playing what she called one of the best rounds of her life on Thursday
in shooting only one over par 71, on Friday she regressed toward the
mean, shooting a 74. That’s five over par for the tournament, thirteen
strokes off the lead. That puts her four strokes over the cut of one
over par. She still beat 13 men out of 114, so she played extremely well
under pressure. She hit a disastrous stretch of five bogeys in eight
holes in the middle of today’s round but then she gutted it out and
closed with seven straight pars. Congratulations to her.
think the results support my conclusion from Wednesday that she probably
couldn’t make a living on the men’s tour (i.e., her travel and caddy
fees would exceed her winnings).
compared her in my article to the short-hitting old-timer Corey Pavin
and suggested he was about four strokes per 36 holes better than her.
Here, he beat her by seven strokes, even though they both averaged 268
off the tee (99th out of 114). The odd thing is that male pros generally
have more delicate touch around the greens than the women pros.
probably stems from how few American teenage girls want to become golf
pros relative to American teenage boys. In other words, women pros are
selected from a much smaller group of golf crazy teenagers than men pros
are selected from.
major problem for the LPGA tour is that all but one of its tournaments
in the last eight months or so have been won my non-Americans. In
Sweden, where Sorenstam is from, and in East Asia, golf is much less
unfashionable among heterosexual teenage girls than it is here. Golf
used to be trendy in the U.S. among young women — my Mom gave me a book
of golf memorabilia that included lots of fashion magazine covers from
the 1920s of young ladies swinging their mashie-niblicks while dressed
in the height of flapper fashion. In that decade, P.G. Wodehouse sold
dozens of romantic comedy short stories about beautiful girls who shoot
scratch and the duffers who love them to the Saturday Evening Post. So,
the real problem for women’s golf in America is that young girls don’t
think it makes them look sexy, and I’m not sure that Annika pumping
herself up to look like Hans and Franz isn’t going to solve that.