Sorenstam Hopes to Test Herself

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TOKYO (AP) -- After dominating the women's tour, Annika Sorenstam just wanted to see how she stacked up against some of the best men in the world.
 
World No. 1 Sorenstam, who is in Japan for the Nichirei Cup World Ladies tournament, said curiosity was the main reason for wanting to take on the men later this month at the Colonial, where she'll become the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA Tour event.
 
``Curiosity was the probably the biggest factor,'' the 32-year-old Swede said Wednesday, on the eve or the first round of the Nichirei Cup at the Yomiuri Country Club in Tokyo.
 
``For the Colonial, I plan to play conservative and smart off the tee,'' added Sorenstam. ``Level par for the week would be nice, but I have no idea where that will leave me.''
 
Sorenstam, who won 13 tournaments last year, said the par-70 Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, is suited to her game.
 
``I've played that course before,'' said Sorenstam, whose average driving distance is listed at 275 yards. ``It's very narrow and is total strategy off the tee. You have to be good with your irons and approach shots and that's where my strengths lie.''
 
Her decision to play on the men's tour has been met with mixed reaction. Babe Zaharias was the last woman to play on the PGA Tour when she contested the 1945 Los Angeles Open.
 
British Open officials have said that championship will remain an all-male tournament regardless of what Sorenstam does on the PGA Tour.
 
``Never is a long time, but for the moment the championship is for male golfers and for the foreseeable future it will remain that way,'' Royal and Ancient secretary Peter Dawson said last month.
 
Sorenstam said Wednesday that regular appearances on the men's tour are not part of her long-term plans.
 
``I want to see how good I am against the best men in the world on a course I can handle,'' added Sorenstam. ``I wouldn't stand a chance on about 95 percent of the courses on the PGA Tour.''
 
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