Liftoff for the LPGA It was all Annika all the time during a great year for women's golf. Here's our take on her highs and lows, plus all the other subplots

December 01, 2003

WINNERS

MEG MALLON With five back-nine birdies on Sunday, the 17-year vet
stole the ADT Championship, the LPGA's season finale. Along the
way Mallon trumped a brutal course and upended the 54-hole leader...

ANNIKA SORENSTAM O.K., so she let one get away. Ms. 59 still won
six times this year and took her third straight money title.

SE RI PAK The six-year vet earned the Vare Trophy for low scoring
average (70.03), part of a strong year that included three
victories and five second-place finishes.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM The only hole in her Hall of Fame resume was a
relative lack of majors, but she bagged two this year, including
a thrilling Women's British Open title that completed her career
Grand Slam.

GRACE PARK More than a pretty face? You betcha. The 24-year-old
had a breakthrough year, tying the tour record for rounds in the
60s (46) and finishing third on the money list.

SOPHIE GUSTAFSON As usual, the Swede was a force in Europe,
winning three times, but in an important career development she
won in the States for the first time since 2001. This greatly
pleased her beau...

ANNIKA SORENSTAM Playing on her home soil, she led Europe to the
Solheim Cup with a 4-1 record and a series of amazing clutch
shots, a performance that would have been her high point in any
other year.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM As much as she accomplished on the LPGA tour
this year, funny that it took a sojourn to the PGA Tour to make
her a star.

LOSERS

...ANNIKA SORENSTAM In a rare lapse, she bogeyed the 72nd hole,
her last miscue as she blew a three-stroke lead. Of course, she
did have pinkeye, which forced her to play without her contacts
for two rounds.

TIGER WOODS With a mere five W's and a bitter second-place finish
in the money race, he was easily outclassed by Annika.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM Her scoring average was nearly a stroke lower
than Pak's, but she was 10 rounds short of the required 70 to
qualify in the official standings.

HILARY LUNKE She prevailed at the best LPGA tournament of the
year, the U.S. Women's Open, but has done nothing since to dispel
the notion that the win was a fluke, failing to finish better
than 17th.

MICHELLE WIE The then 13-year-old's tie for ninth at the Nabisco
was the most outrageous performance of the season, but she looked
burned out by the end of a year in which she flew an absurd
70,000 miles.

... TY VOTAW The LPGA commissioner's love life has left him
vulnerable to criticism, and when Gustafson was absolved in a
rules flap at the Samsung, there was squawking that Votaw's
influence was a factor.

ERNIE ELS Playing on his home soil, he couldn't lead the
Internationals to victory at the Presidents Cup, despite a 4-1
record and a series of amazing clutch shots.

VIJAY SINGH "She doesn't belong out here"? Pal, Annika sold more
tickets in a week than you did all year.

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK (TOP LEFT) Sorenstam was this year's star... COLOR PHOTO: CHARLES W. LUZIER/REUTERS (TOP RIGHT) ...but she blew it last week. B/W PHOTO: BETTMANN/CORBIS (CARNAC) COLOR PHOTO: NEAL PRESTON/CORBIS (ROBBINS) COLOR PHOTO: RON SANFORD/CORBIS (EAGLE) COLOR PHOTO: SHAWM THEW/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (KISSINGER) COLOR PHOTO: STUART HAMILTON/GETTY IMAGES (TROPHY)

TRUST ME
Forget all the self-congratulatory b.s.--that cockamamy Prez Cup
tie was cooked up because no one wanted to play on Monday,
especially for free. The good of the game? Give us a winner.

THE NEW MATH
Nicklaus's and Player's haggling results in a Prez Cup tie

(NICKLAUS + PLAYER) x WINGING IT + DIPLOMACY = [Prez Cup tie]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)