Duval Weighs in on Annika

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David Duval played in two exhibitions with Annika Srenstam the last two years and knows her game as well as any PGA Tour player.
 
'I wish I could hit the ball that straight,' he said. 'It's impressive.'
 
While he respects her considerable skills, Duval thinks it will be supremely difficult for Srenstam to make the cut next week at the Bank of America Colonial, when she becomes the first woman in 58 years to venture onto PGA Tour soil.
 
That's why he was so perplexed Monday night to hear such an outcry from Vijay Singh and a few others who think Srenstam doesn't belong and doesn't have a chance.
 
'I don't know what everyone is so worried about,' Duval said. 'If they think she can't make the cut, that's one less person to beat, isn't it?'
 
'If you're paying attention to Annika that week, then you're missing the cut,' said Olin Browne, a past champion at the event. 'The most important thing is to play your own game and forget about everything else.'
 
The Bank of America Colonial isn't the place to keep score, although defending champion Nick Price didn't dismiss the possibility of several PGA Tour players getting beaten by a woman.
 
'Golf is a tough game,' he said. 'We're used to being beaten. It's like marathon runners. There are girls who beat them all the time. If someone can beat me, I'll take my hat off and shake their hand.
 
'But I'm sure for a lot of guys, it will be tough.'
 
Duval and Srenstam tied in December when they played an exhibition in Mexico with Jack Nicklaus and Lorena Ochoa. Duval lost to her at the 'Battle at Bighorn' two years ago, although they had partners in the alternate shot match -- Srenstam's was Tiger Woods.
 
Duval would like to see Srenstam make the cut, but he isn't betting on it.
 
He isn't skeptical about her skills, only the stage.
 
'Because of her ability, I wouldn't be surprised if she shot 71 to 74,' Duval said. 'Because of the circumstance, I wouldn't be surprised if she shot 77 to 81. Her biggest challenge is playing like she's capable. If she does, I think she has a very good chance to make the cut.'
 
And if she does?
 
'You would have to look at it like a sub-60 round, or maybe four straight rounds in the 60s at the U.S. Open ,' Duval said.
 
And a lot of guys -- Singh, in particular -- would look very foolish.
 
Related Links:
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
  • Full Coverage of the Bank of America Colonial
     

     
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