[ Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ]

Vijay and Annika

One stroke. A chip. A putt. A drive. Anything.

Just let Annika Sorenstam beat Vijay Singh by one stroke at the upcoming PGA event at The Colonial Country Club. It would be justice even if the two find themselves playing for last place.

The scene would be great to see.

Forget the social roles and women’s issues aspects. It would just be good to see a schmuck who shot off his mouth lose to the person he put down. In this case, Singh, who carried on elite golf’s exclusionary tradition that has served it for generations in fights to keep people like blacks and Jews out of country clubs, is the schmuck.

He recently mouthed off about how he feels Sorenstam should not compete in a men’s PGA event and how he would not compete in the tournament if paired with her. Ironically, many people would have likely made the same comment about an Indian from Fiji like Singh if somebody with that cultural background attempted to play professional golf a few decades ago.

Other individuals have expressed displeasure with Sorenstam’s appearance, although Singh, who backed off his statements to a degree after he received some heat, has been the most outspoken. Some people have labeled her entry as a publicity stunt. Others suggested she only picked this particular course to play because it suits her style.

Both are supposed insults that just make no sense.

There is obviously a publicity-stunt aspect to her entry. Of course. However, every time Tiger Woods makes a commercial it is a publicity stunt, too. She also probably did pick this course because she thought it held the best chance for her to post quality scores. That’s just called strategy. A woman attempting to undertake such a task would naturally go to a ball-control course as opposed to a long-driver’s course.

All strategy aside, Sorenstam will not win the event. But she will also not finish in last place. Hopefully, the men who finish behind her will have more security in their own manhood than Singh and display some dignity in finishing behind a woman.

Even if she finishes strong, Sorenstam’s effort will not create a mass influx of women into the PGA. Women, in general, do not have the physical strength to compete with men in most head-to-head athletic competitions, although golf does provide a unique opportunity where Sorenstam could at least make a decent showing.
Dave Sutor [1:36 AM]