Sorenstam using Woods’ yardage book

Associated Press

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Annika Sorenstam will have some help from Tiger Woods when she plays the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews.

His Old Course yardage book will be tucked in her pocket.

Sorenstam has the book Woods used when he won the British Open here in 2005. He handed it to her recently in Orlando, Fla., where they both live.

“He said, ‘I have my yardage book. Do you want to use it?’ ” Sorenstam said Wednesday on the eve of the LPGA’s fourth major. “I replied, ‘I would love to. Are you sure?’ ”

Sorenstam has a friendly rivalry with Woods based on the number of majors won – he has 12, she has 10. A few weeks ago, the two discussed the Old Course, where a women’s professional tournament will be held for the first time.

“He told me to hit left, which I already knew, and to practice my long putting, which is going to be key. And he’s absolutely right,” she said. “So I have been putting from 30 yards off the green, totally different shots than I would use in the States.”

Sorenstam has been slowed by back and disc problems this year, noting it will take another three or four months before she is fully fit.

“I am totally pain-free but my strength is not back,” she said. “I’ve been working on my backswing and now I have it figured out. Now I need to trust it coming down on the ball.”

Her improvement has been constant and her results have improved, including a sixth-place finish last week at the Evian Masters in France.

Sorenstam said she felt nervous in the third round – “playing in the second last group and just looking at the leaderboard and seeing my name there.”

“It’s been a while,” she said.

Sorenstam, who won an event called the St. Rule Trophy as an amateur on The Old Course in 1990, lost her top ranking to Lorena Ochoa this year and is now third behind Karrie Webb.

She does not want so much to recover that position as to regain full control of her golf game.

“I want to get back to 100 percent and play to the level I know how,” said the Swede, who has 69 LPGA titles.

Ochoa, meanwhile, is continuing where she left off last year. She won six titles, was runner-up six times and finished in the top 10 in 20 of 25 events. She has added three more wins this year and four second-place finishes.

But a major title has eluded her. Instead, this year’s first three majors have gone to first-time winners: Morgan Pressel at the Kraft Nabisco, Suzann Pettersen at the LPGA and Cristie Kerr at the U.S. Open.

“I think 2007 was a year for me to start winning majors and I still have one more chance,” Ochoa said. “I’m going to try hard.”

She was asked if it gets harder the longer she goes without winning a major.

“If you have that in your mind when you are playing, I think it would be really bad,” Ochoa said. “I don’t do that. I just go out and enjoy myself and try to play some good golf. If it happens, it happens.”

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