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Grouchy Golf Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 at 10:12 AM

Annika's Grand Slam Quest, Can Wie Stop Her?

Early last week, I watched "Whale Rider" for the first time. The movie is set in New Zealand about a young Maori girl who becomes the leader of her people. I didn't think much of the movie, but I now know that it was really just the Golf Gods sending a message to me about the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. I mean, what are the chances that you watch a movie about a Maori rising above all odds and then several days later a real one accomplishes a similar feat at the toughest golf tournament in the world? Congrats to Michael Campbell on a masterful performance. But enough with the men, it's now time to focus on the ladies.

Annika Sorenstam has been dominating golf this year like no one else in the modern golf era. She is even eclipsing the supremacy of Tiger circa 1999-2000. Here are some of her amazing LPGA stats so far this year:
These are simply mind-blowing stats for anyone who plays a game as nutty as golf. The bottom line is that Annika is winning 75% of the tournaments that she starts.

Annika is now halfway through her quest to become the first woman to win the modern-day Grand Slam. She breezed through the first 2 majors of the year, leaving little reason to doubt that she won't continue likewise through the last 2 majors.

When I try to think of some names that could pose a serious threat to Annika, I draw a big blank. Unlike the PGA Tour where there are the "Big Five," the LPGA really only has the "Big One." There's simply no one else in the LPGA playing at the same level as Annika right now.

But I do think that someone outside the LPGA has a legit shot to upset Annika. That person is the amateur phenom, Michelle Wie. Quite impressively, the 15-year-old has two runner-up finishes in four LPGA starts this year. She came the closest to beating Annika at the most recent major, the McDonald's LPGA Championship. Michelle is playing her best golf and is primed for this week's U.S. Women's Open. While she has all the talent to rain on Annika's parade, she may not have the experience (nor the putter) to do it in a major. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds, but in the meantime, I plan to catch a flick or two. I'm really in the mood to watch a movie about a young Hawaiian that stuns the world. Any suggestions?

Blogger CB said...

Wie has the best ‘looking’ golf swing I have ever seen. Her backswing is so smooth it makes it look like Couples has a hitch.

I don't think she will win the Open, though I do think it would be phenomenal for women’s golf and golf in general. Her length and flashes of shot-making give her a shot but Annika is in so much control of her game. It seems like the Open demands the latter. Fun Sunday pairing to watch if you ask me.  

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Anonymous Jennifer Mario said...

Trackback at http://www.travelgolf.com/blogs/jennifer.mario  

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Blogger dave said...

My vote goes for Annika, but I agree that Michelle would be a great test if she is on her game. She doesn't seem to let things get to her for a person that age.  

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Blogger Helen said...

Love the Whale Rider! (don't know much about golf, though!)
Peace............  

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Blogger woundedduck said...

Asking if Wie can challenge Annika is like asking if Sergio Garcia could challenge Woods back in 2000. Obviously Wie can't do it. Annika is a golf juggernaught right now, so if anyone is going to challenge her, two things will have to happen: Annika will have to cool down and the challenger will have to heat-up. Eventually that will happen, because every great athlete inevitably declines. But for the next few years, Annika is it, and neither Wie nor anyone else will change that.  

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Blogger CB said...

Woundedduck,

Morons! That is what they all must be. The PGA, LPGA, USGA, R&A, the entire lot of them… Why bother going through the motions just to reach the inevitable ends you know so deeply to be true? Annika can’t make bogeies! Why waste all the cold-cuts on a hospitality tent just to have some event that is already a foregone conclusion! I just hope when they realize it, call you, and end televised golf forever that you still post on blogs such as these. I may be able to live without the futile efforts of upstarts like Gulbis, Creamer, Wie, and even Tiger but I don’t know what I would do without you.  

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