Annika Sorenstam's success at Colonial could depend on how she plays a wicked three-hole stretch
Perhaps no professional golfer has played more at Colonial Country Club than Clark Dennis. The 37-year-old Dennis, whose career highlight came when he tied for sixth at the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont, grew up playing at Colonial, still calls Fort Worth home and estimates he has played thousands of rounds at the course. Here, he offers a glimpse of what awaits Annika Sorenstam at Colonial, especially at the Horrible Horseshoe, one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the Tour.
I've never played with Annika, but on TV it doesn't look like she has the swing speed to generate the amount of spin she'll need to get to some of the pins. The greens are small and elevated, and because she will be hitting more club on her approach shots, her trajectory will be a lot flatter, which will make it harder to get the ball close to the hole. So she'll have to be really sharp with her short game.
She can't afford to make any mistakes on 1, 2, 6, 7 and 9, because that's where she'll have her only real chances for birdies. If she can make a couple on those holes and if her short game is spot on, then she has a chance to be successful. But overall, I think it would be a monumental accomplishment for her to make the cut.
There is a very large tree down the left side that most players can carry, cutting 50 to 60 yards off the hole. Annika will have to play it as a true dogleg, so she'll be playing her second from much farther back.
She'll have to hit driver or three-wood, and with the new bank in front of the green (highlighted), you almost have to fly the ball all the way on. But it's awfully hard to stop a shot coming in at such a low trajectory.
This is one of the hardest holes, but she shouldn't have much trouble because she's such a straight driver. Most of the men will go with a three-wood or a two-iron off the tee. She can get home with a long iron.
SORENSTAM [YELLOW COLOR]
PGA TOUR PLAYER [RED COLOR]