Annika at the Colonial: What do you think?

I was going to wait until next week to start this thread, but since Vijay Singh has made it a news issue I figured I’d start it now.

1. Should Annika be allowed to play at the Colonial next week

I’m perfectly OK with this. She’s on a sponsor’s exemption, and they should be able to do whatever they want with those slots. There are no by-laws against women playing in PGA events. It’s a good gimmick, and will probably draw more viewers. And it’s not she’s some schlock player. (Also, my girlfriend will probably not give me as much heat as she usually does for watching this tournament.)

2. Will Annika make the cut to play on Saturday?

I seriously doubt it. She’s great at hitting fairways and greens on the LPGA, but at the Colonial, she may hit the fairways, but she’s going to miss a lot of greens. While most of the men will be hitting short irons onto the greens, she’ll be hitting 3 or more club lengths more (5 iron vs 8 iron). And she’s just not that good around the greens (scrambling, sand saves, etc.). If she was real good at scrambling, I’d say she’d have a chance, but the rough is going to be thicker, the bunkers tougher, and the greens faster than what she’s used to.

I’d love to see her make the cut (even though I’ll lose some money on that), but I just don’t see it happening. I’m not a big follower of women’s golf, but it does seem that there are some young players coming up thru the ranks that may be able to accomplish this once they get some experience. These are players that have been at it since they were toddlers (Annika didn’t really start until her teens) and can hit it long, like the guys. Hell, maybe we’ll even see one get her tour card and be a regular player. I’d be all for it!

  1. Sure
    like you said, the sponsor’s can do whatever they want with their exemptions. They can fill them up with women, kids, one-armed golfers, Casey Martin in a cart, trained animals, whatever.
  2. No
    I anticipate the men are going to go low this week. And even a short men’s course is way longer than what the women play.

But I’m not all that interested either way. It is just a publicity stunt. How about some LPGA sponsors use their exemptions for some guys? Maybe amateurs, club pros, or pros off the satellite tour?

  1. It’s up to the sponsor to decide who plays. If they want to invite men, women, Martians, it’s up to them.

the larger question is whether or not it will “hurt the LPGA” if Sorenstam gets pounded. Personally, I think it’s a load of crap; in the long run nobody is going to care or even remember if Annika sorenstam fails to make the cut at a B-level tournament. Nobody remembers that Bobby Riggs defeated the world’s #1 ranked tennis player with ease when he was in his 50s. (Yes, he did. But you’d only heard about the match against Billie Jean King, right?) did that hurt women’s tennis? Not at all.

  1. It’s possible she’ll make the cut. Unlikely, perhaps, but in golf, you never know who’s going to have an on or an off day. I wouldn’t be as worried about the speed of the greens and the depth of the rough as I would be about the constant disadvantage of hitting longer clubs. You just can’t place the ball with the accuracy needed to win if you’re forced to play 3-4 clublengths behind on every shot.
  1. Sure she should. She’s gonna hit from the men’s tees, so fair’s fair.

  2. Probably not, but I’d still like to see it happen.

RickJay - I remember Riggs beating Margaret Court. It was on Mother’s Day in 1973, IIRC.

Dinsdale - I don’t think this is ‘just a publicity stunt’. It’s pretty clear that Annika has little if anything left to prove on the women’s tour. She needs to test herself against the next level of competition. Which happens to be the men’s tour.

As others have noted, the sponsors have a right to offer an exemption to anyone they like. So, if they want to give Annika a shot, swell.

That said, I don’t see her doing well, even though she’s picked a course that minimizes the importance of brute strength.

It goes without saying that all but a few of the top men drive the ball a lot farther than all but a few of the top women (yeah, the occasional Laura Davies can outdrive the occasional Corey Pavin). That’s not surprising. But what IS surprising is how much better the men tend to be at the short game.

Annika’s shorter drives won’t hurt her on this particular course, but I suspect her short game will cost her dearly. I don’t think she’ll play horribly, but I think there’ll be a LOT of VERY low scores, which means she’ll have to play the best two rounds of her life just to make the cut.

My guess? She won’t make the cut, but she’ll come out ahead of 15 or 20 guys, who will never live it down.


You’re right on about Annika. To a certain extent, the LPGA tour is too easy for her. Golf is a funny sport. I think that sooner or later there’s going to be a woman who can compete on the PGA tour, and Annika will probably be seen as a pioneer.

I’m happy to see her play. I hope she does well.

Yay, go Sweden! :slight_smile:

I’m glad she’s going to do this. I hope she kicks ass.

Randy: There are a number of Swedish guys on the Tour who are probably not too keen to be beaten. Fulke, Parnevik, Johansson, Pettersson immediately come to mind.

Astorian: I don’t think this course is particularly short, but it is narrow, IIRC, placing a higher premium on the accuracy/distance quotient. It’ll be interesting to see how she does against someone like Funk, who may not be able to outdrive her by much, if anything, but is a master on the men’s tour when it comes to accuracy.

John: I know, I know. But none of our guys got their own GD thread.

I’m rooting for her, but not because of her sex. I just hate the weiners on talk radio who act like she’s some sort of immoral person for even considering it.

Guys, it’s golf. It’s not like it’s a real sport or anything. :wink:


Oh-ho-ho-ho… jsgoddess you’re flirtin’ with 'pit territory there… :smiley: But, as for the OP, I hope she does well, but I guess more because I like watching her play. Is Vijay right. Yeah, a bit, because she is taking up a slot, but then again, it’s the sponsor’s dime, and he’s already got way more airplay for this tourney than even if Tiger had shown up. How will she do? Who knows. Like previously mentioned, she’s gonna have a heck of time stopping a 3-wood from 220 out on those greens, when some guys will be hitting 6-irons. The guys just generate more clubhead speed, which gets the ball higher and lands softer. She is an avid student of the game, she will come prepared. I think she will make the cut, but not finish anywhere near the top 20. To be honest, I’d rather watch her than Kirk “BucketHat” Triplett on Sunday.

Julie: I think I’ve taken your side in some debates in the past. Don’t expect any sympathy in the future. As far as I’m concerned, your arguments will be stuck in a sand trap.:slight_smile:

Sorry. As a baseball fan, I take my share of ribbing.

Really though, I can’t understand Singh’s argument. Who’s “spot” is she taking? Is a sponsor’s slot generally filled with a deserving pro who wasn’t eligible for the tournament? An amateur or celebrity golfer? I don’t know enough about how the PGA works to say if his argument is bogus, but on the surface, it sounds like it.

And since we’re not even talking the first woman to play on the tour, I really don’t get it. My understanding is that Singh is a good enough golfer that he would be in no real danger of losing to her, so that motivation is out.


Well, she’s not the first woman, but she’s only the second, IIRC. The sponsor’s exemption usually goes to a guy-- that was Singh’s point. There are guys who’d kill to play on the PGA tour. And there is the sticky point that the LPGA expressly forbids men to play on that tour. I think Vijaywould think differently if Annika actually QULIFIED to play in the tournament. Another woman (club pro) is playing at the Hartfor Open later this summer, but she actually qualified (hitting from the women’s tees), so that’s a bit different, I guess.

Heh. Vijay’s just jealous because she’ll probably hit more fairways than he will, and he’s a range rat.

But yeah, I’d be surprised (and happy) if she makes the cut.

Should she play: no. She should have to qualify. The whole “Sponsor’s Exemption” thing in FUBAR. You should have to qualify to play in the event.

Will she make the cut: no. Again, having to play 3 or 4 clubs behind everyone else will kill her.

That one bothered me a lot more, really. Whatever loophole let that woman qualify for a men’s tournament from the women’s tees is…well, pretty damned stupid, IMHO.

I was hoping that with Annika playing in the Colonial, that woman club pro would have the courtesy to back out of the Hartford Open, where she clearly doesn’t belong.

Funny, I never hear any uproar when Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer are given sponsors exemptions to various tournaments even though we know they have no chance of winning the tournament and are taking the spot of someone more “qualified.”

Go Anika. I hope she wins the damn thing.