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Can't Stop Sorenstam

June 12, 2003|Michael Arkush

1 Who's hot: Annika Sorenstam, of course. Nobody, not even Tiger Woods, is so dominant. If she keeps it up, Sorenstam, with 45 victories, will pass the legendary Nancy Lopez (48) this season.... Rosie Jones, one of only two Americans (Juli Inkster is the other) to win a tour event this year. Jones followed her victory in South Carolina with a sixth in New York, a fifth in Illinois and a third in Delaware.

2 Who's not: The 2002 rookie of the year, Beth Bauer, is 98th on the money list and has missed six cuts in her last eight tournaments. Bauer was expected to be a strong candidate for the U.S. Solheim Cup team.... Kelly Robbins. From 1993 through 2002, Robbins finished in the top 25 on the money list. This year, she's 66th.

3 Biggest surprises: Hee-Won Han, despite a poor final round at the McDonald's LPGA Championship in Delaware. Han, rookie of the year in 2001, has been near the top 10 week after week.... France's Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, proving, with a third-place finish in South Carolina and a solid performance in Delaware, that her win at the Nabisco was no aberration.

4 Biggest disappointments: Laura Diaz. Though a respectable 19th on the money list, Diaz, 28, was expected to build on her outstanding 2002 season when she won two times.... Dottie Pepper, struggling in her bid to rebound from a year lost to a shoulder injury, has yet to record a top-10 finish.

5 Best rounds: Grace Park's final-round 67 in Delaware, forcing a playoff with Sorenstam.... Though it was overshadowed by Sorenstam's appearance in Texas, Inkster's 10-under 62, her career-best round, to pass Lorie Kane and win the LPGA Corning Classic. She finished with 11 birdies.

6 Worst rounds: Diaz's 73 on the final round in South Carolina. She had started the day only two shots behind Jones.... Han's 76 on Sunday in Delaware.

7 Best shot under pressure: Sorenstam's approach on the first playoff hole in Delaware, setting up the two-putt par from about 25 feet to win her fifth major title. After squandering a four-stroke advantage, it would have been a heartbreaking defeat.

8 Worst shot under pressure: Park's four-iron from 187 yards moments earlier on the same hole in Delaware, landing in the rough short of the green. She was unable to get it up and down, opening the door for Sorenstam.

9 Coming attractions: In two weeks, 13-year-old phenom Michelle Wie will tee it up at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.... The U.S. Women's Open a week later, at Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon, with Inkster defending.

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