Sports Outside the Beltway

2008 LPGA Tour Preview

The US Ladies Professional Golf Tour has their season opener beginning tomorrow at the SBS Open. Paula ‘The Pink Panther’ Creamer is the defending champion.

I was credentialed to online report the 2007 season-ending ADT Championship last November. Lorena Ochoa won by two shots. Coming off two years in a row of being the LPGA’s leading money winner will Lorena be again at the top of the money list when the 2008 season is over?

Will Annika Sorenstam come back from her injury plagued 2007?

Who will be the top American golfer? Paula Creamer, defending US Open Champ Christie Kerr, or will it be someone else?

Are veterans Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst in the decline phase of their careers?

Will Suzann Pettersen have her second big year in a row or was 2007 an anomaly?

How many tournaments will the Korean players win this year?

Who will be rookie of the year?

What will Michelle Wie do in 2008?

My answers

1- Ochoa repeats as the #1 money winner and player of the year.

2- Annika wins again but is far being from the dominant player she was a few years ago.

3- Creamer will be the #1 American money winner for 2007.

4- Juli is 48, Pat has two school age children. Both didn’t play that well in 2007. I think both Pat and Juli have seen their best years already. If one of them were to re-emerge it will be Pat. Juli is 48 years old.

5- Suzann is a good player, but IMHO 2007 was way over her head. I’m predicting a dropoff this year, right out of the top 10. Feel free to remind me how wrong I was if Suzann does otherwise.

6- The South Koreans will win 6 tournaments this year. Good question, how do you classify Angela Park? She is of Korean heritage, but born in Brazil and grew up in the US. Angela is an American in my book.

7- This is a weak rookie class. Momoko Ueda gets the nod because of her victory at last year’s Mizuno.

8- Michelle will have a much improved 2008 and will contend in several tournaments but not win. I also predict Michelle to announce her intention to begin playing professional golf full-time in 2009.

Other predictions-

Karrie Webb wins a tournament after an off 2007.
At least of the Korean players takes home a major. It could well be Ji-Yai Shin.
Ai Miyazato breaks through to win her first LPGA event.

Taking after Golf columnist Ron Sirak, plus bloggers Hound Dog and The Constructivist, I will list my top 30 for 2008. They are under the fold.


Annika Sorenstam winless for 2007

I would never have predicted it, and I’m not one of the Swede’s biggest fans. 2007 is the first year since 1994 that Annika ended a LPGA campaign without at least one triumph.

After being knocked out of the playoff for the 16th spot, Annika was asked if it was frustrating that she played well but didn’t qualify. She replied-

I’ll get over it. I’ll be back.

She’ll be back, but I think Annika may never climb to the world’s #1 again. There is just too much competition on the LPGA Tour.


Handicapping the ADT

The ADT tees it up this morning. Here is how I break down the 32 player field.

Top tier favorites- Suzann Pettersen, Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb

On past performance here and who is playing well this year, these are the five most likely

The Koreans or why they just don’t seem to play well at Trump International- Over the last five ADTs, Soo Yun Kang came the closest to winning the event in 2005 finishing second. Il Mi Chung did have a piece of the lead on the back nine last year but wilted.

There are 8 South Koreans in the field, plus two other players of Korean heritage(Angela Park and Christina Kim). I have a hard time seeing one of them winning, though based on their records this year, I can’t avoid making some of them second tier choices.

Second tier favorites- Se Ri Pak, Paula Creamer, Jeong Jang, Morgan Pressel, Laura Davies

Dark horses- These are the people I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they won Sunday even though they’ll hardly get a mention from others

Brittany Lincicome
Seon Hwa Lee
Angela Stanford
Jee Young Lee

Angela since the Jamie Farr has had only two non top 15 finishes. A missed cut and a T39th.

Jee Young is coming off a T6, T18 and a T9 in her last three outings. She has played well all year.

The in betweeners- Catorina Matthew, Natalie Gulbis, Mi Hyun Kim, Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Jee Young Lee, Stacy Prammanasudh, Angela Park, Maria Hjorth, Seon Hwa Lee

The Julieta Granada pick for 2007- Inbee Park. A rookie who didn’t win Rookie of Year, or win a tournament before the ADT. The only 2007 ADT entrant fitting Granada’s description before last year’s tournament is Inbee.

Then the rest- Reilley Rankin, Meaghan Francella, Sophie Gustafson, Shi Hyun Ahn, Laura Diaz, Sarah Lee, Nicole Castrale, Sherri Steinhauer,

People I’d be most surprised if they won this week- Christina Kim and Ai Miyazato. I like both these players but right now they don’t look to be on form.

My picks for the final eight- Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Jee Young Lee, Seon Hwa Lee, Angela Stanford, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, and Christie Kerr.


LPGA Year End Awards

The Ladies Professional Golf year is almost over. We’ll celebrate the best, oddest, or just plain out of nowhere things that happened in 2007.

Player of the Year- Lorena Ochoa. Seven wins and a British Open title make her the hands down selection.

Rookie of the Year- Angela Park. At the Fields Open in February, Angela finished third and never let up the rest of the year. A tie for second and two more third place finishes left Angela with almost double the points of her next closest pursuer for Rookie of the Year.

Shot of the Year- Momoko Ueda’s final round double eagle at the Mizuno Classic. It propelled Momoko to a two-shot triumph.

Comeback of the Year- This is one of the toughest choices I have when it comes to 2007 awards. The four top candidates as I see it are Suzann Pettersen, Maria Hjorth, Birdie Kim, and Beth Bader.

Suzann’s and Maria’s stake to Comeback player of the year too closely resembles Karrie Webb in 2006, and I didn’t think Karrie was right choice last year either. Going from 46th on the money list to 2nd isn’t a comeback to me.

Birdie, the surprise 2005 US Open Champ, has had a much better year than her dismal 2006. Still she misses lots of cuts and her strokes per round average(73.40 to 73.86) is barely different than last year.

Beth Bader went from 83rd to 46th on the money list. Easily Beth’s best year.

Based on her poor 2005, I’ll give comeback player of the year to Suzann Pettersen.

‘Where did they come from?’ Award- Meaghan Francella. Honorable mention to Na On Min.

Best finish of the year- We have a tie. Between The Sherri Steinhauer/Christina Kim State Farm Classic final round battle and the Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen duel at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Collapse of the year- Another tie. Suzann Pettersen and Se Ri Pak. Both looked to have the Kraft Nabisco in the bag on Sunday, but failed to close.

2007 Mom of the Year- Juli Inkster edges Catorina Matthew.

‘The Tiger Woods had it easy’ award- To the new LPGA Moms of 2007, Hee Won Han, Karen Stupples, Hillary Lunke and Jackie Gallagher-Smith. Also Catorina Matthew who had her daughter in 2006, but returned to play in 2007. As a father, I know mothers have the hardest job around. That these women can combine motherhood and professional golf, should get a big round of applause. That goes for all 29 LPGA Moms.

The ‘What me worry?’ award- Se Ri Pak for her final round birdie of the sixth hole at the Jamie Farr after Morgan Pressel made a hole in one on the same hole. Se Ri went on to win her fifth Farr Classic.

The ‘I survived’ award- Brittany Lincicome for her win at the Ginn Open. Morgan Pressel gets honorable mention.

‘The Raindrops keep falling on my head’ award- To Mother nature for washing out the NW Arkansas Championship Presented by John Q Hammons. Only 18 holes were played. And I thought the south was suffering from a drought this year.

The ‘Pick who doesn’t belong’ award- Maria Hjorth. She was the only non-Asian among the four semifinalists at the HSBC World Match Play Championship.

The ‘Scotty and the search party’ award Part I- Michelle Wie. Can someone please locate her golf game?

The ‘Scotty and the search party’ award Part II- Morgan Pressel’s golf clubs. They were stolen the day after she won the Kraft Nabisco.

The ‘Thank God for electronic scoreboards’ award- Stacy Prammanasudh and Virada Nirapathpongporn for their duel in the early rounds of the Navistar. Imagine if Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Jackie Gallagher-Smith had been in contention…….

The ‘Go away little monkey award’- Lorena Ochoa, Christie Kerr, and Natalie Gulbis. Lorena and Christie for winning their first major, Gulbis for winning.

The ‘Big hand for a little lady’ award- Mi Hyun ‘Peanut’ Kim for her donation to Kansas tornado victims

The ‘biggest splash’ award- Morgan Pressel at the Nabisco

The ‘thanks but no thanks’ award- Annika Sorenstam for turning down a last minute invite to the Samsung.

The ‘What the heck’? award- St Andrews 17th Road Hole plays as a par five for the British Open.

The ‘Sizzler’ award- In-Kyung Kim for shooting an LPGA record 27 for 9 holes.

The ‘Pitchforks and torches’ award- To the Korean golf fans who got upset when the Hana Bank-KOLON final round was canceled. Who says LPGA fans aren’t enthusiastic?

‘The Never forget but keep on living’ award- Durmaed Futures player Jenny Hansen whose husband Jeff was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006. Ji Yai Shin gets honorable mention.

The ‘Chokin Freakin Dogs’ award- To….cough…cough…Dottie Pepper. Dottie may well have destroyed any chance she had of being a Solheim Cup Captain in the future.

‘We need an optometrist STAT’ award- To the ESPN announcer who mixed up Laura Davies and Laura Diaz at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Biggest letdowns of 2007- Karrie Webb, Meena Lee, Pat Hurst, only 4 Korean winners this year

Million Dollar winner award- You’ll have to check back in on Sunday to see who wins that one.


Annika Sorenstam turns down Samsung World Championship Invitation

From AP-

Annika Sorenstam has turned down an invitation to the Samsung World Championship, not wanting to cause hardship with any players who felt she might be taking their spot in the 20-player elite field.

Sorenstam did not want to cause upset by accepting an invitation to the Samsung tournament.

In an effort to upgrade the event, tournament organizers last week eliminated a criteria that had not been used in nine years — the option to exempt the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion — and replaced it with an exemption for an active Hall of Fame member.

That spot went to Sorenstam, inducted in 2003 and a five-time winner of the Samsung World Championship.

Mark Steinberg, head of the golf division at IMG and the Swede’s agent, said the Swede became concerned last week upon hearing that some players were told the top 18 on the LPGA Tour money list would get in to the event at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

The rest of the field is comprised of the defending champion, four major champions, leader on the Ladies European Tour money list, one special exemption (Michelle Wie), and the rest coming from the money list.

“She didn’t want the perception that she was taking a spot,” Steinberg said. “She decided to do what’s best for the LPGA.”

Sarah Lee will now get the last spot in the field. Yes, there is a Korean LPGA player by that name. Sarah, who’s Korean name is Jung Yeon, was born in London England.

Annika made the right move. The special treatment she was getting wasn’t fair to other LPGA players and not just Sarah Lee. There were two LPGA Hall of Famers, Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb in front of her on the money list who weren’t eligible for the Samsung but were being passed over for an invite. All of this was liable to cause resentment but now all is right on tour.

I do wonder how many more LPGA events Annika will play in 2007. She is a five-time winner of the Mizuno Championship in Japan, but Annika normally skips the Tournament of Champions and is at present borderline for making the ADT Championship.(11th in the standings for 13 spots) Based on Annika’s record at Mizuno, I think she will make the ADT unless some other players make a late surge.


The LPGA’s Samsung Championship makes special Hall of Fame addition to field

Five-time winner Annika Sorenstam was in danger of not playing in that tournament next week. Not anymore.

In an exclusive to, officials of the LPGA event announced a modification of the tournament’s qualifying rules today, in essence creating an exempt category to allow Sorenstam to play in the $1 million tournament Oct. 11-14 at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert.

To make room for Sorenstam, the tournament and the LPGA is now allowing one exemption at the sponsor’s discretion for an active member of the LPGA Hall of Fame.

“We believe this new category will enhance the already elite state of the field,” said tournament director Torrey Gane of International Management Group, the producers of the tournament.

Sorenstam is a five-time winner of the Samsung tournament including twice at Bighorn in 2004 and 2005. But Sorenstam, a former homeowner at Bighorn, had not qualified for the tournament this year after neck injuries knocked her off the tour for two months this summer.

Sorenstam, women�s golf’s top player for the last 13 years, has not won a tournament this year and is 30th on the money listed entering this week’s Navistar LPGA Classic, where she is not entered. Without the new Hall of Fame criteria, Sorenstam needed to be no worse than 18th on the list at the end of the Navistar tournament.

Gane said the event is not eliminating a spot for another player in the 20-player field, since the tournament has always had the right to invite a top amateur to the field. That category has not been utilized in recent years. Gane said inviting Sorenstam under the new criteria is no different than if the tournament had invited the reigning U.S. Women�s Amateur champion to the event.

Other exempt players in the field include defending champion Lorena Ochoa, currently the No. 1 player in women’s golf, winners of LPGA major championships this year, Morgan Pressel, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr, Ladies European Tour order of merit winner Bettina Hauert and one sponsor’s exemption to any player. The remainder of the field is fill through the top money winners on the LPGA who are not otherwise eligible.

Michelle Wie accepted the sponsor’s exemption in March.

“With the LPGA trying to elevate the tournaments and its tour, this is just one of the tangible benefits for a Hall of Fame member,” Gane said.

Now AP’s Doug Ferguson is reporting the exemption this way-

According to the tournament Web site, the only players to have qualified for the Samsung are defending champion Lorena Ochoa; major winners Morgan Pressel, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr; Bettina Hauert from the LET; and Wie.

With Sorenstam added to the field, that leaves 13 spots available from the American women’s tour order of merit.

So is Annika being granted a spot in the tournament by adding a player to the field or being alloted one of the normal twenty slots? Based on

1- The first article being written out of California where the Samsung Tournament is being played


2- Doug Ferguson writing his article from Montreal(Where the President’s Cup just finished) and his history of sloppy reporting.

I’m inclined to believe the Samsung added another player to the field. Several observations on the granting of an exemption to Annika. Note- The following isn’t Annika bashing. I’ll criticize that Swedish golfer when I feel its due. Check this post and its comments section below it for an interesting debate.

*- The tourament inviting Annika in place of US Amateur champion is different. For simple reason, Annika will take home a cut of the tournament’s purse, where as the Amateur Champ wouldn’t

*- Enlarging the field will change what most of the players in the field get for competing that week. How do other Samsung players feel in regards to Annika getting this special exemption?

*- This HOF invitee rule. There are currently four HOF players active and playing well on the LPGA tour at present. Annika, Karrie Webb, Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak. At present, only Se Ri looks likely to make the Samsung field and that’s iffy at #16. Remember the two articles above contrdict one another as to how many players from the money list will make it. If its only 13 LPGA players from the money list, Se Ri stands at 12th after you remove Pressel, Kerr, Ochoa and Pettersen from the mix. Inkster and Webb stand at 16th and 17th and look likely not to make the Samsung field.

So why Annika over Inkster, Webb, and possibly Pak? Bloggers Hound Dog and The Constructivist are raising this issue at their blogs and it is a legitimate question.

Bottom line- I think the Samsung made a mistake in giving Michelle Wie an exemption. As to giving a HOF exemption, I think it should be extended to all four World Golf Hall of Famers or none at all. This was a last minute addition, and in all fairness shouldn’t be given to Annika like the special handout it looks like it is. I think this is going to cause resentment among certain LPGA players, and it wouldn’t be the first time when it comes to the special treatment Annika Sorenstam gets from the LPGA Tour and Tournament sponsors.


Lorena Ochoa now ranked #1 in women’s golf

The newRolex Rankings have come out.

How good is Lorena Ochoa? Even on weeks without an LPGA tournament, she still takes a major step forward.

When the newest version of the Rolex Rankings — the world ranking of women’s golf — were released on Monday morning, they showed that Ochoa had passed Annika Sorenstam, becoming only the second top-ranked player since the list was instituted on Feb. 20 of last year.

“Being in her position is just a dream come true, but at the same time I want to keep being up there,” Ochoa told in December. “I want to be No. 1 and not only for a small period of time, not only for one year, but for many more years.”

Ochoa, 25, made a move on the charts more than one week after failing to claim her 11th career victory and second this year. A win at the Ginn Open would have meant an instant rise to the top of the rankings, but despite leading on the back nine in the final round, Ochoa succumbed to champion Brittany Lincicome after making two double-bogeys and two bogeys over the final six holes.

After losing by one stroke, Ochoa said of the No. 1 ranking, “I didn’t even think about it. I was just worried about the tournament.”

It wasn’t until after an LPGA bye week that the numbers showed Ochoa to have a greater average point total than Sorenstam. Using the ranking’s two-year rolling calendar, Ochoa has earned 642.19 total points in 50 events for an average of 12.84, while Sorenstam has 546.22 points in 43 events for an average of 12.70.

Don’t expect Sorenstam to reclaim her previous spot anytime soon. She withdrew from the Ginn with a ruptured and herniated disk in her back. An original report had her missing about four weeks, but there have been rumors that it may have been an optimistic prognosis.

She has since declared her intention to focus on major championship competition.

“I will play less, prepare more and really go for the big competitions,” Sorenstam told Swedish broadcaster SVT last week.

Karrie Webb, Morgan Pressel and Cristie Kerr continue to round out the top five.

Congrats to Lorena. I wouldn’t place any bets against Annika retaking #1 in the world at some time.

As to Morgan Pressel being one of the top five players in the world- NO. I already said who I consider the top 10 players and Morgan doesn’t make it. That doesn’t detract from her win at the Kraft Nabisco though.


Annika Sorenstam to miss LPGA Tour events due to back injury

The #1 woman golfer will not play the LPGA Tour for at least a month due to a ruptured disk.

REUNION, Fla. — Annika Sorenstam withdrew Thursday from the Ginn Open because of a ruptured disk in her back that will keep her from playing on the LPGA Tour for at least a month.

“I’ve been playing with quite a bit of pain for the past several weeks,” Sorenstam said in a statement. “I couldn’t take it much more and decided it was time to see someone after the pro-am yesterday. I withdraw with deep regret.”

Sorenstam, 36, said doctors in south Florida discovered a ruptured disk and a bulging disk. She said she would see a neurosurgeon in Miami later Thursday to figure out what to do next.

She still plans to open her Annika Academy at Ginn Reunion Resort on Monday.

Back injuries to pro golfers are quite common. Take all the time you need Annika and get well The LPGA will still be there when you’re healthy.(Cross your fingers)


The top golf newsmakers of 2006

Golf World magazine has come out with their top 25 list.

1- Tiger Woods. No argument there.

2- Phil Mickelson. I’ve always felt GW’s editors have a secret homosexual crush on Phil. No other reason could account for all the covers he gets even when he wasn’t the biggest golf story of the week. Karrie Webb wins a major, Phil is on the cover. Geoff Ogilvy wins the US Open but Phil is again the subject of GW’s cover.

Mickelson is an excellent choice, but I’d rank a few other golf stories ahead of him.

3- The 72nd hole at Winged Foot. No argument.

4- Fedex Cup I’m no fan of this gimmick but yes its newsworthy.

5- LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens

Excellent choice but not necessarily top 5 material. I strongly disagree with GW’s assertion that she performed better as the year progressed. Bivens’ blunders were spread out the length of 2006. This being the most recent example.

6- Euphoric Euros


7- Damned Yanks

The Ryder Cup gets no argument from me other than I would have made it one newsmaker not two.

8- Michelle Wie

The sad derailment and exploitation of this young lady is definitely newsworthy.

9- Underwhelming Teens.

Here’s where GW starts to lose it. The story of the LPGA’s youth movement was one of the most overdone golf stories of the last few years. It was hyped so much that a let down had to be expected.

An instantly iconic photo from 2005 had 5-foot-5 Morgan Pressel alongside Michelle Wie, who towered seven inches above her. Their eyes were locked and their expressions indicated an exchange of chummy text messages was not likely. Pressel, 17 months older than Wie and possessing a 3-and-2 victory over the Hawaiian in the third round of the 2003 U.S. Girls’ Junior as well as the title from the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur, an event Wie skipped, openly resents that her taller adversary gets more attention. Throw in the stunning rookie year Paula Creamer had in 2005 — two LPGA victories and four total — and the anticipation for the three-teen rivalry made the 2006 season the tour’s most eagerly awaited in recent memory.

Reality, however, never matched the hype. While the talented teens (Creamer turned 20 in August) had what most their age would consider successful seasons, none won or even went head-to-head with a tournament on the line. Throw in Natalie Gulbis, 23, whose winless streak in LPGA events ran to 132 in 2006, and the tour clearly failed to deliver the young American star power needed to capture fans. The reality is that a sensational year by Lorena Ochoa and a stirring comeback season by Karrie Webb could not compensate for the fact the top two rookies on tour were Seon-Hwa Lee and Julieta Granada, 20-year-old international 
players who entered the season without the accolades afforded Pressel or Japanese star Ai Miyazato.

1- These same golf writing hacks who hyped Wie, Pressel and Miyazato are still blind to Seon Hwa Lee. Lee didn’t come out of nowhere, she finished first on the the Futures Tour money list in 2005. Its what I call a case of having golf blinders on.

2- Natalie Gulbis is an example of golf writers being driven by their male egos rather than the facts. Ms. Gulbis is a talented golfer, and certainly not the 2000′s version of Jill McGill, but she will never be one of the tour’s top 5 players. Top 10 maybe, but with Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie when she gets her game back together, Christie Kerr to beat, I never see Gulbis as a top 5. That doesn’t even include other South Korean stalwarts like Jeong Jang, Hee Won Han, Mi Hyun Kim and Grace Park if she returns from her back and injury woes. Jang, Han and Grace will always outshine Ms. Gulbis when all of them, Ms. Gulbis included, are playing their best. As for Kim, aka Peanut vs Gulbis, I think her win at the Jamie Farr over Gulbis in a playoff says all that needs being said.

The Golf MSM mistakes physical attractiveness for golfing ability. That’s actually one of the least of its many problems.

c- GW said about Creamer-

“Creamer played solidly, never missing a cut, but may still be adjusting to tour life. She has more than a half dozen endorsement deals — all of which require time commitments — and played three non-LPGA events in Japan, where her Pink Panther persona is enormously popular. Cashing in on her impressive rookie season in 2005 may have created time and travel demands off the course that (coupled with a lingering wrist injury) impacted her performance. The drop-off, however, was not enough to be a concern.”

I think Paula will be better but she needs to take control of her schedule. Travelling halfway around the world to play golf can lead to burnout. Look what happened to Bill Rogers. This isn’t adjusting to tour life as GW says but managing one’s career instead of letting others do it for you.

10- The Bomb n Gouge Squad. Huh? Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes and Camilo Villegas were all golf stories for a week or two each early in the year. Top 25 newsmaker maybe, but certainly not a top 10.

The rest of GW’s top 25 with a little added commentary.

11- Camilo Villegas. See my #10 comments. Why does this player rank two listings?
12- Defense mechanisms- Overrated
13- Lorena Ochoa- She should be in the top 5 newsmakers for 2006.
14- The new TV pact. Good pick.
15- Nick Faldo. I don’t understand this pick either. Faldo’s playing days are over and he only makes the news through his work as a broadcaster.

As for his selection to be Ryder Cup Captain, that doesn’t pass the muster for a top 25 pick.

16- Byron Nelson. His passing away should have ranked much higher.

17- Dearly departed aka the passing away of Heather Clarke, Earl Woods and Norma DiMarco. An iffy choice for the top 25.

18- John Daly. So what? Daly had a horrendous year on tour, so did about 200-300 other professional golfers. Again a very overrated story.

19- Geoff Ogilvy. His win in the US Open should rank higher than this.

Of the rest of GW’s top 25, only #23 Drug testing, #22 Super Seniors, and maybe #25 China’s growing presence, should be listed among golf’s missing newsmakers.

What dope was GW smoking when they missed these stories?

* The return of Karrie Webb, in particular her win at the Kraft Nabisco
* The return of Se Ri Pak from oblivion with her win at the LPGA Championship. Also the back 9 of that tournament on Sunday may have been the most dramatic of any tournament all year. With Pak, Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Michelle Wie, Pat Hurst, Mi Hyun Kim, Ai Miyazato and a few others all having legitimate chances to win the event.
* The passing away of LPGA great Patty Berg
* Arnold Palmer retiring from competitive golf.
* The recordbook rounds of Loren Roberts at the Senior Open and Corey Pavin at the US Bank in Milwaukee.
* The off year had by Annika Sorenstam. Plus her trouble with both ignoring and or breaking of LPGA rules a and therules of golf.
* The off year had by Vijay Singh.

Omitting Webb, Pak, Sorenstam and Palmer just shows you how dumb this golf publication is. Then it shouldn’t have surprised me, GW passed up Webb and Pak for the magazine’s cover the week after their victories. Annika missing the cut one week was noteworthy enough to make the magazine’s cover. Enough said, right?

My choices

1- Tiger
2- The 72nd hole of the US Open
3- Lorena Ochoa
4- Phil Mickelson
5- Carolyn Bivens
6- Fedex Cup
7- Michelle Wie
8- The 2006 Ryder Cup
9- Byron Nelson RIP
10- The return of Karrie Webb
11- Arnold Palmer retires
12- Drug testing
13- The return of Se Ri Pak and the dramatic 2006 LPGA Championship
14- The struggles and rule breaking of Annika Sorenstam
15- Geoff Ogilvy win at the US Open and the the Aussies big year on the PGA Tour
16- The new television deal
17- Patty Berg RIP
18- Record rounds by Corey Pavin and Loren Roberts
19- Where is Vijay?
20- Super Seniors
21- The overrating of youth on the LPGA tour
22- Giving new meaning to the term ‘golf hazard’
23- Dearly departed
24- The growth of golf in China
25- Can anyone in golf do 5th grade math?


Sorenstam’s Mizuno winning streak ends at five

From AP-

MIE, Japan – Karrie Webb ended Annika Sorenstam’s Mizuno Classic winning streak at five Sunday, closing with a 6-under 66 for a four-stroke victory over Kaori Higo in Japan’s lone LPGA Tour event.

Sorenstam shot a 70 to finish five strokes back at 9-under 207 on the Kashikojima Country Club course. The Swedish star also failed in her second attempt in a month to win an LPGA Tour event a record six times.

“I’m feeling a little disappointed about the results, especially today,” Sorenstam said. “I couldn’t get anything going and I needed to do it to have a chance to six-peat. Especially with everyone playing so well, especially Karrie. So, I felt like I needed to do something to get it going, but I tried and that’s all I could do today.”

Sorenstam began the streak in 2001 at Musashigaoka and won four times at Seta. Last year, she became the first LPGA Tour player to win a tournament five straight times and matched the record she shares with Mickey Wright for victories in an event. The 36-year-old Sorenstam also had a chance to win the Samsung Championship for the sixth time last month, but lost a final-round lead to Lorena Ochoa.

“You can’t take anything away from Annika winning five years in a row at one tournament. It’s an unbelievable feat,” Webb said. “The change from Seta to here was different, although she had a good chance to win today.


Webb won for the fifth time this season to match Ochoa for the LPGA Tour lead and push her career total to 35. The resurgent Australian star earned $180,000 to move into second place behind Ochoa on the money list with $2,069,613.

Annika’s incredible streak at the Mizuno had to end eventually. As for Webb and Ochoa for LPGA Player of the year, my vote would go to Karrie. One simple reason- Karrie won a major championship this year(The Kraft Nabisco) while Lorena didn’t

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