SORENSTAM REDUX

Vijay Singh has become the first PGA player to speak out against Annika Sorestam’s playing on a sponsor’s exemption in the Colonial later this month.

“I hope she misses the cut. Why? Because she doesn’t belong out here.” Singh, a two-time major champion and the No. 7 player in the world . . .said he would withdraw if he happens to be paired with her. . . .

“What is she going to prove by playing?” Singh said. “It’s ridiculous. She’s the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize woman. We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She’s taking a spot from someone in the field.”

While professional golf, like any spectator sport, is entertainment first and foremost, Singh is right. She has not earned a PGA tour card and almost certainly could not do so if she tried. By all accounts, she’s one of the best women golfers ever, but she would have difficulty making the cut at a Buy.com tour event. As good as she is, the men on that “minor league” circuit are simply better.

FILED UNDER: Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jem says:

    Okay, so maybe she’s no threat to win the event. She got the same kind of exemption that allows Arnold Palmer and some of the other geezers of yore to shoot a round or two in the high 80s, wave, smile, kiss a few babies, and get an interview to remind them of what they once were. I think the real fear for the whiners is that one or two of them will have a bad round and get beat by a GIRL!

  2. James Joyner says:

    All probably true. The difference, though, is that Palmer and Co. earned that honor by building the Tour.

  3. Nick says:

    I am personally interested in seeing just how Sorenstam does. I wish her no ill will. However, I agree with Singh in that she is taking a spot from someone who actually earned it. That said, Vijay needs to be more media savvy.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Heh. Maybe this is a ploy on Vijay’s part: When was the last time he was quoted in the media? He’s one of the best golfers in the world–he’s won more majors than Phil Mickelson and David Duvall combined–but almost no one has heard of him.

  5. Katewerk says:

    Well, worst case scenerio – she gets a sh*tkicking. If she holds her own, time to look at it more closely. (I confess I don’t know much about golf tour qualifications).

    Anything to slow down the endless non-stories about Tiger Woods. When he wins, he’s entitled to all the press he gets.. but why does he still the leadoff story when he loses? How is it that tourny coverage includes the leader, those on the hunt, and Tiger, wherever he is?

    When Mike Weir won the masters, the first story I came upon was one that rambled on about how Woods hadn’t.


    Kate
    http://www.katewerk.com

  6. James Joyner says:

    Heh. True, Kate. Tiger is to golf what Michael Jordan was to basketball in his heyday, but moreso. Frankly, I usually won’t even watch a golf tournament if Tiger’s not a factor. Most casual fans of the game really know Tiger and that’s it.

  7. jen says:

    I think I agree with Singh, but I think if any woman could qualify for a PGA card, it may be Annika. Who knows…she’ll never be given the chance to try.

    As for Tiger, love him or hate him, he brings a level of excitement to the game of golf that we’ve never had before. He is such a stellar player, that even when he loses it’s amazing. He’s definitely raised the bar for golfers of the future.

  8. PoliBlogger says:

    It is worth noting that there are seven other players who are getting sponsor’s exemptions.

    Like all of sports, this is being done to draw attention to the event, so I really can’t say there is anything wrong with letting her play. And the whole argument will be moot shortly–she will either fall flat on her face or prove her critics to be wrong.

    The real question to me is whether her playing will actually damage the LPGA (not that I care all that much, but there is a point to be made that if she does fail, it will further dilute the general view of women’s golf).

    All I know is that she would beat me 🙂

  9. Katewerk says:

    “As for Tiger, love him or hate him, he brings a level of excitement to the game of golf that we’ve never had before”

    Any level of excitement is one that golf has never seen before. A sport in which the commentators speak in whispers ranks right up there with chess for heart pounding moments.

    Hangover programming…


    Kate