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Annika Sorenstam, Lance Armstrong Named Best Athletes of 2003 - 2003-12-29


American cyclist Lance Armstrong won the Associated Press 2003 Male Athlete of the Year honors for the second straight year in the annual poll, while Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam won the Female Athlete of the Year award.

Sorenstam is the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour. She received 47 first place votes and 249 points from the 55 responding AP member newspapers and broadcasters in the United States. The 33-year-old Sorenstam won two majors in 2003, the LPGA Championship and the Women's British Open, giving her a career Grand Slam.

University of Connecticut basketball star Diana Taurasi, who led her team to the national title, came in second with six first place votes and 102 points. Belgian tennis star Justin Henin-Hardenne, who won the French Open and U.S. Open, finished third with one vote for first place and 44 points.

Armstrong, who won a record-tying fifth straight Tour de France, got 26 out of 54 first-place ballots and 174 points in the men's poll. Major League Baseball slugger Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants finished second with 10 first-place votes and 59 points, while Tim Duncan, star of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, came in third with five top votes and 47 points.

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