Early this year I noticed that I drew the Standard Register Ping and the Nabisco Championship in back to back weeks and was originally excited about the chance to spend a little time in the desert where I once lived and, of course, the opportunity to catch up with some old friends on tour. I had no idea of the history that was about to take place.
On Friday at the Standard Register Ping, my cameraman Al and I showed up around our usual time hoping that a nice story would surface at some point during the day. The first thing I saw when I looked up at the scoreboard was:
Annika Sorenstam '8 '9 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15
That of course, was her score in relation to par. She had birdied her first eight holes. No offense to the LPGA, but I had to verify that score with someone official before I got too excited. As soon as that happened, Al and I jumped on a cart and chased her down. We let her finish No. 9 and we set up our camera on the first green of her back nine. We proceeded to watch her make three consecutive birdies. Even she couldnt believe what was going on. Her husband David walked around with us talking about how hard shed been working on her game and how it was about to pay off. He was thinking 57.
At days end, it couldve easily been a 57, but Annika walked away satisfied with 59 in a heartbeat.
And speaking of heartbeat, I dont know how she did it. When she was standing over birdies putts, MY heart was pounding. Its the most excited Ive ever been in any day at the office. I had just witnessed history. The thing that impressed me the most was that she had just come off a record setting performance in Tucson the week before. What she was doing was incredible. I couldnt help but wonder though, had she spent all of her good fortune the week before a major?
At one point during her round of 59 I asked Annikas husband David what was more exciting to her, shooting 59, or winning majors? He said without even a second to spare, majors.
Did she peak too soon?
Annika Sorenstam is riding a wave of confidence unlike any other Ive seen in a long time in womens golf. Granted Tiger is the exception in mens golf, but Annika is taking womens golf to the next level.
She openly admitted how desperately she wanted to win the Nabisco Championship. She publicly stated her goal before the week started, then she methodically went about her business and once again, left every player in her dust, including Karrie Webb.
There is no doubt in my mind that Annika is the best player in the world right now and Karrie will have to wait at least another two months to even have a chance to reclaim that honor. Webb is taking the next 5 weeks off and the U.S. Open is the next major in June.
While Webb is recharging her batteries, Sorenstam will continue on with the LPGA schedule trying to set a new record for consecutive victories. Right now the number is four for scheduled wins and five for straight starts (Nancy Lopez in 1978).
When youre hot, youre hot and Sorenstam is letting everyone know that she is number one. But in reality, the best part of the scenario is shes not doing it for anyone but herself.
What do you think of Annika's performance over the last three weeks?
Share your thoughts!
Full Coverage of the Nabisco Championship