Sorenstam two back of leader Saether at Swedish farewell tourney

Updated: August 9, 2008, 3:21 PM ET
Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 1-under 71 and trailed by two shots after leader Lill Saether tied the course record with a 64 Saturday in the rain-shortened Scandinavian TPC.

Saether birdied six of her first seven holes and totaled 9-under 135 after rain postponed second-round play Friday and shortened the tournament to 54 holes.

Maria Hjorth also shot a course-record 64 in a bogey-free round and shared second with Lora Fairclough (66) to trail by one stroke. Tournament host Sorenstam, who is retiring in December, shared fourth with Johanna Head (70).

"I think I played well today," Sorenstam said. "I had many chances, but many putts stopped just short of the cup."

Saether, who is looking for her first win, needed just 24 putts in posting her lowest score on the Ladies European Tour.

"My coach said, 'If you're in Annika's group during the final round, I'll drive five hours from Oslo [Norway] and watch you play," Saether said. "I hope my coach will be here, although I will not play with Annika."

Thousands of fans followed Sorenstam's group at the Frosaker Golf and Country Club. Sunday's round will be her last as a pro in Sweden. Sorenstam, who grew up north of Stockholm, had a course-record 66 in the first round Thursday.

"The support has been fantastic this week," Sorenstam said. "On some holes you feel it more than others. On the 18th, they did the wave."

American Jill McGill was tied for ninth after a 71. Catriona Matthew of Scotland did not return to defend her title.

The 37-year-old Sorenstam won the tournament six times from 1997-2006 when it was the Compaq Open, HP Open and Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika.

Sorenstam will make her final competitive appearance in Europe on Sept. 5 in Denmark. Her last start will be at the Dubai Ladies Masters on Dec. 11.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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