Mon, Oct 30, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Annika Sorenstam increases her lead in Dubai Masters

AP , DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Annika Sorenstam of Sweden follows the ball on the fourth hole during the third round of the Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Annika Sorenstam recovered from an opening-hole bogey to shoot her second straight 4-under-par 68 on Saturday and increase her lead to seven strokes after three rounds of the Dubai Ladies Masters.

The Swede improved to 15-under 201 heading into the final round of the 500,000 euros (US$634,150) season-ending event on the Ladies European Tour. Australia's Karrie Webb was the closest, finishing with a 2-under 70 for a 208.

European Solheim Cup captain Helen Alfredsson of Sweden matched Sorenstam's 68 and was alone in third place at 7-under 209, one shot ahead of Italian Veronica Zorzi (69), Germany's Martina Eberl (70), Australian Sarah Kemp (70) and England's Trish Johnson (71).

Sorenstam opened with bogey after hitting a poor second shot on the par-4 No. 1 and repeated the flub on the par-5 third to cost her a birdie opportunity.

"I just can't explain what happened in the first few holes," Sorenstam said. "But I like to look at the positives, and the fact that I made six birdies in the last 15 holes is good enough for me."

"I have to be solid on Sunday [yesterday] because I know that Karrie is having a great year and that she is capable of shooting some very low numbers," she said.

Webb struggled on the back nine, coming in 1 over.

"I was going great till the back nine," she said. "I made the turn at 3 under, and then somehow lost my rhythm."

"It would have been great if I had closed the gap with Annika to three shots, but I am very hopeful of putting a fight tomorrow [yesterday]," Webb added.

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