Sorenstam does herself injustice

The world of sport is reeling from a week-and-a-half debate over the merits of Annika Sorenstam, the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association’s top golfer, who will become the first female to compete on the men’s tour in 58 years this week at The Colonial in Fort Worth.

Yes, she’s good.

But, like Vijay Singh said out loud last week, and many other members of the tour likely were thinking, Sorenstam does not belong on the tour.

Not because she isn’t qualified — she will probably finish ahead of some men in the tournament, but her chances of making the cut are slim, due to the sheer power involved on the men’s tour. She doesn’t belong because she didn’t qualify.

Sorenstam and the sponsors who provided her with their automatic bid into the tournament did her a grave injustice: They gave her a free pass, and in the process, turned her into a freak show.

We’re not on the tour, and in the clubhouse to see how professionals who have struggled through qualifying school react to the presence of those in the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption, like Sorenstam will be. But we assure you one thing: They don’t react well.

Sorenstam could have qualified for the men’s tour on her own; we think she is good enough to have done so.

She can play, plain and simple.

She didn’t though, and in the process, set herself and the women’s tour back a few [hundred] years.

Vijay Singh was chastised for speaking his mind on the subject, saying basically he would pull out of the tournament if he was paired with Sorenstam. he later apologized, but didn’t back off the comments that she didn’t belong there.

We say good for him.

Unfortunately, Sorenstam didn’t heed his warning and instead made a grave mistake.

Sorenstam could surprise people and perform well in The Colonial, but most of the men’s golfers will remember her for not qualifying in the first place.