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PostWatch
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
 
2:01 PM

PostWatch, your daily vacation from Iraq... The midday session wouldn't be complete without an Annika Sorenstam update, today from The Golf Channel columnist George White:

Statistics tell us she loops her drives about 265 yards. That puts her in the ballpark of the boys, as long as it’s a relatively compact ballpark. There were 195 men who did better last year, but at least she would be ranked. Distance alone doesn’t figure to knock her out of the competition.

Last year she hit better than 80 percent of the LPGA’s fairways, which if traded tit-for-tat to the PGA Tour’s fairways, would have trailed only Fred Funk. She hit 79.8 percent of the greens, which by far and away would have led the men’s tour – the best of the men at hitting greens was Tiger Woods at 74 percent. Her putting was a bit dicey – she finished 39th on the LPGA with a figure of 29.66. That would only place her 81st on the PGA Tour...

The only stats that translate from one tour to the other is the driving distance – where Annika gives up a decided amount of ground – and the fairways hit – where she is right on target. .. Even the ‘fairways hit’ category may be deceiving. Sorenstam is probably as accurate as any male with her driver, but there’s little doubt that the PGA Tour has the tighter fairways..Of course, Sorenstam probably wouldn’t have hit almost 80 percent of the greens if she were playing courses that were 5-600 yards longer, as the men’s tour are..

Of course, one area that can’t be reduced to statistics is something called “heart.” And it’s something that Sorenstam possesses in multiples. She would surely rate in the men’s top 10 in that category – call it “will to win” or “pride” or whatever. She has proven that she has “it,” and very few who play the game can equal her reliance on it...



White backs Sorenstam, though he's with the crowd that believes the women's tour, the LPGA, would suffer "irreparable damage" if she "bombed out."



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