Annikas Playing Partners Thrilled

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Fort Worth, Texas -- Dean Wilson walked into the press room with a button pinned to his shirt that said, Go Annika. He bought it ' yes, bought it when he heard he would be playing with her ' for $3.
 
Apparently Annika Sorenstam wont have to worry about negative vibes coming from her two playing partners Thursday and Friday.
 
Oh ' Wilson and Aaron Barber are the men who get the honor Thursday and Friday. Both are men from the tour fringe who are about to play in front of the biggest crowds in their life. They were chosen at random by the computer to play with the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event in 58 years.
 
Both, incidentally, feel the pairing with Sorenstam is an honor.
 
I think its great, said Wilson. I think having her be here to test her skills against the players in the PGA Tour is a great opportunity for her. Im excited to be a part of it. I hope she does well.
 
Barber doesnt doubt that Sorenstam deserves to be here. Shes super competitive, he said. Shes very dominant on the LPGA Tour and I think its a way for her to test herself at a higher level. Shes earned this opportunity.
 
She got an unrestricted sponsor exemption. She didnt take a spot. Shes earned this based on her resume. And thats how you get sponsor exemptions. So I think she is going to do well.
 
Both men are quite used to playing daily rounds with women. Wilson regularly plays at home with Futures Tour player Christel Tomari. And Barber is married to a former college golfer. His son, born a week ago, made an interesting partner during practice last week.
 
So I think that is distraction enough for anyone, he quipped.
 
Wilson said he has been an observer at a distance of Sorenstam for several years now.
 
Its a unique experience to be able to play with her in a tournament atmosphere like this, he said. Ive been a big fan of hers for many years in her career, watching her. I think it will be great to be alongside of her and watch how someone like her handles herself in this situation in this tournament.
 
And neither will go home in shame if Sorenstam beats them.
 
If she plays well and I play bad, anybody can beat me when I play bad, said Wilson.
 
Shes going to beat some people, theres no doubt, said Barber. And Im worried about 113 people beating me every week. Its a great opportunity for us to be part of history here.

Related Links:
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
  • Annika and the Colonial Timeline
  • Full Coverage of the Bank of America Colonial