Casino?s Ellis 13th in LPGA event
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma (AFP). ? Annika Sorenstam made bogeys on two of the last three holes but held off US teen sensation Paula Creamer by a stroke yesterday to defend her crown at the LPGA John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic.
The Swedish world number one had 16 pars in a final-round two-over par 73 to finish 54 holes on five-under par 208, capturing the top prize $197,000, for the third time in four years at the $1.31 million event.
Sorenstam began the day one-stroke ahead of Sweden's Maria Hjorth and Australian Michelle Ellis, from Casino, and watched as most of her nearest rivals faltered.
Ellis, who struggled with a rib injury last year, played alongside Sorenstam in the final group. She soared to a 79 and shared 13th after early good rounds of 67 and 69.
Creamer, the 19-year-old LPGA Rookie of the Year who has won twice on the US tour this year and taken another title in Japan, chased Sorenstam to the finish but began the day five strokes back and could not quite close the gap.
Sorenstam won her 63rd career crown, her seventh of 2005. She has already won 18 different LPGA events events at least twice, including titles here in 2002 and 2004.