SUNNINGDALE, England (AP) - Karen Stupples began the final round of the Women's British Open eagle-double eagle. It was the kind of start Annika
Sorenstam needed. Stupples won her first major title with a record-tying score of 19-under 269, while defending champion Sorenstam's bid to become the
second woman to win all four majors back-to-back ended in a tie for 13th.
This time the victory went to a homegrown talent who has been playing on the LPGA Tour for six years and won her first title in the opening tournament
of the season. Now she has a major to go with it and a check for $290,880.
"It's quite mind blowing," Stupples said after finishing five strokes ahead of Rachel Teske. "It's something that I never knew was going to
Stupples shot an 8-under 64 in the final round on the Old Course at Sunningdale to tie the record-low score in a major, set by Dottie Pepper at the
1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore. Starting the round a stroke behind third-round co-leaders Heather Bowie and Teske, Stupples began the day with an eagle on
No. 1 and a double-eagle on the second hole.
At the 475-yard second, she followed a huge drive with a 5-iron from 202 yards, the ball bouncing onto the green and rolling straight at the hole. The
flag initially stopped the ball from dropping in, but Stupples began jumping for joy as the crowd's reaction told her it went in.
"I didn't see it go in the hole," she said. "But there was a huge cheer from the crowd. I thought, 'Crikey, it could be my day.' Ideally I wanted to
go birdie-birdie but eagle-albatross is unbelievable.
"It was one of those fantastic feelings that I could enjoy the rest of the day no matter how things turned out."
It turned out pretty good.
Stupples was the first English winner at the Women's British Open since Penny Grice-Whittaker in 1991 and first English winner of a major since Alison
Nicholas, who won the U.S. Open in 1997. Despite her scorching start, Stupples still found herself even with Teske after 12 holes. However, she pulled
away with long birdie putts on 15, 16 and 17.
Teske shot a 70 to finish at 14-under 274, one stroke ahead of Bowie, whose 71 gave her a 13-under total of 275. Mexico's Lorena Ochoa (70) was fourth
at 276. Sorenstam, who had been chasing her eighth major and second this season, finished in a tie for 13th place at 8-under 280 after a final-round
71. The Swede, who successfully defended her LPGA Championship title in June, had been attempting to join Mickey Wright as the only golfer to win all
four majors back-to-back.
Sorenstam also won the U.S. Open in 1995-96 and the Nabisco Championship in 2001-02. Wright won the 1958-59 U.S. Opens, '60-61 LPGA Championships,
'61-62 Titleholders and '62-63 Western Opens.
"Of course I'm disappointed. I gave it all I got this week. It was tough for me. I missed a few shots here and there and I really couldn't get it
going," Sorenstam said. "I tried really hard. I tried and I fought and I didn't give up until the last putt went in.
"It's just unfortunate. I thought I was prepared, I came in with a lot of good thoughts. Life goes on. I think I underestimated some of the rough
areas around here.
"I had an opportunity to do something that nobody else has done [in modern-day majors]. It's fun to be in that situation. So, obviously I wish the
outcome was different. Hopefully I'll get in this position again."
Stupples wasn't the only one breaking records this week. Minea Blomqvist, a 19-year-old rising star from Finland, had a 10-under 62 in the third
round, the lowest round in a major -- men or women. She broke the tournament record of 63 set three years ago by Karrie Webb at Turnberry. Blomqvist
followed that performance with a with a final-round 70 and tied for eighth at 278.
"I think this tournament shows it's not enough to shoot under par any more," said Sorenstam, who finished out of the top 10 in a major for only the
second time in two years. "You've got to shoot a lot under par, in the 60s. This is a credit to all the ladies out there."