The players didn't exactly appreciate his concern. The LPGA's season-ending event is limited to the top 30 on the money list, and it's supposed to be a reward for a long season of grinding. Trump did supply the golfers with BMW 350I courtesy cars and bungalows at his private social club Mar-a-Lago—each equipped with a nine-foot pool table and a hot tub—but there was still plenty of griping. "A lot of us are frustrated," said Marisa Baena, who wound up 13 over par. "This is the Tour Championship. We're supposed to show off our skills. Instead I look like a 36 handicapper."
Trump's rejoinder? "The sign of a good—no, a great—course is when you see the two best players competing for the title."
That was indeed the case over four taut rounds. Webb began the third round four strokes ahead of Sorenstam, but the scrappy Swede stormed back, seizing the lead with a birdie on the 10th hole. Webb, however, steadied herself, and by the time Sorenstam had dunked two balls at 18 and made her triple, Webb was five up on Sorenstam. "I'm trying my hardest," a peeved Sorenstam said following the round. "It's as if we've had Sunday pins for the past two days."
When Sunday finally came, Sorenstam mounted one last charge. With five birdies and an eagle over her final 13 holes, she closed to within two strokes. Webb had to earn her third victory of the season with an airtight 68.
This dustup was only the latest episode in Sorenstam and Webb's long game of can-you-top-this? After Webb's seven victories in 2000, including two majors, Sorenstam rededicated herself in the off-season, and the result has been 31 tournament, scoring and money records this year. (With $115,000 last week she became the first woman to earn $2 million in a season.) Webb won two majors in the span of four weeks to become the youngest woman (26) to complete the career Grand Slam, yet she was still overshadowed by her rival. Do the comparisons with Sorenstam bother her? "I don't get caught up in that," Webb said last Friday, flinching at the question. "Annika's had an unbelievable year, but I'll take my results every year for the rest of my life."
Webb denied that her first victory in five months was a message to Sorenstam, but she was clearly sustained by the intensity of the competition. Walking off the 18th green on Sunday, she was stopped by Trump, who congratulated her with a kiss on the cheek. Leaning in, he asked, "Annika make you nervous out there today?"
"Oh, yeah," Webb said with a smile. "She had me going all day."