Sports Outside the Beltway

What’s tougher winning a Million dollars or a Major Championship?

Dave George at the Palm Beach Post thinks it’s the former.

WEST PALM BEACH — Can’t tell you who will win the LPGA’s first million-dollar jackpot Sunday afternoon, but figuring out who won’t is a cinch.

Ai Miyazato, Thursday’s first-round leader at the ADT Championship with a sweet 68, she’s toast.

Same goes for Il Mi Chung and Julieta Granada, two more hard-chargers from the tour’s international ranks, even though they barely missed grabbing the early lead themselves.

Oh, and here’s the part that may turn my newspaper photo into a dartboard around here. Boca Raton’s Morgan Pressel, an iron-willed tour rookie, and LPGA glamour girl Natalie Gulbis won’t be winning here, either, regardless of their early climb into the tournament’s top 10.

The logic is simple enough, if not exactly infallible.

No player who has yet to win an LPGA tournament can be expected to hold her nerves together Sunday afternoon with a cool million on the line.

All that talk about getting one putt for all the money on No. 18 is just talk. False bravado. Pure practice-green fantasy.

More likely, everyone will be gagging by the turn at No. 9, no matter how experienced. After that, one or two veterans, probably multiple-winners of major tournaments, will stumble forward into championship position, but even then it may be no prettier than Shaq shooting free throws at the NBA Finals.

Sorry, but that’s the spectacle the ADT’s new format provides, with fresh scorecards issued to the elite eight players Saturday night and a heart-racing Sunday sprint to the finish from there.

Mr. George who writes about LPGA golf or any golf all of two weeks out of the year, thinks of himself as an expert on the tours. Lets put that to rest right now.

*- As the ADT Leaderboard stands at present, 6 non-LPGA tour winners will make the cut to Saturday’s 16. That is out of a possible eight non-winners. At present Annika Sorenstam will miss the cut and Lorena Ochoa is on the cut line.

*- More importantly, Non-winners have won majors on the LPGA on a regular basis. Last year it was Birdie Kim and Jeong Jang. Birdie’s win may have been a fluke, but Jang was arguably the best non-winner on tour at the time. At present JJ is one of the 10-15 players on tour.

Don’t forget Se Ri Pak winning the 1998 LPGA for her first LPGA win either.

*- Miyazato and Chung have both been either player of the year or a top 3 money winner of respectively the JLPGA and KLPGA tours. Miyazato’s record of wins is more impressive, but as we all know the KLPGA is becoming almost an LPGA minor league. The talented players coming from that tour to the LPGA is as long as its talented.

Talented non-winners win major golf tournaments all the time. The ADT may be for more money, but a major like the US Open or LPGA is just as stressful or more so. Winning tournaments under alot of pressure is an regular happening on the LPGA. For both the great players like Pak, or unknowns like Hillary Lunke

Bottom line- Dave George is clueless about pro golf. He ought to stick to writing about the Dolphins and Marlins.

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