William K. WolfrumThis Week at TravelGolf.com: June 27, 2006

Fans, LPGA and media all need a victory
from Annika Sorenstam in the U.S. Open

As the U.S. Women's Open Championship comes upon us, it's time for Annika Sorenstam to do something. And not just for herself.

Sorenstam's career is already praiseworthy but being the driven competitor she is, you just know she can't be satisfied with a season that's seen few successes and multiple disappointments. And she can't be satisfied being lost at No. 6 on the LPGA money list.

It is odd to see Sorenstam struggle, after all, this was a woman who was focused on winning a "SorenSlam" last year. Her performance this year, however, has had newspapers deem that she's in a "SorenSlump."

Still, it appears that the LPGA needs a Sorenstam comeback even more than Annika does. Half the LPGA tournaments this year have been won by South Korean golfers, who balance their imposing skills with virtually no personality whatsoever.

Lorena Ochoa has been a great story thus far for the LPGA, leading the money list and playing with a consistency normally only displayed by Annika. But Ochoa's popularity, while growing, keeps her from garnering the media attention a player of her quality deserves. The same goes for the LPGA's other breakout star in 2006, Karrie Webb. While Webb is a proven champion, she's also someone who values her privacy and avoids the limelight.

But this was supposed to be the year that the young guns began challenging Sorenstam. While Michelle Wie has done her part by contending at the few tournaments the LPGA has consented her to play, players like Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel have been routinely mediocre. They are challenging Sorenstam, sure, but for 18th place.

Which is why fans and the LPGA need a Sorenstam comeback. She's not riddled with charisma or anything, but she's definitely the type of player who looks good as the front runner. Plus, fans just seem to love a dynasty, and that's what Sorenstam brought to the table.

You can have a dozen advanced marketing degrees from Cornell, but there's no way on earth you'll make Jeong Jang or Mi Hyun Kim a star. Or even get anyone to remember their names.

What it comes down to is this: The U.S. Women's Open Championship is coming and Annika Sorenstam needs to win it. For herself, for her fans, for the media and for the LPGA.

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.



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Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno River Rafting on WhitewaterA good splash: Whitewater rafting
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You can't go far without stumbling across a river in the High Sierra region that runs from Lake Tahoe to Reno, and a few of them offer world-class whitewater rafting. You can easily play a morning round at Coyote Moon Golf Course - a track that's almost as much a show-stopper as the renowned Edgewood Tahoe - and get to the Truckee in time a pre-lunch run down the Truckee River, writes West Coast Bureau Chief Chris Baldwin.

Also: Reno-Tahoe Sierra region defies stereotypes with fun courses, more



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WG PodcastRon Garl's new Great Wall of
China, Elliott Kalb on the best
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Architect Ron Garl talks about the extraordinary lengths being taken on a project he's designing in China. Think: New Great Wall! And Traverse City, Mich. is offering some appealing golf/travel packages. Host Dave Berner tells how he got to design his own golf hole. Author Elliott Kalb talks about his book, "Who's Better, Who's Best In Golf." It's not too early to tab Tiger tops, Kalb says.

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Ring ArtGolf and marriage: Match play
can bring couples together

The 2000 U.S. Open changed my marriage - and my life - for good. Before that, I hated golf and how we competed for my husband's attention. Now I'm a golfer and in our marriage, golf is the primary connection point. Excuse me for getting all Dr. Phil on you, but this kind of togetherness is a good thing. I don't know how non-golfing couples survive.

Also: All golfers are not created equal (men cheat)


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