Davies Crushing Defeat Playing with Annika


Editors Note: Tom Abbott is the host of Golf Central UK. He will be filing a bi-weekly column on thegolfchannel.com with news, opinions and his inside knowledge of the European Tour.
A Crushing Defeat
For those of you watching the final round of the Ginn Open, youll know the madness which unfolded on the 17th and 18th holes -- Laura Davies finishing double-bogey, triple-bogey to miss a playoff by three and Lorena Ochoa running-up a double-bogey 6 on the last, handing Brittany Lincicome the victory. Laura Baugh and I were in the studio hosting coverage for the United Kingdom. After going off the air having watched this drama unfold in front of us, we sat speechless unable to fathom what had just happened to arguably the best golfer in the world, Ochoa, and the crafty veteran, Davies. The Englishwoman needs two regular LPGA victories or one more major win to stamp her ticket to the tours Hall of Fame. Afterwards, she told reporters that she must take the positives from the week, but one has got to wonder how a player of Davies' magnitude gets back to business knowing how close she was to obtaining one of those two wins. My hope is she can bounce-back quickly. The sport owes a big debt of gratitude to Laura and all she has done in boosting the profile of the womens game in Britain. Shes a character, unafraid of breaking the status quo, but at the same time an extremely nice lady wholl give you the time of day when asked for an interview or an autograph. Thankfully, the LPGA Tour will take a break for a couple of weeks before some meaty tournaments begin in May. Davies will go away and ponder this past week and with the right attitude come back and gain the two victories she rightly deserves.
Inspiring a Nation
Markus Brier, the only Austrian on the European Tour, claimed his second victory last week at the Volvo China Open. Meanwhile, Norways Suzann Pettersen has been coming awfully close to claiming her first LPGA victory with two runner-up spots in recent weeks, and Mexican Lorena Ochoa is the No. 1 player on the LPGA rankings. What do all these players have in common? They are inspiring their nations to play golf. Isnt that wonderful? The small gallery following Pettersen on Friday at the Ginn Open included a camera crew from Norway who follow the national star providing the country with her latest highlights. Brier must now be a national hero in his home country; one wonders how many young Austrians are now going to hang-up the skis and beg their parents for a set of golf clubs because theyve seen or read about their fellow countryman Brier. Ochoa enjoys absolute fame in Mexico. She is one of the countrys most dearly loved people and she is without a doubt bringing golf to her nation.
I was lucky enough to spend the day at the Annika Academy opening on Monday. It's truly a world-class facility, with a top-notch staff. But what I like about it, is the fact that it seems so friendly. You can walk into the building and for some strange reason you feel at home, not intimidated in anyway. Annika herself will be spending time there and for the right price you can spend the day with her. Just think about that for a moment. Is there any other athlete at the pinnacle of their sport with whom you can book a lesson. It's remarkable, and if youre lucky enough to have the spare cash, do it, thats all I can say.
Seves Back
After leaving us hanging for a couple of weeks, Seve Ballesteros has agreed to play in a Champions Tour event. He will tee it up at the Regions Charity Classic in Birmingham, Ala. from 18th-20th May. He became eligible for the seniors circuit earlier this month.
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