(Evian-les-Bains, France, June 15 2002) World number one Annika Sorenstam swept away the best players in women’s golf as she cruised to a four shot win over compatriot Maria Hjorth and Korean Mi Hyun Kim at the $2.1million Evian Masters besides the banks of Lake Geneva.
With 80 valuable points for the win, the 31-year-old Swede also confirmed her place at the top of the 2002 Solheim rankings with 205 points and will be in the European team to face the USA at Interlachen in September.
|Hjorth, Sorenstam and Kim|
“You cannot always measure success in wins, they way I look at the game, I am playing better, striking the ball better and I’m making more putts and that is what I am looking for.”
Hjorth, who lost to a Rachel Teske birdie on the final hole last year, constructed her round with birdies at the third, fifth and seventh to turn in 33. The 28-year-old from Falun stepped up the pace with a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th and added more at the 16th and 17th to move eight under.
Despite missing from three feet at the final hole to set a new course record, the Stirling University graduate was delighted at her finish.
“I was saving it up for the end of the week,” smiled Hjorth, who was holing putts with her new “belly putter” from all over the place during the final round.
“I’ve been using it since we played in LA earlier in the year, I just use it to help me straighten my left arm. My tendency is to wriggle my wrists a little too much, so it helps me keep it more solid.”
Hjorth moved up to eighth place in the 2002 Solheim Cup rankings with her, and with putting like today’s exhibition, “Mimi” agreed she would be an asset to team Europe.
“I would, probably and I hope to keep it up,” added Hjorth, who admitted if she thought about the rankings each week, it would stress her out.
“For those of us playing who don’t play full time in Europe, it’s hard for us to get points. Our only chance is when we come back to tournaments like this and if I try to play well, then that’s enough for Dale to see me anyway.”
Karine Icher from France was the only other European player to pick up Solheim Cup points with a final round 71 to finish in a tie for seventh alongside Korea’s Grace Park and Leta Lindley from the USA. Icher moves up to third spot behind Raquel Carriedo and Sorenstam on 138.50 points.