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GOLF ROUNDUP

A Final-Round 62 Gives Sorenstam an LPGA Win

September 04, 2006|From the Times Wire Reports

Annika Sorenstam ended a nearly flawless day with a 20-foot birdie putt.

It was the perfect finish to a round that carried her to a tie for an LPGA record and a victory at the State Farm Classic at Springfield, Ill.

Down five strokes at the start of play Sunday, Sorenstam's 62 tied the LPGA mark for the lowest final-round score by a tournament winner. She shot 10 under par for the day to finish at 19-under 269, two strokes ahead of Cristie Kerr (67).

"To come from five behind and to win by two, it's pretty amazing," Sorenstam said. "It's something I'm going to remember for quite some time."

Third-round leader Maria Hjorth (70) fell out of contention with a double bogey on the 16th hole and finished tied for third at 16 under with Seon-Hwa Lee (69) and Il Mi Chung (69).

Sorenstam birdied four of her first five holes and ended it in similar fashion for her fourth victory this year and third on the LPGA Tour.

"I just haven't felt like I've been able to finish," said Sorenstam, whose career-low round is a 59. "This year, it's been 14 or 15 really good holes.... I felt like I was in control most of the day."

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Scott Simpson, the 1987 U.S. Open winner, made an eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a four-under 68 and a one-shot victory over Jay Haas and Danny Edwards at the First Tee Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Simpson, who began the final round trailing Tom Kite by two strokes, won his first Champions Tour title with a 12-under 204 total. Simpson had to wait for Haas and Edwards, who both missed mid-length putts to tie for the lead. Edwards, who had a final-round 68, and Haas, who shot a 70, finished at 205.

"I was just excited to play in the tournament, let alone win it," said Simpson, who was bogey-free during the last two rounds. "But it was tough to make putts. It got windy and the ball didn't stay where you hit it."

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Darren Clarke was selected for the Ryder Cup as Europe completed its team for the Sept. 22-24 showdown with the United States.

Clarke, whose wife Heather died of cancer on Aug. 10, hasn't played since missing the cut in the British Open.

Ian Woosnam took Clarke and Lee Westwood as his two captain's picks. Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal qualified for the European team after the BMW International Open, the final event to make the Ryder Cup team.

"Heather wanted Darren to play and that's why he's put his name forward," Woosnam told Scotsman.com. "It will be an emotional time, but he's raring to go and we'll be like one big family for him."

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