By Michael Bamberger
Tuesday, August 04, 2009

This story first appeared in the June 10, 1996, issue of Sports Illustrated.

She made it seem so easy. For four days, over the sandy-soil course of the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., Annika Sorenstam wore out fairways with her driver, greens with her irons, holes with her putter and opponents with her relentlessness. And for the second consecutive year, Annika Sorenstam won the U.S. Women's Open. Golf might have identified its next Hogan.

Albeit in an unlikely package: a 25-year-old Swede with sun-bleached hair, a cheerful face, space-age sunglasses and a bag crowded with five metal woods. But in the important ways, Sorenstam follows in the tradition of the great Texan, whose golf was silent and deadly and at its best at the events that mattered most. Women's golf has no event that matters more than the Open.

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