Annika Sorenstam's free pass shows no one really cares about the LPGA Tour
Yet Annika Sorenstam muddles through a season, meekly cedes the Player of the Year title to Lorena Ochoa, losses more award streaks than an old home run hitter in the steroids era ... and practically no one says a word about it.
Can you imagine if Tiger saw a five-peat Player of the Year award run end? If another player doubled Tiger's victory total for the season? The words Tiger Slump would be flying around so quickly that his head would be spinning and Butch Harmon would be grinning.
When Sorenstam's dominant reign ends it's not even the lead story in golf, let alone a blip in the overall sports world. American Idol fame fader Clay Aiken can make thousand times more news by putting his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth.
Part of this is due to the fact that it's Sorenstam, the champion nobody cares about.
But it also shows how little the LPGA still matters.
Sure, Wie draws interests (in large part because her handlers promised she would revolutionize the game, only to forget that pesky winning part). Other youngsters like Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel have their diehard backers, many there because they simply want to root for a golfer who hasn't been handed everything.
But you don't find many overall fans of the LPGA like you will with the PGA Tour, which let's face it, isn't exactly NASCAR itself. Where are the LPGA fans obsessed with their tour's Chris DiMarco equivalent?
That's a silly question when you consider that the undisputed top player in several generations cannot quicken anyone's pulse. Sorenstam went from averaging 8.6 wins per year for five years straight - never winning less than six tournaments in a year - to three wins (including one major) this season. She didn't play in one late-season event when she had a chance to pressure Ochoa, and she missed the cut in the season-ending ADT Championships.
And nobody noticed. Your loss, LPGA.
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