will not need surgery on the ruptured and herniated disks in her neck, but she
will miss at least four to six weeks while rehabbing the injuries. The No. 1
player in the world had been suffering pain for the past few weeks, and it got
severe enough that after her April 11 practice round and press conference for
the Ginn Open, Sorenstam went to see a doctor, who made the diagnosis. The next
day she flew to Miami to consult a neurosurgeon. On Monday, Sorenstam, 36,
opened her Annika Academy at Reunion, near Orlando, where her first student was
Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker. She hopes to be back on the
course for the tournament she hosts, the Ginn Tribute, which begins on May 31
in Mount Pleasant, N.C. What does all this mean in the bigger picture? It looks
as if Kathy Whitworth's record is safe. Sorenstam, who has 69 career wins, had
been gunning for Whitworth's LPGA standard of 88 victories.
? THE CLASS of
2007 is in. Curtis Strange and Hubert Green will be inducted into the World
Golf Hall of Fame in September. Green, 60, who won 19 times, including the 1977
U.S. Open at Southern Hills and the 1985 PGA Championship at Cherry Hills, and
played on three Ryder Cup teams, was chosen by the selection committee in the
veterans category. Strange, 52, won 17 tournaments, including back-to-back U.S.
Opens in 1988 and '89, and played in five Ryder Cups. He also captained the
2002 U.S. team. Strange was elected on the PGA Tour ballot. They will likely be
joined by Se Ri Pak, who has met the LPGA's qualifications for entry but needs
to complete her 10th season to be eligible, which she'll do by making 10 starts
this year. If Laura Davies wins twice more, she will also qualify.
? NANCY LOPEZ,
50, began her comeback at the Ginn Open, and although she has lost 40 pounds
and has been practicing for a year, it looks as if she still has some work to
do. Lopez (below) shot 83--80 and finished last, but she presumably understood
how difficult a task she was taking on. Beth Daniel is the LPGA's oldest
winner, having triumphed at the 2003 Canadian Women's Open at age 46. Lopez,
who has 48 career victories, hasn't won since the 1997 Chick-fil-A Charity
Championship and now does not have a top 10 in 73 straight starts.
? TWO WEEKS ago
Davis Love III was one of the players opining on the extreme difficulty of
7,445-yard Augusta National, but a week later the Nationwide tour trekked to
Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga., a track notable for being the
longest to host a PGA Tour--sanctioned event. So who laid out the 7,781-yard
monster? You guessed it: Love's company, Love Golf Design. But the 7,781 number
might be deceiving. The course has multiple tees per hole and "probably
didn't play much over 7,500," Love said.
? SUGGESTED WOODS
BABY NAME Rick Butch.
? Read Inside
Golf by Gary Van Sickle at GOLF.com.