Notes Unassuming Hurst Settles for McDonalds


2006 U.S. Womens OpenNEWPORT, R.I. -- Pat Hurst left the Newport Country Club on Sunday night tied for the lead of the U.S. Women's Open and unable to get into one of the city's fancier restaurants.
Dropping her name might have helped get a table, 'but I wasn't going to,' she said.
'I ended up at McDonald's.'
Hurst was pretty tired after Sunday's 36-hole, supposed-to-be final round of the tournament, which she finished at even-par 284 to force an 18-hole playoff on Monday with Annika Sorenstam. They didn't finish playing the fourth round until about 7:30 p.m. -- and didn't get off the course until closer to 9 -- and Hurst just wanted to get something to eat, iron her clothes for the next day and get to bed.
'I really didn't have much time with the traffic. There were a lot of people here last night,' she said. 'We actually tried to get into a different restaurant and that was busy. We asked for takeout and they said there was going to be a wait for takeout, and we weren't going to wait for that.
'So that's how we ended up at McDonald's.'
Sorenstam ran away with the playoff, taking a two-stroke lead after the first hole and holding on for a four-stroke victory that earned her $560,000. Hurst got $335,000 for second place.
And that's a lot of McNuggets.
The blonde hair, the accent and the uniform she wears at us-against-them golf tournaments like the Solheim Cup say that Annika Sorenstam is Swedish.
But the three-time U.S. Women's Open winner is an American now, having been sworn in as a citizen last month in Orlando, Fla. She's just waiting for her U.S. passport to arrive.
'I think it's pretty funny how things happen, and the sequence they come in,' she said. 'I don't know if you can count this as my (national championship), but I'm a U.S. citizen and this is the championship of the USA.'
Sorenstam will be a dual citizen and still play for Europe in the Solheim Cup.
'I'm still European at heart,' she said. 'I've been over here for 16 years and I like it. This is where I spend my time, and the way I look at it, I'll probably be here the rest of my life. So I thought that was the appropriate thing to do.'
Pat Hurst fell behind by five strokes on the front nine of the U.S. Women's Open playoff, and when she got to the 17th green still trailing by five, she knew it was over.
So after teeing off on No. 18, it seemed like her chance to ask Annika Sorenstam for a favor.
'I said, 'If anything, I just want a signed ball from you,'' Hurst told reporters. 'Just like everybody else, they want a signed ball. So do I.
'She's a Hall of Famer. We don't have too many Hall of Famers on our tour, and she's great. She's a class act in women's golf and she's very good for us. Someone like that, you want them on your side, and she is.'
So what did Sorenstam say about the signed ball?
'Well, of course I am going to give her one,' she said. 'But I said, 'Pat, you can ask for anything any time. Do you have to wait for the 18th hole at the U.S. Open?''
There were 4,655 people watching Monday's playoff round, compared to more than 20,000 on Sunday.
Other than the shuffling of feet as the fans followed the only two golfers from hole to hole, the only sounds were the crashing of the sea and the banging of the workers as they dismantled parts of the U.S. Women's Open setup.
Although the grandstands were full -- at least for the last few holes -- the luxury boxes lining the 18th were mostly deserted.
'When we came out there was hardly anybody here,' said Annika Sorenstam, who won the playoff by four strokes. 'I mean, this is a championship you want to win, and you feel like it's just me and Pat and we're going to play a casual round of golf.'
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