In an All-Access Pass column earlier this year, TravelGolf.com senior editor ShaneSharp went on record against Annika Sorenstam's bid to play on the PGATour, suggesting she "take her sideshow somewhere else." WithSorenstam's debut set for May 22-25 at the Colonial in Texas, we asked readers to offer their opinion of Sorenstam becoming the first woman to participate on the PGATour since 1945. A sampling of the comments follow below.
If the truth be known, Annika did more harm than good for the game of golf.
- Frank W. Lisk, via email
Oh, my goodness. I can't believe all the crazy hype andinsanity that has been expressed by one simple invitation. Ok, first forthoseof you who don't know the history: A gal named (Suzy) Whaley in the Midwest qualified last year to play in a PGA event. So, the PGA Tour commissioner thought,wellhey, if she's going to play, why don't we invite the very best woman to play first. So, a handful of invitations were extended by the PGA to Annika (who is indisputably the best female golfer around right now) and she accepted.Period.End of story. She accepted the invitation and whew, you'd think she "askedfor"all the ensuing whiplash she received. She said (over and over) that she wasoutthere to see how she faired against the best tour and best players in theworld.
So, if anyone who has chosen to slam her in the press, or accuse her oftryingto degenderize America, or trying to say she took a paycheck away fromsomeone -would just stop all the chatter for a brief moment and READ. Read the pastarticles, read her comments and let it rest. She is a good person, a greatgolfer and she is human. I played for UCLA opposite Annika in college, andjustlooking at the recent photos of her show me the stress and scrutiny she'sbeenunder - all because she accepted an invitation to play against the bestgolferson the best tour. It was personal test, not a political statement. Soplease,let it rest.
- Kristyl Cornell, Riverside, Calif.
Let her play. The fact is on a short course, there's noreason a skilled female player can't compete with men. Just keep it inperspective -- she can't compete at the Masters or at Bay Hill or on the otherlong and really tough courses of the men's tour. Would you consider Mark Brooksa contender at Augusta? Of course not. But he can win on the shorter coursesrequiring accuracy and great putting. It's a no win for the men and a no losefor the women. if she does well it's a big deal. if she doesn't, it's no bigdeal.
- Nick Aramino, via email
I love Annika to death, but since she gets to play with themen, who is going to be the lucky man to play with the women? I think the womenwould have a fit if a male golfer were to play with them. Unfortunately, men and women shouldnot be competing with each other on aprofessional level due to physical capabilities. And I don't mean to soundsexist....any of those women can beat me.
- Shane Barger, Virginia Beach
I think Vijay has sorely missed the point and forgotten where his paycheck comesfrom. Without sponsors, his checks would be considerably smaller. Instead ofsupporting the last guy in from the PGA, he should throw some support towardsthose who help pay his way.
- Ryan Daiger, MacRo, Ltd.
I believe anyone should be allowed to play on the PGA touruntil they rename in the MPGA. If she can compete using the same rules and teeboxes, let her. Do we need three tours to accomodate the men who are unable tocompete with Annika in an unrestricted tour?
- Jeff Engelhardt, via email
Say what you want about Vijay Singh's comments regardingAnnika's participation at the Colonial. When Vijay can "conveniently" win theByron Nelson so he has a good excuse not to play at the Colonial, HE IS NOT JUSTGOOD, HE IS GREAT! What a perfect way to shut everyone up! I hope he enjoys hisweek off away from the stupid media and Annika - and drinks champagne from histrophy while he counts his million dollars. Touche' Vijay!
- Neville Cramer, McLean, Virginia
I deplore the insistence of some people to genderneutralize this country (Augusta, etc.), and truly believe in the separation ofthe men's and women's golf tours, but if Annika has the guts to run with the bigdogs, more power to her. To the men? Go out there and show them why there aretwo separate tours!
- William Bramblett, via email
Sorenstram does not belong on the men's tour. Herpresence in the Colonial has cost a man his opportunity to earn a living thisweek. The LPGA does not allow men, the PGA tour should not allow women to entertournaments either. I am not against women playing golf or anything else. Annikawill not be able to compete. I believe that her iron play will be thedifference. She will be hitting 4 or 5 while the men will be hitting 7 or 8.There will be a hugh difference in accuracy.
- Kelly Leonard, via email
Although I admire her talent and her courage, I am againsther quest to play against the men. It seems somewhat selfish and somewhat of abetrayal to her LPGA family. What does it gain if she plays well? An open doorfor all women to play PGA events? Why harm a great organization and dilutenature? And if she plays less well than her male co-players? Then shepotentially harms the growth and status of her LPGA family. I see nothing goodas an outcome.
- Penny Dunovsky, via email
Vijay Singh, the new Colin Montgomery! I say pair Annika with Vijay inthe Colonial so he can take his clubs and go home. I wonder if Hoch ever heardof Bobby Riggs? He too was an elitist pompous ass!
- Steve Kink, via email
After recent comments by Mr. Singh, I only hope Annika kicks his sarong covered ass!
- Robert Perry, via email
I believe that any negative comments about Annika playingin the Colonial are coming from a person that does not think that women areequal. Are some of the golfers afraid that she might show them up? I don'tbelieve that she can keep up with some of the golfers but believe that she willmake a decent showing.
- Howard Elgart, via email
I admired Anika's comments until she stated on "60 Minutes"that "It is hard to get motivated when you have won 13 tournaments." I foundthis remark somewhat inappropriate. Wonder what motivates Tiger? Or better yetJack, Bobby, The Babe and some of the other all-time greats.
- Janice Orum, via email
It was done in 1945; what's the big deal? She just wants to try it. She is a very nice lady andshould be treated so.
- Carol Boyer, via email
I think it is wonderful that this woman is so good at hergame that she can challenge the very best of male golfers at theirs. Thesingle ability women lack is the power to hit the ball a long way. Their shortgame and putting skills are second to none. It will be interesting to see howAnnika does during the tournament. I hope she can bring her A game.
- David Harrison, via email
It's unfortunate she was given a sponsor's exemption. I feel she should have had to "play" her way into a tournament.
- Charles Tapp, via email
She can't win. The only reason Annika Sorenstam isplaying is to get an idea on how big the separation is, and of course thepublicity. She should be satisfied to be the best women's player, period.
- Thomas Grove, via email
Wish Annika the best of luck but think she would do morefor the game of LPGA by concentrating there. She is a cute gal and a great golfer.
- Al Stump, via email
Annika is setting another goal for herself by competingagainst the PGA tour. I wish her well, and hope that many youngsters watch thetournament. It shows confidence at its highest level.
- Shirley Estabrooks, Estabrooks Havencrest Inc
I think the Sorenstam thing is a sideshow like the BillyJean King v. Bobby Riggs match. It will prove nothing. There are women who couldplay in the PGA and PGA pros who couldn't make it in the LPGA.
- Larry Hannah, via email
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!