Perfect No But Annikas Close


Annika Sorenstam won 10 times this year. Thats unheard of in golf circles, but thats still not golfing perfection. She didnt shoot 54 ' perfection as far as Sorenstam is concerned. And there were 10 or so tournaments that she didnt win.
Some people say things like that, that they wont truly be satisfied. Sorenstam says them ' and believes them.
I feel like I want to reach the point where I feel like this is as good as I can play, Sorenstam said. Not just for a round or two, but, you know, really feel like I cant get any better than this.
Shes already shot 59, and while she acknowledged that that was very good, there were a couple of places that afternoon where she felt she could improve. She won 10 times this season, the final one last weekend, but she knows that the year didnt approach perfection. Until she reaches that stage ' and no one has ever reached it before ' she will not be satisfied.
She can make it 11 wins when the LPGA plays its season-ending Tyco Championship the weekend of Nov. 21-24. She really has 12, since she defeated Karrie Webb in a playoff at an Australian event earlier this year, and also won once in her native Sweden. She could reach the magic 13 at the Tyco, which would tie Mickey Wrights record, although Wright will still own the record since all her wins were official LPGA tournaments.
But she still wont consider it perfect. Perfect is reserved for that special place in her mind where she hits every shot in the sweet spot. And perfect is attainable, to all those golfers who might be thinking it isnt, she says.
Im too anxious at certain times, Annika explains. My caddy always says that Im over-ready. Im just so ready to go that its like I step on myself a little bit. I have to get a handle on that because I want too much when I come out. I get too anxious sometimes and its like I have to hang on and slow down.
She also is ill sometimes and has to slow down. It happened in Japan when she won last weekend with a severe cold.
Im a little shocked, I think, said Sorenstam, and it was difficult to tell if it was because of the illness or because she won her 10th.
I set high goals for myself, she conceded, but sometimes you wonder if you can achieve them. Here I am, and I definitely achieved one of my goals. I feel like crying in a way, but Im so happy that I feel like jumping high. Its wonderful.
Annikas rounds seemed close to perfection ' she shot 69 when she was feeling really lousy Friday, backed that up with a low one Saturday (65), then came right back on Sunday with a 67. Thats a long way from 54 ' remember that perfect round? ' but its getting awfully close, especially for an out-of-sorts woman.
My driving accuracy and greens-in-regulation are good, but there are still things I think I can be better at, she said, and it was apparent that that same old perfection thing was coming through.
It takes good technique, which I have, but my imagination with shot-making is not as good. I keep thinking the same on all shots, and if you have a good imagination, you can see different shots, and that's what I need to develop.
So now its just not the shots she hits ' but the shots she could have hit!
That's something my instructor (Henri Reis) and I have worked on the last few years, Annika said. We've been working on hitting different shots with different clubs because I'm a player who hits the same shot the same way over and over. That can be good for certain points, but when you get a lie you're not used to, you need to have a good imagination.
Well, there you have it. That could keep her busy for, oh, say, a couple hundred years. She wont ever be perfect. But ' shhhh ' dont tell her.