Annika the Great


WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Annika Sorenstam is the greatest golfer in the world. There, I said it.

Im sure many fans of that young fellow who plays on that other tour will disagree; but, to those die-hards, I ask: Will you at least admit Annika was the greatest golfer this year?
To be sure, Ms. Sorenstam just completed one of the greatest seasons in the history of womens professional golf. Her win at the ADT Championship (a.k.a. The LPGA Tour Championship) was Annikas 11th this year on the LPGA Tour. The stunning Swede also won both of her starts on the Ladies European Tour (in fields as strong as most American events).

Being conservative, Annikas 11-win season is the best since the legendary Mickey Wright won the same number of tournaments in 1964. To be generous, Annikas total of 13 wins matches the greatest annual victory total ever recorded. Wright won 13 in 1963.

Sorenstam ended this amazing campaign with a scoring average of 68.7 strokes per round. That eclipsed the record she set last year by three-quarters of a stroke per 18 holes.
What is she most proud of this year ' the victories, or the scoring record?
The scoring average, Annika said, It shows that I was consistent, that I played well all year. I was in contention almost every week.
She certainly was.
Annikas 13 victories came in just 25 worldwide starts. Thats a winning percentage over 50. She also finished second three times and third three times. In 2002, Sorenstam finished in the top-three 19 times in 25 events ' a rate of 76 percent. She missed the top-ten just three times all year.
How did she do it? Sorenstam was first on the LPGA Tour in greens-hit-in-regulation. She was fourth in driving accuracy and fifth in driving distance. Her 265-yards average off the tee was a powerful 13 yards more than her 2001 average.
This humble superb-star said, Im not amazed by what I do. I just know what I can do, what is possible for me, and I work hard to make it happen. I come to the tee every week with a lot of confidence.'

For good reason.