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Inkster blisters field with final-round 69

Published Sep. 28, 2005

After 25 career victories and six major championships, Juli Inkster admits her victory dance still needs improvement.

The way she's been playing, she'd better start working on some fancy new steps.

Inkster beat Annika Sorenstam by four strokes to win the World Championship on Sunday, punctuating her 3-under 69 with a par-saving putt from the fringe of the 18th green.

Inkster finished at 14 under, tying the tournament record on a Hiddenbrooke course that baffled most of the elite field of 20 golfers. Inkster earned $152,000 for her third World Championship title in four years.

About 18 months after she said she would consider retiring this fall, Inkster is in dominant form. The World Championship was her third victory this season and her first wire-to-wire win since 1992. The retirement talk is on hold.

"It was fantastic to win it this way because there's not a slouch in this field," Inkster said. "I felt good about my swing all week."

Inkster won the sixth straight tournament in which she entered the final round with a lead.

"I needed lots of luck to catch Juli the way she was playing," Sorenstam said. "She's just so smooth. She didn't really make any mistakes until 18. She was never really threatened."

Sorenstam finished at 10 under, with Pat Hurst third at 4 under. Sorenstam had 74 on Friday that sent her to the driving range in a frustrated rage. She said that round cost her the tournament.

Karrie Webb shot 70 _ the player of the year's ninth straight round in which she failed to break into the 60s _ to finish two strokes behind Hurst.