GUADALAJARA - Annika Sorenstam nearly holed her third shot on the par-5 18th, then lipped out a 9-foot birdie attempt to give Angela Stanford a one-stroke victory Sunday in the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Annika Sorenstam nearly holed her third shot on the par-5 18th, then lipped out a 9-foot birdie attempt to give Angela Stanford a one-stroke victory Sunday in the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Sorenstam, making her second-to-last start before she leaves the LPGA Tour, holed out from a bunker for birdie on the par-3 16th to get to 12 under - a stroke behind Stanford - but settled for pars on the final two holes. On the 18th, her wedge shot rolled just by the side of the cup as it spun back down the green.
"I certainly had a chance today, but Angela played very well," Sorenstam said. "I was tracing her all day, but I never gave up, kept on fighting and I had a chance to force a playoff. Obviously, I was disappointed with that, but overall I thought it was a great tournament and I really tried." Stanford two-putted for par on 18 before Sorenstam missed her birdie try.
"I had done such a good job all day of staying in the moment and kind of prepared myself for the playoff," Stanford said. "I would have been a little nervous in that playoff just because it's Annika. There was a moment there where I thought, `Hmmm, I'd rather not have a playoff."'
Stanford, the Bell Micro LPGA Classic winner in September, closed with a 3-under 69. She had a 13-under 275 total on the Guadalajara Country Club course and earned $200,000 for her third LPGA Tour title.
"I couldn't control what she was doing and I couldn't control what anybody else was doing. So really felt like I had kind of grew up out there a little bit today, again, and really just stayed in the moment the best I could and hit some quality shots."
The Texan has five straight top-five finishes. "It just continues to give me confidence and give me the belief in what I'm doing and how I'm playing right now," Stanford said. "And going into next year, hopefully this will push me into the top 10 in the world. I hope."
She saved par with a 10-foot putt on No. 17. Sorenstam, the 72-time LPGA Tour winner coming off a playoff victory two weeks ago in China in a Ladies European Tour event, also finished with a 69. She tied for second with Brittany Lang, who shot a course-record 65.
Lorena Ochoa shot a 70 to tie for 14th at 4 under.