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No Scoring Title For Annika

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Annika Srenstam had to play 15 tournaments, the minimum required for a full season on the LPGA Tour, to complete her 10th season and get into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
But that won't be enough for her to win another Vare Trophy.
 
The LPGA Tour requires at least 70 rounds to be eligible for the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average. Srenstam, who hasn't missed a cut and has finished out of the top 10 only twice, has played only 53 rounds with three tournaments left on her schedule.
 
Even if she were to add a tournament, she could not reach 70 rounds.
 
'I cannot tell you how mad that makes me,' Srenstam said in an interview last week. 'I'm not going to get the trophy and I'm leading by almost a shot.'
 
Srenstam is at 69.19, while Se Ri Pak is a distant second at 70.0.
 
It would have been her sixth Vare Trophy, one short of the record held by Kathy Whitworth.
 
Srenstam is playing five fewer events than last year, some of that because of scheduling. Some tournaments were moved around -- Takefuji went from February in Hawaii to April in Las Vegas -- and Srenstam also had to prepare herself for the Bank of America Colonial, which gave the LPGA more publicity than ever.
 
'I feel like I've done so much, and now I'm not going to win one of the awards that means the most to me,' Srenstam said.
 
Srenstam has talked with LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw, but the rules can't change for one person.
 
Still, it might be time to adjust the minimum requirement for the Vare Trophy, especially since the LPGA Tour has done away with its Florida swing and doesn't start the season until mid-March.
 
It also has several three-round tournaments. Srenstam has played seven of them this year.
 
The PGA of America requires only 60 rounds on the PGA Tour to be eligible for the Vardon Trophy.
 
Srenstam believes 15 events should be enough to qualify for the scoring title.
 
'To be in the Hall of Fame, I had to play 15 events,' Srenstam said. 'But that's still not good enough for the Vare Trophy.'
 
Pak already has played 79 rounds and would win her first Vare Trophy if she hangs on. It also would leave Pak, 26, just one point shy of the Hall of Fame. Because of the 10-year requirement, she wouldn't be eligible until 2007.
 
BUBBLE UPDATE: Robert Allenby was going through his schedule for the remainder of the year when he left Atlanta three weeks ago, saying he hoped he would be in Houston for the Tour Championship.
 
He was on the bubble for the top 30, but not anymore.
 
Allenby tied for ninth at the Las Vegas Invitational and was fourth at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, moving him to 20th on the money list and assuring him a tee time at Champions Golf Club.
 
Other big moves last week:
 
- K.J. Choi went from 31st to 26th with a tie for fifth.
 
- Shigeki Maruyama brought the Tour Championship into view by winning, moving from 76th to 35th.
 
- Matt Gogel secured his card for next year by finishing third, going from 105th to 76th, while Jeff Brehaut did the same with a tie for fifth. He went from No. 122 to No. 97.
 
- Jesper Parnevik shot 65 on Sunday and tied for 22nd, moving him from 126th to 121st. Parnevik's lowest round of the year came after a heated split with caddie Lance Ten Broeck. He used an acquaintance -- who happens to be a Tibetan monk -- as his caddie in the final round.
 
SHIGEKI'S PAIN: Even more amazing than winning on the PGA Tour three years in a row is the pain Shigeki Maruyama has to endure.
 
It started in 1994 with a practice session that would have made Vijay Singh proud.
 
'When I started hitting the ball in the driving range, I was not going to stop until dawn,' Maruyama said. 'I practiced every day.'
 
That led to neck and shoulder injuries that have cost him some distance off the tee, and required more cortisone shots than he can remember.
 
Maruyama considered surgery earlier this year, but said doctors would have had to cut around the front part of his neck and he would not have been able to play for two years.
 
He overcame that last week by winning at Greensboro, joining Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard as the only players who have won each of the last three years.
 
Maruyama says he takes a hot shower for 40 minutes every morning, and puts ice on his neck and shoulder up to four times each night.
 
DIVOTS: The Players Championship contributed a record $2 million to more than 70 charities in northeast Florida. Since the tournament moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, it has contributed more than $17 million to charities. ... Scott Hoch withdrew from the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort because of an ongoing hand injury, ending his streak of 24 straight appearances. Instead of calling, Hoch drove to the tournament office to withdraw. ... The final round of the World Match Play Championship caused split loyalties for Belgian sports psychologist Jos Vanstiphout, whose top two clients are Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn. With $1.6 million going to the winner, Bjorn had a good idea where to find him. 'I'm sure he's sitting home somewhere counting (money),' he said.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Shigeki Maruyama's 22-under 266 was the 16th time this year that the winning score was 20 under or better. Last year, that happened only nine times.
 
FINAL WORD: ``Last time I looked we're selling tickets at the door, just like the Cubs and the NHL and the movie theaters. This is entertainment.' - Peter Jacobsen.
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.