FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Annika Sorenstam ran away with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for an eight-stroke victory.
The 50-year-old Sorenstam, a three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion making her first appearance in the senior event, finished at 12-under 276 at Brooklawn Country Club in the wire-to-wire victory.
“It’s really hard to describe,” Sorenstam said. . “When we came here, I just loved the place from the start. Everything felt so good, and then obviously you have to go out there and finish it up, and today I really felt like I played very, very well. To come in here on Sunday knowing what I had to do and I did it, obviously I’m very happy.”
Playing partner and fellow Swede Liselotte Neumann was second, shooting a 74. She won the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open to become the first Swedish major champion.
Husband Mike McGee caddied for Sorenstam, with daughter Ava, 11 and son Will, 10, in the gallery.
“When I turned 50, we had a discussion. I said, `Do you want to see Mama play?′ And they said, ‘Yeah, we want to see Mama play.’” Sorenstam said “I said, to do that I have to put in some time. You can’t just go out there and compete with the women out here. They have seen me hitting the balls, they’ve seen me go out there and really put sweat and tears into it, so it’s really paid off. Without them this would not really happen. It’s certainly a team effort.”
Sorenstam earned $180,000 and a spit next year in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club.
Laura Davies, the 2018 winner in the inaugural event, was third at 3 under after a 71.
“Cracking week. Course was great,” Davies said. “The greens were tough but fair, and a great champion in Annika, and she’s won by a fair old way. After Day 1, I thought she would win. I thought she looked like the Annika of old, and she’s proven it. After Day 1, I knew we were all in trouble.”
European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew (74) and Yuko Saito (72) were 2 under.
At 276, Sorenstam tied the tournament record set by Davies in 2018 at Chicago Golf Club in the inaugural championship.