CARLSBAD, Calif. – March 9, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) – Conquering high winds, high altitude and a strong LPGA field, Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY) Staff Professional Annika Sorenstam used some new equipment to achieve some very familiar results on Sunday.
Armed with Callaway Golf's latest technology, a prototype Fusion Driver, new X-Tour Irons and the HX Tour Golf Ball from Callaway Golf, she came from three strokes off the pace with a round of four-under-par 68 for a 3-stroke win at the LPGA MasterCard Classic at Mexico City.
"I could not ask for a better way to start my season," said Sorenstam. "Today, the conditions were tough and the winds were swirling, but I was really comfortable all day with my iron shots. Needless to say, I love my new weapons."
Wielding her new forged X-Tour Irons with great precision, Sorenstam began the day with a birdie barrage that quickly vaulted her into a lead she never relinquished. After a routine par at the first hole, she reeled off five straight birdies by nailing her iron shots to the flagsticks: a 7-iron to four feet at No. 2, a 6-iron to 10 feet at No. 3, and three straight sand wedges to eight, five and four feet. She added three birdies on the back nine to offset three front-nine bogeys. In summary, the longest of her seven birdie putts was a 14-footer.
In addition to her new weapons, Sorenstam used an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Blade Putter and wore Callaway Golf Footwear featuring the Big Bertha Spike.
"The new Fusion Driver was very long and the golf ball was very consistent off all the clubs," said Sorenstam, who overpowered the longer par fours and par fives. She only had sand wedge shots into the 417-yard fifth hole and the 425-yard 10th and she needed just a 7-iron for her second shot into the 498-yard, par-five 12th hole.
Sorenstam, 34, now has 57 LPGA titles in her Hall of Fame career and needs just two more to pass Louise Suggs for fourth place on the all-time win list. This is the third time in the past four years that she has won her LPGA season opener and she picks up right where she left off with last year's season-ending victory.
"The fire is there and the motivation is there," Sorenstam said. "I practiced quite a bit this winter and it shows already that I am playing the way I want to play."
In other weekend highlights, Callaway Golf Staff Pro Phil Mickelson engaged in a thrilling duel with Tiger Woods at the Ford Championship at Miami's Doral Resort and Spa. Mickelson, who led the first three rounds, shot 69 in the closing round and finished second by one stroke as the world's No. 1 ranked player closed with 66. Mickelson, who used a prototype Fusion Driver, Heavenwood 3H Hybrid, X-Tour Irons, Forged-plus wedges, a prototype Odyssey PM putter and a prototype HX Tour 56 Golf Ball, birdied 27 holes on the famed Blue Monster course to tie for first in that category. He averaged 301 yards off the tee to tie for sixth in Driving Distance and hit 75 percent of the greens in regulation to tie for 7th. Mickelson currently leads in scoring average and is the leading money winner on the PGA Tour.
"I'm going to work my tail off to salvage a couple more shots," Mickelson said. "When I come back to the Players Championship and The Masters, I'm going to be ready."
Callaway Golf Company makes and sells Big Bertha Metal Woods, Irons and Hybrids including Heavenwood Hybrids, ERC Fusion Drivers and Fairway Woods, Great Big Bertha II 415 Titanium Drivers, Big Bertha Titanium 454 Drivers and Big Bertha Stainless Steel Fairway Woods, Big Bertha Heavenwood Hybrids, Big Bertha Stainless Steel Irons, X-18 and X-18 Pro Series Irons, the Game Enjoyment System of GES Golf Clubs, Callaway Golf Forged+ Wedges, and Callaway Golf Tour Blue Putters. Callaway Golf Company also makes and sells Odyssey Putters, including White Steel, White Hot, TriHot, DFX, Dual Force and 2-Ball Putters.
Callaway Golf Company makes and sells the Callaway Golf HX Tour Balls, HX Blue and HX Red Balls, HX Hot Balls, Big Bertha Blue and Big Bertha Red Balls, and the Warbird Balls. Callaway Golf also owns and operates The Top-Flite Golf Company, a wholly owned subsidiary that includes the Top-Flite, Strata and Ben Hogan brands and Bettinardi Putters. For more information about Callaway Golf Company, please visit our websites at www.callawaygolf.com, www.topflite.com and www.odysseygolf.com.
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Larry Dorman or Mike Galeski