(Barsebäck G&CC, Malmö, Sweden – August 2, 2005) The world no.1 Annika Sörenstam returns to her homeland this week to defend her very own title; the Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika.
|Sophie Gustafson won Swedish title in 2003|
Ludivine Kreutz and Gwladys Nocera from France, Denmark’s Iben Tinning and Veronica Zorzi from Italy are four further potential 2005 Solheim Cup stars in the competition. All of whom are currently within the top seven spots on the ranking which receive automatic qualification.
England’s Karen Stupples and Scots Janice Moodie and Catriona Matthew will be aiming for strong top ten postings in order to receive their share of the points that could well see them onto The 2005 Solheim Cup team.
In addition there are a number of young European stars who are capable of taking the title. Welsh ace Becky Brewerton, 22, proved her calibre with two top five finishes at the recent Ladies English Open and OTP Bank Central European Opens. She also posted a 65 in the third round at Royal Birkdale last week, showing her class in a quality field.
Another top European, Minea Blomqvist, 20, from Finland, is a player to watch – as is Natalie Gulbis from the USA, who is here on an invitation.
With only three events left until The 2005 European Solheim is announced on August 28th at the Ladies Finnish Masters, the race for Solheim points is intensifying on the LET.
Sörenstam’s place on the team, at the top of the rankings, is a virtual given, but that will not stop her competitive streak this week as hostess of the event in Sweden.
“I’m glad to be back in Barsebäck – it doesn’t get much better than this. To be the hostess of an event – and to be finally here feels pretty special,” said the Swede.
“I’m very proud to have my name on the tournament for the first time. I played nine holes in the practice round yesterday on the back nine and all the memories from the Solheim Cup came flooding back; the drama, the crowds. On the 17th hole we actually put the ball where I holed the birdie putt from and it went it so we all jumped up in the air and it felt just like it was two years ago”.
Sörenstam has won two major titles this year, at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in June and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March, but her finish last week was not her best.
“I wasn’t happy, I mean, my goal was always to win but I put myself in contention, played some good shots and I tried really hard,” she said.
“Its just JJ played too good. She was very solid off the tee, great off the fairway and a good putter too so she was hard to catch. I left with a double bogey at the last so obviously that’s not a great way to finish and not something I want to remember.”
Last year at this event, when it was named the HP Open, Sörenstam won with a record breaking final round 64 at Ullna GC near Stockholm; something for her to remember when she tees it up on Thursday.