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Annika Meets the Boys at Colonial [Finishes Day +1]
CBS Sports/USA Network and PGA.com ^ | May 22, 2003 | Jim Nantz

Posted on 05/22/2003 6:33:00 AM PDT by ewing

LPGA player Annika Sorenstam will be teeing off shortly in a men's PGA event at the Colonial Country Club [the first time in 60 years this has happened]

Live shot for shot coverage as long as she is in contention to make the cut on USA Networks, PGA Radio is free today for those cubicle bound and wanting live update (link included)


TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: annika; genderequity; gendershowboating; insecuremales; lpga; misogynists; pga; selfesteem; stuartsmalling
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The over under in Las Vegas is 76.5 strokes, a lot of 'wise guy' money game in late betting the over..
1 posted on 05/22/2003 6:33:02 AM PDT by ewing
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2 posted on 05/22/2003 6:36:07 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Give me the over baby! She'll be lucky to shoot 77!
3 posted on 05/22/2003 6:37:07 AM PDT by Mpatl
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4 posted on 05/22/2003 6:38:58 AM PDT by ewing
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To: Mpatl
Tiger said Annika shot 71 in a practice round last week at Colonial playing from the tips...
5 posted on 05/22/2003 6:39:49 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Okay, so what are tips?
6 posted on 05/22/2003 6:41:38 AM PDT by OldFriend (without the brave, there would be no land of the free)
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7 posted on 05/22/2003 6:43:36 AM PDT by ewing
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To: OldFriend
'Tips' are the very back tees, sometimes referred to as sprinklerheads, Blue Tees, Gold Tees..whatever designation your course uses
8 posted on 05/22/2003 6:44:50 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
I sure hope the LPGA starts inviting the men to play in their tournaments. That will make this a more equitable situation.
9 posted on 05/22/2003 6:45:40 AM PDT by TexasGunLover
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To: TexasGunLover
I want to play the LPGA Futures Tour! I could do some serious damage there..(with a Renee Richards operation)
10 posted on 05/22/2003 6:48:08 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Here ya go! From the Dallas Morning News:


TOM FOX / DMN

Annika Sorenstam won 11 tournaments
last year but says she's "looking for
ways to get better."


Driven: How Sorenstam rose to the occasion

05/22/2003

By BILL NICHOLS / The Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH – David Esch was working at Phoenix's Moon Valley Country Club in 1994 when he noticed Annika Sorenstam, a year out of college, hitting practice balls on the driving range.

With the LPGA in town, Esch was not particularly impressed with the young pro's swing, or overwhelmed by how far she hit the golf ball.

"Just a cute gal on the end of the range," Esch said.

Seven years later, Sorenstam, now Esch's wife, became the first woman to shoot a 59 in competition. And she pulled off the historic round at the same Moon Valley course. These days, Sorenstam's popularity is ascending to global proportions. The "cute gal on the end of the range" begins her swing at history Thursday at Colonial Country Club, the world watching the first woman in 58 years play a PGA Tour event.

That she will compete against the men at the Bank of America Colonial has created waves of interest and debate. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, the Today show and The Tonight Show. Her face has appeared on the cover of news, sports and fashion magazines, newspapers and even the supermarket tabloids.

The shy Swede who used to intentionally finish second in amateur events to avoid making victory speeches finds herself swirling in the center of the sports universe. Inquiring minds want to know everything about Annika, whose first-name recognition almost rivals that of the most famous male golfer.

"I'm in an environment I'm not really used to," she said. "I'm still overwhelmed. I can't believe all the attention, and it's funny that suddenly everybody is an expert on my game, and some of them have never seen me play."

Sorenstam's quest has transformed the quaint course along the Trinity River into a hotbed of activity. Hogan's Alley is practically drowning in a sea of mini-cams and sound bites. The tournament has issued 603 media credentials, up from 178 last year. Not even Tiger Woods garners this much attention.

With 43 LPGA victories, Sorenstam has made headlines throughout her career – but never anything resembling what she has generated since February, when she accepted a sponsor's invitation to Colonial.

Last year, she became the first player – man or woman – in 46 years to win 11 tour events in one season, also winning twice overseas. Her dominance left Sorenstam ready for a new challenge.

After Connecticut club pro Suzy Whaley qualified for the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open, which will be played in July, Sorenstam was asked by a reporter in January if she would ever consider playing against the men. She said she would jump at the chance.

A cause, only for others

Sorenstam's quest has been portrayed as a social cause. But she downplays its significance on those terms. She maintains she is not doing this to bolster the LPGA, or to shine a light on women, but wants only to see how she measures against the world's best.

Still, she has received more attention for this one week than for all her LPGA accomplishments.

"I'm looking for ways to get better," she said. "I believe inside that I can still be a better player. I figured this was really pushing me to work harder, to see if I can play my best game under really tough circumstances."

In becoming the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event since Babe Didrikson Zaharias at the 1945 Los Angeles Open, Sorenstam has received support and criticism.

PGA Tour player Vijay Singh has been the most outspoken against her, saying he would withdraw if he got paired with her and that he hoped she missed the cut. Singh softened his stance last week, but then announced after winning the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Irving that he would not play Colonial. He and other players said Sorenstam was taking a spot away from a man.

Knowing that some players do not want her here adds to Sorenstam's challenge. It seems daunting enough that Colonial's 7,080-yard, par-70 layout measures about 600 yards longer than most courses she plays.

"I'm proud of Annika for wanting to do that," said Patty Sheehan, a member of the LPGA Hall of Fame. "It's great for golf. It's great for little girls, that they can look up to Annika and strive to be as good as she is, to have the guts to do something like that. I mean, that takes a lot of guts."

It took a lot more than guts for Sorenstam to reach this stage. While growing up in Bro, Sweden, outside Stockholm, she excelled in tennis for eight years, downhill ski racing, volleyball and even badminton. Her younger sister, Charlotta, also plays on the LPGA.

Sorenstam swung to golf at age 12, playing amateur events and joining the Swedish national team in 1987. In 1992, she was the World Amateur champion, runner-up at the U.S. Women's Amateur and the second-best amateur at the U.S. Women's Open.

"I've slowly gotten used to her determination," said Pia Nilsson, former Swedish national team coach. "She was one of a group of maybe six junior girls in Sweden. All were promising, but she wasn't normal. When she was around 20 or so, something in her was even stronger, more stubborn, more disciplined. She has worked at nurturing her motivation."

Answering the challenge

Sorenstam was good enough to become the LPGA's top-ranked player, taking two U.S. Women's Open titles after winning LPGA rookie of the year in 1994. But even though she kept winning, rival Karrie Webb, with 13 victories over two seasons, replaced her as No. 1 in the LPGA rankings in 1999 and 2000.

After the 2000 season, Sorenstam decided to do everything she could to regain her throne.

She began a rigorous fitness program, adding muscle and agility to her 5-6 frame and gaining 20 to 25 yards off the tee. Soon, Sorenstam was overpowering her peers. She set or tied 30 LPGA records while winning eight times in 2001, becoming the first woman to surpass $2 million in single-season earnings. She followed with an 11-win season last year.

"She sets such high goals for herself, she just believes that anything is possible," said Liselotte Neumann, who took over from Nilsson in blazing the trail for Swedish golfers with 10 LPGA victories from 1988 to 1996. "She's not afraid of anything."

Sorenstam's intense drive separates her from others. Esch sensed that stubborn determination early in their relationship.

"Over the years, I've seen the commitment," he said. "When we first started dating, she told me I would have to understand that golf is No. 1 and if I was going to be her partner in life, I would be No. 2. A few years later, she changed that one for me."

Her workouts on the road sometimes draw a crowd, with people asking Esch why she doesn't do less during tournament week.

She became so interested in cooking that she spent six weeks last off-season working as a volunteer chef at her home course, Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. Going to culinary school is a dream of hers, something she plans to pursue when her playing days are over.

If they are snowboarding, Sorenstam wants to beat Esch. If they are playing a friendly game of golf, she wants to beat her husband. Cards and chess matches are hotly contested.

"We don't play chess anymore," Sorenstam said, laughing. "I lost the last time we played, and I don't know if we can find all the pieces. I don't like to lose."

Some fun on the side

Sorenstam's shyness and narrow-focused dedication often make her appear standoffish, even robotic.

But she also has fun donning the apron and creating Italian dishes from scratch, finding recipes for sauces and taking special care with the presentation.

"We have fun here and there," Esch said. "Practice and golf are fun to her, and since we've been going to the gym together, that's fun for us, too. Yeah, we're working, but we're enjoying it. It's not like we're committing to that and sacrificing everything else."

With the Hall of Fame selection already in her pocket, and little else left to prove on the LPGA, Sorenstam gives herself about two more years of fulltime playing. She and Esch would like to start a family.

Until then, she is working on things she can tell her grandchildren.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said. "I know it's going to be an historical week."

E-mail brnichols@dallasnews.com


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/latestnews/stories/052203dnspoannikasider.16999.html

11 posted on 05/22/2003 6:49:13 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: TexasGunLover
I thought they already did?? Whoops my mistake, thought they were "men"...
12 posted on 05/22/2003 6:49:58 AM PDT by eartotheground
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To: ewing
Does that mean the same tees the guys play from?

Also read that Anika and Tiger have the same agent so his touting her is based on something less than pure....LOL....it is a business after all!

13 posted on 05/22/2003 6:50:58 AM PDT by OldFriend (without the brave, there would be no land of the free)
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To: MeeknMing

14 posted on 05/22/2003 6:53:13 AM PDT by ewing
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To: eartotheground
I thought they already did?? Whoops my mistake, thought they were "men"...

That's my point... They wouldn't even tolerate it...
15 posted on 05/22/2003 6:53:54 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: ewing
She tee's off at around 9:45, I wonder if that is est?
16 posted on 05/22/2003 6:54:53 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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To: OldFriend
Correct, Tiger and Annika are both represented by IMG..the same firm and the 'tips' are usually much longer than the course normally plays-although Annika will be seeing tougher pin positions on average today then when she shot her 71.
17 posted on 05/22/2003 6:55:05 AM PDT by ewing
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To: 1Old Pro
I heard 9:58 AM EST.. didn't Jesper Parnivik say that Annika would shoot 75?
18 posted on 05/22/2003 6:56:34 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Man! Annika looks like a Mighty Mite! Have seen Parnevik play and he is not exactly a giant but is still a head taller than she is.

Oh well, sometimes the smaller players are the bigger hitters.
19 posted on 05/22/2003 6:58:40 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Rummyfan
Is Jesper like 6 feet 5 inches? Sergio looks more her size..
20 posted on 05/22/2003 6:59:48 AM PDT by ewing
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To: 1Old Pro
Annika tee time is 9:58 EDT....
21 posted on 05/22/2003 6:59:59 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: 1Old Pro
Her tee time is 8:58 CT, starting on the ninth hole.

per PGA.com
22 posted on 05/22/2003 7:00:05 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
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To: Rummyfan
I hear she just tee'd off, is anyone watching USA??
23 posted on 05/22/2003 7:01:03 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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To: ewing
I think he is just about six feet. Vijay or Els would make him look small.
24 posted on 05/22/2003 7:01:17 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: ewing
Prediction: Two respectable rounds in the mid 70's. Miss the cut.
25 posted on 05/22/2003 7:02:03 AM PDT by trad_anglican
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26 posted on 05/22/2003 7:03:09 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Do I detect just the hint of a mustache on her upper lip?

Does she have a little Italian in her, or just too much steroids?
27 posted on 05/22/2003 7:03:13 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: trad_anglican
For the record:

GOLF- Make your Annika score total prediction here. The big event starts tomorrow morning.

28 posted on 05/22/2003 7:03:50 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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To: 1Old Pro
On the fairway
29 posted on 05/22/2003 7:04:54 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Redbob
Registered already has a pic on the subject..
30 posted on 05/22/2003 7:06:09 AM PDT by ewing
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To: ewing
Tiger said Annika shot 71 in a practice round last week at Colonial playing from the tips...

I hear it's wet. Should hurt her off the tee but I hear it's a short layout. Softer greens should help her hold, seeing as she'll be using more club to get home.

I think many are underestimating her ability to post a low number, not to imply that she will.
31 posted on 05/22/2003 7:07:50 AM PDT by steve50
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To: ewing
Par for the first hole
32 posted on 05/22/2003 7:08:24 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: 1Old Pro
I'm watching it for a bit... Sickening how the announcers keep praising her... Sad day for golf, IMHO. She didn't have to qualify for this (I may be mistaken here), and she takes all of the attention away from all other golfers. So pathetic. I have to admit, I'm rooting for her to lose. Big time.
33 posted on 05/22/2003 7:08:30 AM PDT by NYC Republican
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To: Teacher317
Full Leaderboard

Tourcast, a fee service, is FREE today: watch every shot on the internet:

TOURCast- Every player, every hole Thursday at Colonial FREE

34 posted on 05/22/2003 7:09:45 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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To: NYC Republican
I'm in general agreement with you.
35 posted on 05/22/2003 7:10:23 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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To: steve50
Rumours were she was hitting 5 wood to one of the longer Par 4s yesterday..
36 posted on 05/22/2003 7:10:25 AM PDT by ewing
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To: Blueflag
OK, the 17th tee.
37 posted on 05/22/2003 7:11:17 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
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To: ewing
Rumours were she was hitting 5 wood to one of the longer Par 4s yesterday..

That's not encouraging. Guys throwing 6 and 7 irons at it?
38 posted on 05/22/2003 7:11:55 AM PDT by steve50
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To: 1Old Pro
TOURCast is getting slammed, can't get it to load that good here.
39 posted on 05/22/2003 7:12:14 AM PDT by jgrubbs
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To: NYC Republican
I really don't blame Annika - I blame the media - with their constant attempts to prove men and women are the same they turn things like this into a circus. Annika is doing what any competative person would want to do and that is challenge themselves.
40 posted on 05/22/2003 7:13:01 AM PDT by KSCITYBOY
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To: steve50
Fairway on tee shot of 10th, barely misses birdie, hits par
Fairway on tee shot of 11th...
41 posted on 05/22/2003 7:14:08 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: ewing
Why did you put 'genderequity' in the keywords? This has nothing to do with that, other than the media trying to create a style over substance divisive stir.

Reminds me of that Andy Griffith movie based on the book "Arkansas Traveler".

Maybe she can use a urinal while the press interviews her. Would prove just as much as her playing in this golf tournament(i.e., nothing but show).
42 posted on 05/22/2003 7:14:44 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: steve50
Conditions are wet..unforunatley that is like throwing darts for Sergio and Jesper
43 posted on 05/22/2003 7:14:47 AM PDT by ewing
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To: jgrubbs
Me neither and I was anxious to see how it worked. I guess it spots the ball where it is hit in real time for all players.
44 posted on 05/22/2003 7:14:50 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (The Dems are self-destructing before our eyes, How Great is That !)
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45 posted on 05/22/2003 7:16:50 AM PDT by ewing
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To: Teacher317
Well, you got me interested now. Going to have to go watch a few holes. Hope I don't get the bug to start playing again, these old knees won't stand it. lol
46 posted on 05/22/2003 7:17:12 AM PDT by steve50
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To: Teacher317
If she keeps hitting fairways and the right spots on greens, even par is a possiblity-the wet conditions will ensure the ball wont roll..
47 posted on 05/22/2003 7:18:26 AM PDT by ewing
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To: NYC Republican
She didn't ask for the attention. She wants to play golf. That's it. A person who plays at a certain level wants to keep challenging themselves and make it harder. The people who are pushed into it and keep winning with inferior foes become bored and drop out.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who loves a sport would want to play that sport in any venue they can.
48 posted on 05/22/2003 7:18:54 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: Teacher317
10th (par 4, 404 yds): On the fairway twice, barely misses birdie, hits par.
11th (par 5, 609 yds): On the fairway, second shot a bit short but on the fairway...

The 11th and the 1st holes are the only par 5's.

49 posted on 05/22/2003 7:19:11 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Diddle E. Squat
If she finishes 2nd she automatically gets a 2004 PGA Tour card..
50 posted on 05/22/2003 7:20:04 AM PDT by ewing
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