Share this article

print logo


Had it been any other day, Rory Sabbatini might have been upset almost nobody noticed him. The same went for Patrick Sheehan, Mark Calcavecchia and anyone else on the Colonial leader board.

The only golfer people wanted to talk about was tied for 73rd.

It's probably been 58 years since there was such a mixture of hype, affection, nerves and surrender during a PGA Tour round. The surrender came from the 112 people in the field not named Annika Sorenstam, who knew they couldn't fight the big story.

"I don't have a problem with it," said Sabbatini, who shot 64 to actually lead the tournament. "I did the best I could today, and what I feel about my game is what counts."

He's feeling very good, as is Sheehan. The 33-year-old rookie shot 65. Not that anyone noticed.

"We saw 10 people the whole day," he said, "which was probably to our benefit. There were so many people following her today, I can't imagine how they finished before us. We teed off after them."

Besides the crowd that followed Sorenstam and roughly enough media to stretch from Fort Worth to Dallas, there were also fans like John Harrell, who wore a chicken hat with "Vijay" on the side.

Harrell believes Vijay Singh was wrong when he said Sorenstam didn't belong at Colonial. Singh withdrew from the tournament.

"He's a chicken," Harrell said. "He's afraid of her."

Sorenstam's 71 matched playing partner Dean Wilson's score and was one stroke better than her other partner, Aaron Barber.

"You can't help but root for her. She's so nice and she plays so solid out there," said Barber. "I'm not ashamed to lose to her."

At the LPGA Corning Classic, Sorenstam's round was shown on a giant TV screen near the 18th green.

"There was a big holler in the locker room when she got her first birdie," Rosie Jones said. "Wherever there's a TV, people are watching."

There are no comments - be the first to comment