Sorenstam has one last chance for a victory

Annika Sorenstam, ADT Championship
Chip English/AP
Annika Sorenstam missed two months with injuries.

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) — This might be as true as any measure of Annika Sorenstam's year. At the U.S. LPGA Tour's season-ending ADT Championship, she didn't even get an audience with the Donald.

Donald Trump has been the unofficial host of this event since it came to his Trump International course six years ago. He usually plays the pro-am with the top player on the U.S. LPGA Tour, which usually is Sorenstam.

But not anymore.

It was not surprising for him to play on Wednesday with Lorena Ochoa, the No. 1 player in women's golf whose season has been so dominant that even with a record $1 million (680,000) going to the winner, the Mexican star still has the money title locked up.

The real surprise is Sorenstam.

Who could have ever imagined that a player who has averaged nearly eight victories a year since 2001 would arrive at the ADT Championship trying to avoid her first winless season since she was a soft-spoken rookie in 1994?

Or that she qualified only last week for the 32-player event that she has won four times?

"It's not a year that is something you really put on a resume," Sorenstam said.

But there's a good reason for her becoming just another face on the U.S. LPGA Tour this year. Sorenstam was diagnosed with back and neck injuries in April after a lackluster start to her season, and she wound up missing nearly two months of competition. Even when she returned at her Ginn Tribute, and for the final three majors, she was hardly at full strength.

And the landscape of the U.S. LPGA Tour changed before her eyes.

First came Ochoa, replacing her at No. 1 in the world ranking this spring and stretching her lead to leave no doubt who's the best. Then came Norway's Suzann Pettersen, who won her first major among five U.S. LPGA titles this year.

Sorenstam is stuck on 69 victories, still third on the career list in U.S. LPGA history. For most of this decade, her only rival seemed to be Kathy Whitworth and her record 88 victories, and most thought it was only a matter of time before Sorenstam caught her.

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