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Sorenstam makes history by winning fifth consecutive Mizuno Classic golf



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OTSU, Japan, Nov 6 (AFP) - World number one Annika Sorenstam made history when she became the first-ever golfer to win the same tournament five consecutive times by winning the Mizuno Classic on Sunday.

Starting the final round one stroke off Kim Young of South Korea, the Swede carded a bogey-free one eagle and six birdies for a 64 to finish top with a three-round total of 21-under-par 195.

Jennifer Rosales of the Philippines sank one eagle and four birdies for a 66 to take second place at 198, while Kim was tied at third place with Japan's Yuri Fudo and Sophie Gustafson of Sweden on 200.

"It's different to come from behind," said Sorenstam.

"I was watching closely the leader board. I was watching very closely the players I played with, and I felt like I had to be aggressive, I had nothing to lose. I was playing for birdies all day long and made a few.

"Obviously I feel great. I thought I played really good today in tough conditions with a lot of rain, tough competitors playing good golf. I really had to shoot low and luckily I was able to do that today," she added.

Sorenstam here last year became only the second woman after Laura Davies of Britain, who won the Standard Register PING tournament from 1994-1997, to claim a "four-peat".

Only Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Tiger Woods have won the same tournament four consecutive times on the US PGA Tour.

Sorenstam, who received the winner's check of 150,000 dollars, has already tied an LPGA record by winning her fifth world championship last month at Palm Desert, California, following her victories in 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2004.

The one-million-dollar event at the 6,450-yard par-72 Seta golf course is a happy hunting ground for Sorenstam, who also set an LPGA record for lowest score in a 54-hole event when she finished at 24-under in 2003.

She did not have a bogey from the sixth hole of the 2002 third round until the eighth hole of the second round last year.

It was her ninth title of the season, after two majors at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the LPGA Championship to secure her record eighth Player of the Year award and her eighth record-tying Money List title.

Kim, former South Korea and Japan Golf Association junior champion, once stretched the lead to two strokes with a birdie on the second hole, but it was reduced to one with a bogey on the fourth.

Kim birdied the par-five sixth hole, only to see Sorenstam and Rosales eagle the same hole to be tied. Rosales earlier had a birdie on the second to catch up with Sorenstam.

After Sorenstam took the lead with a birdie on the eighth, Rosales twice tied with a birdie on the 10th and 12th, but Sorenstam regained the sole lead on the 11th and 14th holes and made herself unreachable with three more on the last four holes.

hf/it05

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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