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Sorenstam Faces the Big Boys Again

PGA TourAnnika Sorenstam is playing against the men again, and she thinks her chances are at least a little better this time.
Sorenstam will compete against Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and defending champion Mark O'Meara next week in The Skins Game at the Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif.
The skins format, in which each hole is a separate competition for the combined prize of $1 million, offers a better chance for success than Sorenstam had when she competed in the PGA Tour's Colonial in May.
At the Colonial, Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour. She had a solid two rounds, but failed to make the cut.
'I do feel I'm a little more aggressive just because every hole is a new match,' she said Wednesday in a conference call. 'It's a fun format.'

Sorenstam is the first woman to participate in the 20-year history of The Skins Game. She comes with some recent experience after going against Retief Goosen, Jesper Parnevik and a local pro last week in the Tiger Skins tournament in Singapore. Goosen won the event with $130,000. Sorenstam won five skins and $35,000.
The financial stakes will be higher in the Nov. 29-30 competition on the new Trilogy course, which stretches nearly 7,200 yards.
'I mean, obviously, the length is a factor,' Sorenstam said. 'I mean, it's going to be very hard to win skins on birdies on the par 5's. So when I was playing last week, I was figuring maybe the par 3's will be my chance. And that's exactly what happened.'
She also figures to play her solid game and let the men take the big risks.
'Of course, I would like to hit it further, you know, another 10 or 20 yards, but I just can't do it,' Sorenstam said. 'So my strategy is to try and keep the ball on the fairway. I know I can make birdies. Last week in Singapore, I made seven birdies and one bogey, which was way more than the guys made.'
She said her Skins Game appearance is not just a novelty.
'I want to have fun, but then I'm also very competitive,' Sorenstam said, 'and I'm looking forward to a great week. This is my chance to play with the guys and I've always enjoyed that. And what I like the most is the challenge that I've really, really got to play my best to even have a slight chance.'
Sorenstam has been halfway around the world the last few weeks. From Singapore, she flew to Florida for this week's LPGA Championships, then it will be across the country to California.
She called this year her most rewarding.
'This is definitely the most memorable year I've had so far,' she said, 'I mean, exciting as well as a learning experience as well, just because of the Colonial and satisfying in the sense that I won two majors that I hadn't won before to get the career grand slam.'
The skins games against the men are terrific, but Sorenstam said she will not be coaxed to compete in another PGA Tour event.
'I loved the Colonial. It was the greatest thing that happened to me golf-wise and I learned so much,' she said. 'It was really, really memorable. But I figure if I do it again, it won't be the same.'
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