FORT WORTH (Texas): Annika Sorenstam arrived at Colonial Country Club Monday, making a low-key entrance to launch her landmark appearance on the PGA Tour.
When the Swedish superstar tees it up on Thursday she’ll become the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1945 to play in a PGA Tour event.
The predicted media circus was already showing signs of materializing as dozens of reporters, photographers and TV cameramen waited at the entrance of the clubhouse for Sorenstam’s evening arrival.
But the player who describes herself as reserved and focused, instead used another entrance and headed for the driving range, where she was hitting balls under the eye of coach Henry Reis as a knot of reporters gradually grew under the eye of four uniformed security guards.
Pursued by the now-obligatory band of jostling reporters flinging questions at her, Sorenstam confined herself to a few brief answers as she climbed into a golf cart to be whisked to the practice green.
“Very” she said, when asked if she were happy to be here.
“I’m ready,” she said, when asked if she were looking forward to the challenge.
On the practice green PGA Tour pro Fred Funk walked over and shook her hand, as did Tom Pernice.
After some putting and chipping practice, Sorenstam again climbed into a golf cart.
Someone asked her if she were surprised by all the attention.
“I’m amazed,” she replied as the cart bore her away. – AFP