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Sorenstam Considers Playing With Big Boys

January 23, 2003|THOMAS BONK

Annika versus Tiger? And Ernie? And Phil, Sergio and Davis?

The top player on the LPGA Tour, Annika Sorenstam, said Wednesday she would welcome the chance to play in a PGA Tour event.

"The timing needs to be right, but I'm playing well now," she said. "I don't want to wait too long. But if I did get the chance, I'd love to do it. It'd be fun. I'd love the opportunity and the challenge."

Even though she is an LPGA star and a member of the Hall of Fame, Sorenstam has no status on the men's pro tour and would either have to qualify or receive a sponsor's exemption. To receive a sponsor's exemption, a player must be a professional and have at least a two-handicap. How Sorenstam would establish a handicap from the back tees is not clear.

Suzy Whaley, the head pro at Blue Fox Run Golf Club in Avon, Conn., will be the first female to play in a PGA Tour event if she follows through on her plans to play the Greater Hartford Open in July. Whaley qualified when she won a PGA sectional championship playing from the forward tees.

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