Annika Sorenstam had a two-stroke lead, and her victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway Township, N.J., looked like a sure thing yesterday. All she had to do was stay out of trouble on No. 18.
Then Sorenstam hit the kind of shot that has made her a star.
After hitting her approach short of the green, Sorenstam hit a 38-foot putt that rolled up and down and into the cup, giving her a dramatic eagle on the par-5 closing hole for a four-shot victory over Juli Inkster.
"Sometimes, I wonder why all these good things are happening to me, but I'll take it," Sorenstam said. "I'm not going to question it too much. Obviously, I'm thankful for everything I've got."
The world's best woman golfer added another title to her resume, shooting a 7-under-par 64 to win the $1.4 million ShopRite LPGA Classic.
And she did it with a flourish, draining the lengthy putt on the last hole for a 17-under 196 total.
Fending off game challenges by Inkster and Laura Davies, Sorenstam won her fifth tournament in seven outings. But don't tell her she's unbeatable.
"I don't walk around wondering who can beat me," she said. "I know what I have got to do. I have to play from A to B in as few shots as possible. That's really my mind-set."
Sorenstam trailed Inkster after one round, and the two shared the lead after 36 holes. The Swede overtook Inkster when it counted most, rallying from an unremarkable start with near-flawless iron play and precise putting.
She won the Classic for the third time and claimed the $210,000 winner's share. Inkster closed with a 68 and was 13 under. Catriona Matthew (64) and Davies (68) were five strokes back at 12 under.
* CHAMPIONS TOUR: All Tom Jenkins wanted was a second chance.
He got it and turned it into his first victory in more than a year.
Jenkins missed a four-foot birdie putt on No. 17 that would have enabled him to win the Allianz Championship in Polk City, Iowa, in the regulation 54 holes. Then, returning to 17 for the second hole of a playoff, Jenkins stared at another short putt for birdie and this time he made it, rolling in a five-footer to beat D.A. Weibring.
"It's always great to have a second chance," Jenkins said. "Just like the Champions Tour is a great second chance. The whole key is taking advantage of your second chance."
After flirting with victory for more than a month, Jenkins finally got one. He had finished in the top 10 in five of his previous six tournaments, including two seconds and a third, but just wasn't able to get that win -- until now.