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Ten Things You Need to Know About the Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Ten things you need to know about the Bank of America Colonial, which one caddie referred to Tuesday as the 'Annika Invitational.'
1) I wish I had not publicly predicted that Sorenstam will shoot 79 76 and miss the cut by more than 10 shots in this event that will begin for her with much fanfare Thursday morning in a grouping that includes two starstruck rookies Aaron Barber and Dean Wilson. Turns out Sorenstam will probably be hitting short irons into eight of the 14 non Par 3 holes. Colonial Country Club will not overwhelm her. She will still struggle to make the cut. But if she has the putting tournament of her life, she will cash a nice check Sunday.
2) Sorenstam is enjoying this. I sat next to her on the Golf Channel set Tuesday afternoon and I was much more nervous than she was. She has achieved some kind of 'zen' state at the moment. Maybe that will change if she three putts a few times on her first nine Thursday. But I don't see her caving to the pressure.
3) By late Tuesday afternoon on the range at Colonial a large majority of the players had lightened up on the whole 'Does Annika Belong?' question. Their initial reluctance to welcome her into their exclusive club had been replaced by a genuine curiosity about how she will do and an amusement that the media has gotten its arms around a sensational story that has nothing to do with Tiger Woods.
4) Nick Price is a sympathetic figure. He almost won last week in Dallas. He is the defending champion here. And he is at the top of his game well into his 40s. Yet he struggled in the interview tent Tuesday because so many of the questions involved Annika. Price is a good bet to be on the first page of the leaderboard late Sunday. But he will have to wait until later in the year to get his full due at the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The irony is that Sorenstam will be inducted at the same ceremony.
5) Hogan would have been OK with Sorenstam's participation in a tournament he won five times. Sorenstam is methodical. She works hard and she knows how to manage her game. Hogan managed his game better than anybody who ever lived. And a lot of people forget that when the Golf Writers of America presented their first 'Ben Hogan Award' in 1954, it went to a woman, Babe Didrikson Zaharias for her courage in the face of a battle with cancer. Hogan, beaming, was there to give her the award.
6) Pat Bates has, by his own admission, been mistaken for Annika Sorenstam on more than one occasion this week.
7) Vijay Singh isn't missed.
8) It is said here that the winner Sunday will be someone with Texas ties. Bob Estes comes to mind. Scott Verplank is a candidate. My first choice: Justin Leonard. My longshot: Leonard's college teammate at the University of Texas, Harrison Frazar.
9) The Bank of America picked the right time to get involved in this tournament.
10) How about adding Sorenstam's name to the short list of women candidates to be the first female member at Augusta National. It would be a stroke of genius for Masters chairman Hootie Johnson.
Related Links:
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
  • Annika and the Colonial Timeline
  • Full Coverage of the Bank of America Colonial