By Jeffery Armstrong
As I sit here cranking out my column this week, I can't help but laugh about this flak between professional golfer Vijay Singh and Annika Sorenstam, the top female golfer in the world. Singh and probably other golfers are upset that Sorenstam is playing in the Colonial, an upcoming men's tournament. Singh has since apologized for his remarks, but the damage has been done.
I'm cracking up about this because I can't believe how these male pros are acting. They want Sorenstam to miss the cut and not play in the full tourney. It seems like most of the men are worried about either losing to Sorenstam or missing the cut themselves while she plays on, which would bruise their egos.
Who cares whether she makes the cut or that one of the guys finishes behind her in the end? Do these guys think people are going to razz them for finishing behind the No. 1 female golfer in the world? I can't imagine Vinnie from down the street coming up to Davis Love III saying, ?Yo, DL3, how could you lose to a lousy girl what's up with that?'
Golf is one of the few sports that's totally individual. Success in golf depends on how well YOU play that day. Why worry about Sorenstam when you've got to take care of your own business? If you play your absolute best and you lose in golf, you've just got to tip your visor to the winner.
Besides, you can forge a great golf career without winning all the time. Look at Phil Mickelson. He hasn't won a major tournament title yet, but I'm sure he is living pretty well. I'm sure he's not in my shoes, worrying about whether he'll have money in his pocket after paying bills.
The PGA golfers are worried about the wrong thing. Finishing behind Sorenstam is nothing to be embarrassed about it's not like she's chopped liver. She can really play.
I'll tell you what's embarrassing: the fact that a 13-year-old Hawaiian girl named Michelle Wie can whip my you-know-what in the game of golf. I had the pleasure of seeing Wie at the Chick-fil-A Charity golf tourney a few weeks ago and she's incredible. She drives the ball farther than many of the LPGA pros and probably as far as some of the men. I've only played golf one time in my entire life and I hit one shot in the air in nine holes. One air shot, people. The rest of my shots looked like I was playing baseball ("there's a drive down the line; Armstrong might go for a double") instead of golf. When I hit my air shot, I jumped in the air like former Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk did in the 1975 World Series, waving the ball fair instead of foul. That's how bad my game is.
I used to think playing golf was easy like Sunday morning. I was wrong about that and I gained a lot of respect for golfers. If mess like this keeps happening, I may lose most of that respect.
(Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).