The LPGA tour
stumbled out of the gate this year with controversies over press credentials
and the highly criticized Rolex World Rankings, but on Sunday undisputed No. 1
Annika Sorenstam showed her sisters how to get off to a good start, playing her
first 27 holes without a bogey on the way to winning the MasterCard Classic in
Mexico City with an eight-under 208. It's the fourth time in the last five
years that Sorenstam has begun her season with a win and the 10th time in her
13 years on tour that she has debuted with a top 10 finish. With Sorenstam back
in the winner's circle and the credentials problem resolved, things are
returning to normal in women's golf. Now if only someone could get Michelle Wie
out of the top 10 in the rankings.... This is supposed to be the year of the
hot rookie on the LPGA tour, but someone forgot to tell unsung rookie Seon-Hwa
Lee, 20, that she wasn't one of the names with sizzle. A seven-under 209 put
Lee into a tie for second at the MasterCard, which goes with a 13th and a
second in her first two starts this season, good for a total of $210,050 and
first place on the money list.
When baseball hall of famer Kirby Puckett suffered a stroke on March 6 he was
hours away from traveling to Valencia, Calif., to play in the AT&T Classic
pro-am. Puckett had been recruited to the event by former Los Angeles Dodgers
general manager Kevin Malone and was scheduled to play with Cal Ripken, Ozzie
Smith and Dave Winfield. Puckett's death the following day came as a shock to
all. "He was so excited to come," Malone said later that night,
"and everybody was excited about Kirby's being here because he [was] very
gregarious. He lit up a room."
? Kenny Perry was
to have surgery to treat recurring pain in his right knee on Monday. The
procedure will keep Perry from defending his Bay Hill title and will force him
to miss the Players Championship and the Masters. ? Ernie Els played a practice
round at Augusta two weeks ago. How did he fare at the newly stretched,
505-yard par-4 11th, which players have been moaning about? The Big Easy played
his second shot with an eight-iron.
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