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Sorenstam cashes in 4 skins for $80,000 on opening 9 holes

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Annika Sorenstam, the leading money winner on the women's tour this year, won $80,000 over the opening nine holes of the JCPenney LPGA Skins Game Saturday.

Sorenstam won four skins and birdied five of the first nine holes, while Karrie Webb, the No. 2 money-winner, won one skin and $20,000 at Stonebriar Country Club.Laura Davies, the all-time leading Skins Game money winner with $480,000, and Dottie Pepper, No. 2 all-time, failed to win a skin.

Four skins worth $110,000 will carry over into Sunday's 10th hole, where $140,000 will be at stake.

Normally steady but unspectacular, Sorenstam is usually content to shoot for pars. But Sorenstam's hot putting overwhelmed her three opponents.

"I'm normally a very consistent player," said Sorenstam, who won $100,000 in last year's event. "I normally go for the odds, but I was so pumped up. I don't think I've ever had that (five birdies in the first nine holes). I couldn't believe I made some putts."

Sorenstam used a sand wedge to chip in from 25 feet for birdie-2 in the rain on the second hole, bagging two skins and $40,000. That took the pressure off, she said.

"I could relax after that," she said. "If you don't win a skin, you're nervous. So I got that over with early."

Sorenstam was playing so well that her opponents jokingly threatened to throw her in a nearby pond if she sank a putt on the ninth and final hole of Saturday's competition.

"If this goes in, she goes in (the water)," Pepper said, as Sorenstam lined up a 15-foot birdie putt.

When Sorenstam missed the putt that would have earned her $110,000, Pepper said, "Now we have a headline: `She missed a putt.' "

Sorenstam rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt to halve the third hole with Pepper, then converted an 8-foot birdie putt on the fourth for two more skins worth $40,000. Sorenstam also birdied the seventh and eighth holes, but Webb matched her each time.

When the rain ended, Webb made a 20-foot birdie putt at the fifth hole for a $20,000 skin.

Davies had a wild day off the tee, hitting only three of nine fairways.