ANNIKA SORENSTAMwill not need surgery on the ruptured and herniated disks in her neck, but shewill miss at least four to six weeks while rehabbing the injuries. The No. 1player in the world had been suffering pain for the past few weeks, and it gotsevere enough that after her April 11 practice round and press conference forthe Ginn Open, Sorenstam went to see a doctor, who made the diagnosis. The nextday she flew to Miami to consult a neurosurgeon. On Monday, Sorenstam, 36,opened her Annika Academy at Reunion, near Orlando, where her first student wasHootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker. She hopes to be back on thecourse for the tournament she hosts, the Ginn Tribute, which begins on May 31in Mount Pleasant, N.C. What does all this mean in the bigger picture? It looksas if Kathy Whitworth's record is safe. Sorenstam, who has 69 career wins, hadbeen gunning for Whitworth's LPGA standard of 88 victories.
• THE CLASS of2007 is in. Curtis Strange and Hubert Green will be inducted into the WorldGolf Hall of Fame in September. Green, 60, who won 19 times, including the 1977U.S. Open at Southern Hills and the 1985 PGA Championship at Cherry Hills, andplayed on three Ryder Cup teams, was chosen by the selection committee in theveterans category. Strange, 52, won 17 tournaments, including back-to-back U.S.Opens in 1988 and '89, and played in five Ryder Cups. He also captained the2002 U.S. team. Strange was elected on the PGA Tour ballot. They will likely bejoined by Se Ri Pak, who has met the LPGA's qualifications for entry but needsto complete her 10th season to be eligible, which she'll do by making 10 startsthis year. If Laura Davies wins twice more, she will also qualify.
• NANCY LOPEZ,50, began her comeback at the Ginn Open, and although she has lost 40 poundsand has been practicing for a year, it looks as if she still has some work todo. Lopez (below) shot 83--80 and finished last, but she presumably understoodhow difficult a task she was taking on. Beth Daniel is the LPGA's oldestwinner, having triumphed at the 2003 Canadian Women's Open at age 46. Lopez,who has 48 career victories, hasn't won since the 1997 Chick-fil-A CharityChampionship and now does not have a top 10 in 73 straight starts.
• TWO WEEKS agoDavis Love III was one of the players opining on the extreme difficulty of7,445-yard Augusta National, but a week later the Nationwide tour trekked toKinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga., a track notable for being thelongest to host a PGA Tour--sanctioned event. So who laid out the 7,781-yardmonster? You guessed it: Love's company, Love Golf Design. But the 7,781 numbermight be deceiving. The course has multiple tees per hole and "probablydidn't play much over 7,500," Love said.
April 22, 2007
• SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME Rick Butch.
• Read InsideGolf by Gary Van Sickle at GOLF.com.
KEY STAT 22.5
Average age of the LPGA's six winners so far this year.
Beat the tax man at this historic Maryland escape
WHAT: Upland Golf Club
WHERE: Denton, Md.
COST: $7.6 million
THE HOOK: Club logo is a coat of arms designed for theKenton family. In 1685 William Kenton moved to the area from a Quakersettlement in Virginia because his religion barred him from paying taxes tosupport the Anglican church. In 1709 his son purchased the land that becameknown as Upland. The course, built in 2002, is a 6,635-yard par-71.
FRINGE BENEFIT: The new owner won't have to pay taxesto support the Anglican church either.
"Put a little water on the greens and bring backthe noise." --PEPPER MILL, PAGE G24
Two days after Australia advanced to the semifinals of the cricket World Cup,Peter Lonard, a Sydney native, joined an impromptu match after robust galessuspended the final round of the Heritage.