Midland, Mississippi (AP) —Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam returned to the top of the LPGA Tour leaderboard on Wednesday to team up with Madeleine Sagstrom at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.
Sorenstam and Sagström shared the lead of the first round with late starters Pauly Sukarno and Dewi Weber, scoring 5 under 65 in alternate shot play at the Midland Country Club.
“It’s different because it’s a team format,” Sorenstam said. “I have a great partner. I mean, I don’t really think about it, but it’s nice to see your name somewhere on the board. I focus on my game , I’m trying to do what I can with the skill set I have today. “
51-year-old Sorenstam has begun his second LPGA tour this year, the third since he retired after the 2008 season. The team will play a better ball on Thursday and Saturday and will make another shot on Friday.
“It was really fun,” said Sorenstam. “I think we had really good chemistry. We had a good time. I was excited to be here, and I told Madeleine in the range. I was really excited. I was looking forward to playing. “
Sorenstam missed a cut at the US Women’s Open last month and was tied fourth last week in Nevada, primarily in the Men’s American Century Championship.
“I didn’t feel any pressure from my partner,” Sorenstam said. So obviously there were some things that were a little better on my putt and maybe a little more aggressive, but overall it was a gentle golf. It was a fairway. It was green. “
Sagström won the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA at Vocalio with her only tour title. She made a three-under turn, ran off three straight birdies on 12-14 and dropped a stroke with the only bogey on par 4 on 16.
“I was like,’This is too perfect,'” Sagström said. “It worked very well. To give her some good opportunities, I also hit some good drives. We took advantage of some of the opportunities we had. There were many more, but overall it was a really fun day. “
Both Weber and Russan have no chance of winning on the tour. They played a bogey-free round and finished in the front nine shortly after Sorenstam and Sagström completed their play in the back nine.
“We are team french fries and apple pie,” Weber said.
Sorenstam and Sagström played with Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare, and the Americans shot 71 in a round two hours and 40 minutes late due to the morning rain.
A team of Jody Ewart Shadov-Emma Tally, Gillian Hollis-Lauren Stephenson, and Polnanon Fatram-Pavalisa Joctuan shot 66. Allison Emley and Catherine Perry-Hamski followed at 67.
Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas topped the group at the age of 68. Sister Nelly and Jessica Korda were 69 years old, with 47-year-old Karrie Webb and Marina Alex.
Defending champions Aria and Moriya Jutanugarn shot 73.
The tournament is scheduled to end on Saturday, so players will be able to head to France next week for the fourth major of the year at the Evian Championship. It begins the European part of the LPGA Tour Schedule, which includes the Women’s British Open in Muirfield.