Monday, November 7, 2011
Annika Sorenstam returns to action
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam won the short iron competition in the ADT Skills Challenge on Monday in her first professional competition in three years.
Sorenstam and teammate Morgan Pressel earned $161,000 for finishing fourth in the four-team event won by Zach Johnson and Jerry Kelly. Sorenstam and Pressel became the first female team to participate in the Challenge.
"I'm very competitive so it's great to come out in this atmosphere again," said Sorenstam, who had her two children and parents at the event. "We're going to be more up close and personal with the players, which I love."
Sorenstam, who won a record 90 international titles, was playing in her first professional competition since the 2008 season-ending ADT Championships. In 2004, Sorenstam became the first woman to compete in the ADT Skills Challenge, finishing sixth.
Sorenstam took the short iron competition by coming within 2 feet, 11 inches of the hole. Pressel and Nick Price both holed their bunker shot, and Pressel won in a playoff when she got within 1½ feet of the hole.
Johnson and Kelly secured the victory in the final putts of the PGA-sanctioned event, which will air on NBC on Dec. 24 and 25.
Price had the best putt in the reverse scramble final -- a 16-footer -- but teammate Mark O'Meara missed his 5-foot putt. Price then missed the same 5-footer as well.
Johnson and Kelly holed their 6-foot putts to trump defending champions Price and O'Meara, taking the top prize of $286,000. O'Meara and Price finished second with $185,000.
"It comes down to the reverse scramble, having to play the worst ball, playing well, and understanding the shots you have to make," Johnson said. "You're both going to have to make a putt. Just like the regular tour events it comes down to the greens."
Rocco Mediate and Nick Faldo won the long drive, mid-iron and trouble shot at The Breakers. But they lost to O'Meara and Price in the reverse scramble and finished in third to earn $168,000.