SPORT

I like to set goals: Sorenstam

RANCHO MIRAGE (CALIFORNIA), MARCH 24. Annika Sorenstam came to the California desert last year with a big goal befitting her status as the dominant player in women's golf. She wanted to do what no one had ever done — win all four LPGA major championships in one year.

By the final round of the first major of the year, that goal was history. Sorenstam was never in contention in the Nabisco championship, and she would go on to win only one major, the LPGA championship.

With a new year, though, comes new opportunity. And this year brings even more.

Sorenstam begins play in the Nabisco with a shot at all four majors once again, but the way she's been playing perhaps that goal is too modest. After all, Sorenstam has won her first two tournaments so far this year, and four in a row going back to last season.

Perhaps a new goal should be winning every time she tees it up. Sorenstam had to mull that one over a bit on Wednesday before answering, but the thought is clearly in her mind.

``I'm not afraid of challenges. I like to set goals and I like to challenge myself,'' Sorenstam said. ``I set some lofty goals last year, no doubt about it. But it's not like I look back at last year and say it was a bad year because I didn't achieve my goals.''

By anyone else's standards, it was a banner year. Sorenstam only won one major, but she won seven other LPGA tournaments and 10 tournaments overall.

She's back on a course that she likes and her game is as good as it has been. She's not only an odds-on favourite, but an intimidating presence.

``I want to win majors,'' Sorenstam said. ``I know I'm playing well and I know this golf course. I really don't have any excuses.''

Grace Park is the defending champion, but Sorenstam and teenage sensation Michelle Wie will be the ones providing the buzz as the LPGA season begins in earnest on the tight fairways and slick greens of the Mission Hills Country Club.

On a roll

Sorenstam, despite going through divorce proceedings, is on yet another roll and threatening to make this another season to remember.

She was bothered by personal problems last year, but says she now knows where she is and where she's going. — AP

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