Annika Misses The Cut

Annika Sorenstam hits the the 8th hole of the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday, May 22, 2003. Sorenstam, of Sweden, became the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event in 58 years. Sorenstam shot a one-over-par 71 in the first round of the Colonial. AP

Annika Sorenstam was good enough to play against the men, but only for two days.

Her historic ride at the Colonial golf tournament ended in the second round Friday when she stumbled to five bogeys in a span of eight holes and missed the chance to play in the final two rounds by four shots.

She finished tied for 96th, ahead of 11 players. After a 14-foot putt on the 18th hole for a 4-over-par 74, Sorenstam left the green in tears, emotionally worn out from the intense scrutiny of being the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour.

As CBS News' Bob MacNamara reports, with near-robotic precision, Sorenstam's drives were tight-rope straight, but when she turned aggressive she struggled. Twice she saved par from the bunker but still, as yesterday, her putter left her short.

"It was a great week but I've got to go back to my tour, where I belong," Sorenstam said. "I'm glad I did it, but this is way over my head."

No one knew how the best female golfer in the world would fare against the men on a 7,080-yard course that was longer and tougher than anything she has played.

The 32-year-old Swede teed off Thursday morning amid resounding cheers, and walked toward the 18th green late Friday afternoon to a standing ovation. Sorenstam had to scramble for par on the final hole — something she was forced to do throughout a hot, sticky afternoon.

For a fleeting moment, this looked as if it might have a storybook ending. Fans were stacked so deep behind the green that some cheered without ever seeing the shot. Support came from all quarters.

"I hope she makes the cut," President Bush said from his ranch in Crawford, about two hours away. "I'm pulling for her, and I hope I'll be watching her on Saturday and Sunday."

Sorenstam raised everyone's hopes early.

She saved par from the bunker twice on the first three holes, and in between fired at the flag and holed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 2 to get to even par for the tournament.

Still, there were signs that three months of buildup and three days under intense scrutiny were starting to take their toll.

It began to unravel on No. 5, when her tee shot sailed into the trees, leading to a bogey. A chunked chip shot on No. 6 cost her another bogey. She needed three putts on the eighth hole — yet another bogey.

"I wasn't as tough as I thought I was," she said. "I was so nervous."

Just like that, she was at 3 over for the tournament and in need of at least two birdies on the back nine just to qualify for the weekend. It wasn't to be.

Sorenstam wound up 13 strokes behind co-leaders Kenny Perry (64) and Dan Forsman (66), who will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend.

Her two-day total of 145 was eight strokes better than the odds out of Las Vegas, and she impressed some of her skeptics with her accuracy despite intense pressure over 36 holes.

"The way she handled herself with style and grace ... it's kind of a sad ending, I suppose," Forsman said. "I want to see the rest of the story."

Sorenstam, who has won 43 times, with four major championships, on the LPGA tour, was invited to compete against the men by the Bank of America, sponsor of the Colonial.

And as CBS' Bob McNamara reports, Sorenstam is not the only women who'll compete in a PGA tournament this year. Suzy Whaley will play in the Greater Hartford Open and the 6-foot, 13-year-old Michelle Wie will play in an Idaho men's event. Still it is Sorenstam who blazed the trail.

The last woman to play in a PGA Tour event was Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who qualified for the 1945 Los Angeles Open and made the 36-hole cut before a 79 knocked her out of the final round.

Sorenstam said she wasn't trying to prove anything to anyone, least of all that she could beat the boys. Now she goes back to her day job.

Sorenstam has a title to defend next week outside Chicago in the Kellogg-Keebler Classic. It will be played at Stonebridge County Club, a par 72 that measures 6,237 yards. Sorenstam shot 21-under 195 last year and won by 11 strokes.
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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