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Sorenstam Says Has Nothing to Lose

Posted May. 21, 2003 21:52,   


Annika Sorenstam likened her challenge in the PGA Tour to climbing Mt. Everest. It will not be easy to do well in the first confrontation of sexes in 58 years just as it is a long hard way to climb up the world`s highest peak.

As if it foretold a long hard way set out for Sorenstam, the weather was not kind when she had her first practice round on May 21 before the opening round of Bank of America Colonial set for the 22nd.

It rained and thundered. Despite the bad weather, however, Sorenstam wrapped up her practice round after waiting for almost four hours for the rain to stop. She stood there with three practice partners, Sergio Garcia (Spain), Tim Clark (South Africa) and Jesper Parnevik (Sweden).

˝I believe I have practiced for this for years. I feel like I have nothing to lose. I`m doing this to test myself,˝ Sorenstam said, looking out at some 400 people at her news conference.

She will play in the first two rounds with a pair of PGA Tour rookies, Dean Wilson and Aaron Barber. The three will start on the 10th tee at 8:58 a.m. Their second round begins on the first tee at 1:43 p.m. Friday.

Although their names were selected randomly by a computer, it was the best result Sorenstam could expect. Like Sorenstam, Wilson and Barber have relatively shorter driver shots. Wilson records an average 275.9 yards of driver shot, almost equal to Sorenstam`s 275.4 yards, and Barber has an average of 280.9 yards.

This means she will not have to feel intimated on the tee-ing ground at least. With rookies, she will be able to concentrate on her play without losing her pace.

The die has been cast, and Sorenstam is ready to climb up her Mt. Everest under the heavy media and gallery`s attention.

Meantime, SBS TV is set to live-broadcast the first and the second round of the historic event from 0:40 a.m. on May 23 and 3:30 a.m. on May 24 respectively. MBC-ESPN plans to broadcast the two rounds at 7:30 a.m. on May 23 and 24.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com