was the perfect end to her tournament.

“It was an incredible day. The finish was like a fairytale. To come here at home, to play with Lorena in the last group head-to-head and in tough conditions but to play like it was the best day ever, it doesn't get much better than that.”

Sorenstam admitted that she was forced to fight hard and play her best golf for the victory as Ochoa didn't give her many chances. “I lost the tee on 18 because she made eagle so to finish with a birdie on a tough par four was very satisfying.”

Ochoa also had a birdie chance from the front of the green but eventually two-putted for par.

“That eagle was really important to give myself a chance. I think I gave Annika a great fight but she made a great birdie on 18 and there was nothing I could do,” said Ochoa. “She is the number one player in the world and this is her home course in her own country. This is the way golf is. I only missed one birdie opportunity on the front nine and I missed that opportunity on 18 there but all in all, it's been a great week.”

Norwegian Suzann Pettersen fired a 68 and finished in third position on 16-under 276. French woman Gwladys Nocera, had a 71 and finished in fourth position, maintaining her lead over England 's Laura Davies in the Ladies European Tour's New Star Money List.

Davies had a 71 and tied for fifth with Scotland 's Catriona Matthew, who also had a 71. Germany 's Bettina Hauert climbed into a tie for sixth with Italian Veronica Zorzi after a final round 67, which included six birdies in a row from the 12 th hole. She played the back nine in 31, five-under-par, to finish on nine-under 283.

Hauert just missed out on equalling the Ladies European Tour all time record of seven consecutive birdies in a row, held by three players: French woman Marine Monnet, Swiss player Regine Lautens and Trish Johnson of England .

“My previous best was three birdies in a row. I didn't know the record was seven – I can't believe I left my birdie putt short on the last!” Hauert said. “After I bogeyed holes nine and ten, the 12 th was just a recovery shot. The second one was okay, but then they just kept on coming! I think it was just flow. I didn't do anything special – it was just completely natural.”

Denmark 's Iben Tinning, the European no.1 in 2005, had a 69 and tied for ninth with England 's Karen Stupples. Both players accumulated Solheim Cup points for finishing inside the top ten.

 

 




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