Women competing against men is great for the pro game. Fans and
TV love the buzz, and the only losers are small-minded men who
don't recognize how much their product is being enhanced.
Vijay's a chick? Annika's got the yips? Missed 59s and corporate
gold mines? Here's our report from a historic, and histrionic,
June 1, 2003
ANNIKA Ms. Sorenstam was a picture of poise, but that was no
surprise from such a classy champion. The revelation was her
warmth and humor, which she has always disguised so well.
THURSDAY Sorenstam conducted a ball striking exhibition, hitting
13 of 14 fairways and coming within a few feet of 18 greens in
regulation during one of the most electric rounds in history.
DEAN WILSON The rookie's GO ANNIKA button was the most eloquent
statement of the week, and playing alongside Sorenstam, he
displayed disarming charm and a solid game.
KENNY PERRY With all eyes on the Colonial, this amiable veteran
flirted with a 59 on Saturday, on his way to a commanding
MICHELLE WIE Sorenstam will be remembered as the Lee Elder to
Wie's Tiger Woods, breaking barriers so another can later break
BANK OF AMERICA The first-year title sponsor of the Colonial
reaped a p.r. bonanza and deserved it--after all, it was the
company's execs who pushed Colonial officials to extend an
invitation to Sorenstam.
PHIL MICKELSON From the start he was Annika's most eloquent
booster, rightly pointing out that the PGA Tour is for the best
MALE EGO Do men have physiological advantages that make the game
easier? No question, and the Colonial proved it, as 95 of the 110
gents in the field finished ahead of the LPGA's best player.
ANNIKA'S SHORT GAME Her only weakness was painfully exposed in
the exacting conditions and under the suffocating pressure.
Expect quick improvement from this tireless worker.
FRIDAY The emotional letdown was palpable among both Annika and
her fans, as she doinked trees, fluffed chips and made five
bogeys on the way to shooting 74 and missing the cut.
VIJAY SINGH While he was home licking his wounds, one creative
fan came up with a classic put-down: a hat that looked like a
chicken, scrawled with VIJAY on both sides
JULI INKSTER She roared to victory at the LPGA Corning Classic
with a closing 62, the equivalent of a tree falling in an
SUZY WHALEY With the novelty now gone, Whaley's star turn at
July's Greater Hartford Open will be a regional story, at best.
CBS The story was already old by the time the Tiffany Network
came on the air on Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday, CBS's
desperation was so acute it set Annika highlights to the strains
of Kelly Clarkson. Yikes!
NICK PRICE He found religion in the end, going out of his way to
compliment Sorenstam, but it will be his first, sour comments
MARK BROOKS, JOEL EDWARDS, BOB ESTES, KEVIN SUTHERLAND, CRAIG
PERKS, SCOTT MCCARRON These Tour winners will spend the rest of
their careers explaining how they got beat by a girl.
THE NEW MATH Justin Leonard blows a chance to shoot 59
GHOST OF HOGAN + THE 59 JINX + BAD YARDAGE + SECOND-GUESSERS
= [JUSTIN LEONARD]
Presidential Pep Talk
Former president George Bush had a telegram delivered to Annika
Sorenstam before the Colonial that was a perfect combination of
Texas brevity and Nike brio: "You can do it."
Sorenstam wore white pants for her first two rounds, leading to
the early front-runner for silliest question of the year.
Reporter: "Same pants as yesterday or different pair?" Sorenstam:
Stewart Cink had visions of another color: The day before the
tournament began his locker was adorned with a dozen black
balloons, a gift from a group of friends in honor of his 30th
J.J. Harper, the self-proclaimed One Man Klan who demonstrated at
the Masters against Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH
Coalition, was recently denied a permit to protest the LPGA's
all-female membership at July's U.S. Women's Open. The Department
of Land Use & Transportation for Washington County, Ore., cited a
lack of suitable open space outside the gates of Pumpkin Ridge
Golf Club. Says Harper, "It's a sad day in America when Annika
Sorenstam can bump a man out of a PGA Tour event and we're denied
the right to hold a peaceful protest about sex discrimination.
I'd like to hear what Martha Burk has to say about our struggle."
More Purring from Morris the Cat: Morris Hatalsky played
bogey-free golf en route to winning the 54-hole Columbus Southern
Open, the first time a Champions player has not made a bogey
while winning since Bruce Fleisher at the 1999 Transamerica.
VOTE AT GOLFONLINE.COM
THIS WEEK: Should Annika Sorenstam play in more PGA Tour events?
LAST POLL: Did Sorenstam play better or worse than you expected
at the Colonial?
--Based on 4,239 responses to our informal survey