Annika makes it five

World number one Annika Sörenstam said on Sunday that she will continue her challenge after becoming the first-ever golfer to win the same tournament five consecutive times at the Mizuno Classic golf.

“I had the chance to do something today that nobody else has done, so of course I felt some pressure all week, but I was able to control my nerves,” said the Swede.

“I love to challenge myself and see if I can do things that nobody else has done. That is what motivates me. That is why I play this game. To come here and do something like this, it is just very gratifying.”

Starting the final round one stroke off Kim Young of South Korea, the Swede carded a bogey-free one eagle and six birdies for a 64 to finish top with a three-round total of 21-under-par 195.

Jennifer Rosales of the Philippines sank one eagle and four birdies for a 66 to take second place at 198, while Kim was tied at third place with Japan’s Yuri Fudo and Sophie Gustafson of Sweden on 200.

“Right now, obviously, I think it is one of the biggest things I’ve done. It shows a lot of consistency. For me, to be able to do it again knowing what was at stake, I think, was very important,” said Sörenstam.

“If I look at my career overall, I’ve been so lucky to achieve so much. It is tough to rate one thing over another because they all have different meanings. Obviously this is something that no one else has done, so it is going to rank up there.

“I think it has become a great little annual thing to do in Japan. I am going to try to continue my tradition. I do think that every year it gets tougher and tougher so I’m going to continue to give it a shot,” she added.

Sörenstam last year became only the second woman after Laura Davies of Britain, who won the Standard Register PING tournament from 1994-1997, to claim four titles consecutively in the same tournament.

Only Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Tiger Woods have won the same tournament four consecutive times on the US PGA Tour.

Sörenstam, who received the winner’s check of 150,000 dollars, has already tied an LPGA record by winning her fifth world championship last month at Palm Desert, California, following her victories in 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2004.

The one-million-dollar event at the 6,450-yard par-72 Seta golf course is a happy hunting ground for Sörenstam, who also set an LPGA record for lowest score in a 54-hole event when she finished at 24-under in 2003.

She did not have a bogey from the sixth hole of the 2002 third round until the eighth hole of the second round last year.

It was her ninth title of the season, after two majors at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the LPGA Championship to secure her record eighth Player of the Year award and her eighth record-tying Money List title.