*- The US Women’s Golf Open ended in a tie yesterday. Pat Hurst and Annika Sorenstam both finished at 284 even par for four rounds. An 18-hole playoff will begin in a few minutes.
What can be said about this playoff? On paper, it looks like a rout. Annika is the best golfer on tour, and arguably the best player in LPGA history with over 60 career victories including 9 major championships. Pat Hurst is a grinder or journeywoman with 4 tour victories, one of which was a major championship.
These two golfers have some history together. In 1997 Annika beat Pat in a playoff at the ITT LPGA Tour Championship. In 2000 they faced one another in a team match at the Solheim Cup. Annika chipped the ball in on one hole and then was made to do it again when the American team said she played out of turn.
So what is my prediction? My personal favorite is Pat, I don’t want to see the ‘Evil One’ win this one. Pat is one of the Moms on tour, she has two small children. Other than Juli Inkster she is arguably the best playing Mother on tour.
Pat has been a consistent player. She has finished in the top 30 money winners every year from 1996-2005 except 1999 and 2002. Those were the years Pat gave birth to her son and daughter.
Unfortunately both players records make this an easy pick. Not just because Annika has over 60 wins vs Pat’s four, but for Hurst’s record of choking.
She is 0-3 in Playoffs lifetime.
The 2005 Wendy’s Championship saw Pat double bogey the 18th hole to lose after coming to the 18th tee tied for the lead.
The 2003 Longs Drugs saw Pat also double bogey 18 when a par won and a bogey tied. Hurst four putted the last hole from 60 feet.
The 2006 LPGA where if Pat had played the last 28 holes in par she would have won the tournament.
A tournament in 2001(Office Depot in CA?) where Pat blew a big Sunday lead.
That makes it an easy choice- Annika Sorenstam 71 Pat Hurst 75
*- If anyone doubted if Se Ri Pak’s return to form was genuine, the US Open should have expunged these thoughts. Se Ri finished tied for 3rd yesterday. The Queen of South Korean golf is certainly back.
*- Jeong Jang at 18 in yesterday’s 3rd round. She definitely double hit the ball. There is no way that ball turned right without the help of JJ’s golf club. The USGA made the right call.
Update- Annika 70, Pat 74. I had the margin exactly right and only one stroke off the player’s scores. It was no contest, a birdie-bogey start put Hurst in a hole she never got out of.
The playoff went very quickly, finishing in a little over three hours. The 2003 Lunke-Stanford-Robbins playoff took five hours.
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