Sorenstam wants to shoot with men

Liam Murphy

Eleven LPGA titles in one year were not enough for Annika Sorenstam. The best women’s golfer of all time will now try her skills in a May PGA tournament, The Colonial, and I am not too sure why.

It doesn’t make that much sense to me. Why is it that she wants to play with the men? Trish Juhline and Katie Davis can no doubt play ball, but you don’t see them trying out for Jay Wright’s backcourt, do you? Why do women always want to compete against men? We don’t see any male athletes asking to play in the LPGA. High school field hockey is the only thing I can think of where men try to play in a female sport, (I respect the fact that in other countries it’s a men’s sport, but when in Rome …)

Sorenstam has said that the course at The Colonial is one that fits to her game. She also said she would have no chance at 90 percent of the courses that the PGA plays. Does she really think she has a chance in this tournament? A chance at winning, I mean. Yeah, she might make the cut after Friday’s round, but she can’t honestly think she has a chance at winning.

In Tiger’s first tournament back since knee surgery he won the Buick by four strokes. I think it’s going to be a little more difficult then Sorenstam thinks it’s going to be to succeed in her first men’s tournament.

Sorenstam’s average driving distance ranks her atop the women’s game, but in comparison to the men she is far below the top 100 players off the tee. Experts say this will not factor all that much into 7,080-yard course, but I disagree. When other players are hitting a more accurate 3-wood or 2-iron off the tee, Sorenstam will have to hit driver in order to stay close. I hope for her sake she hits her driver more accurately then the big Lefty does, Phil Michelson. Drives into the rough or first cut will not help in an already tough situation.

Tiger said that Sorenstam playing in a men’s tournament is great, but will be only good for women’s golf if Sorenstam is successful. What is successful in this case? What is it that we expect from her? This isn’t Billie Jean King versus some no name (Bobby Riggs for those who do not remember) in a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. Golf isn’t a one on one event like tennis is. There is going to be more then one good player she has to compete against. King thinks Sorenstam is going to do fine, 30 years after King won her match. Times are different now though, Billie. You played your battle of the sexes match to gain exposure to women’s sports, and you succeeded in doing so. Without that match, women’s sports would probably not be where they are today.

But if media exposure and more press for women’s golf is what Sorenstam is after, then I disagree with what’s going on here (me writing about this topic is sort of ironic, don’t you think?). The game we are talking about here is golf, mind you. Men watch golf because they want to see how bad Tiger is going rout the rest of the field, not because it keeps us on the edge of our seat.

According to USA Today, the amount of viewers of this past weekend almost doubled from what the average was prior to Tiger’s return. Sorenstam in a men’s tournament is not going to boost ESPN’s coverage of an LPGA event.

There is no doubt Sorenstam is the best women’s golfer in the world. No one is arguing that. But what’s next in this line of ridiculousness? Lisa Leslie going up against Shaq in “The Battle of Los Angeles,” Diana Taurasi taking over the point for an injured Taliek Brown at UConn, or Mia Hamm in a Manchester United jersey?

Who knows, maybe a female player is what the Eagles need to finally get to that Super Bowl. What is Sorenstam trying to prove here? We already know that she is the best at what she does, so why try to change that legacy?

Jack Nicklaus, who joins Tiger as the two best golfers in the history of the game, said that Sorenstam has not seen greens like the ones she will see at the Colonial. I think Sorenstam needs to take a look at what these two are saying. Let me paraphrase what the two best golfers ever really mean.

It’s great that she’s trying, but honestly, she has no chance.

Like I said, I don’t really get it. I don’t understand why she is playing in a PGA event. Perhaps, the experience might make her a better golfer, maybe even a better person.

I think I would be happy with my record 11 titles in one year.