Golfers Speak Out About Annika's Effort

By: Jenny Rabin
By: Jenny Rabin

Annika Sorenstam will become the first woman in nearly 50 years to compete in a PGA tournament.

Her invitation to the Colonial has sparked enormous controversy amongst both male and female golfers.

The Colonial is going to be one of the most scrutinized golf tournament's in quite some time. Nearly 600 media credentials have been issued for the event - that is four times the amount normally issued.

The reason for all the extra media attention?

Tomorrow, Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman to compete on the PGA tour since Babe Zaharias competed back in 1945.

Her ears were definitely burning as Annika Sorenstam took her last practice round out at the Colonial Country Club today. In her efforts to become the first woman in nearly sixty years to play in a PGA event, Annika has withstood a firestorm of controversy.

"The women are trying to jump in on the men's bandwagon because there's more money there," says Denise Bratzler, an golf instructor of Chix with Stix. "There's more media coverage so why don't we figure out a way to make the LPGA more appealing to people," she says.

Said Dustin Hall, a D'Andrea Golf Club employee, of Sorentam's efforts: "It's almost an insult to the LPGA tour because she's saying she's too good for them."

A member of the LPGA, Pam Whalen said: "Since she was brought in for sponsor's exemption and she took a spot away from a gentleman who's working very hard to make it. She already got the LPGA locked up so why does she need to go to the PGA."

Sorenstam says she's going to the PGA to test herself - and test herself she will.

The course is 700-yards longer and much tougher than any course she's ever played on the women's tour.

"She's the best player in the world - femalewise - she's just trying to improve her game - more power to her," says golfer Brett Wilson.

Another golfer, Mike Earle, says: "If you can qualify you should be able to play. It doesn't matter who you are. I mean, it's a game, think about it."

Sorenstam didn't have to qualify for the Colonial but everyone we spoke with today agreed that if she can qualify for a PGA event, she should be allowed to play.

The question is - will she qualify? Will she make the 36-hole cut and live to play this weekend?

Most everyone we spoke to this afternoon had an opinion.

If you're wondering about Sorenstam's chances, the sports books in Vegas show her chances of winning the Colonial at 500-to-one and her odds of making the cut are four-to-one.

You can register your vote on our Web site. Click on the "sports" icon and answer the poll question there.


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