Fans voice opinons about Sorenstam playing in Colonial

By Anthony Rhoads

Annika Sorenstam is making history today when she becomes the first woman since 1948 to compete in a PGA Tour event.

Today, Sorenstam tees off the in the Colonial, a PGA tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. Not since Babe Zaharias played in the Los Angeles Open in 1945 has a woman played on the PGA Tour.

Sorenstam has dominated the LPGA in recent years and has won 43 tournaments including the 2001 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, which is held at the Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge.

After dominating the LPGA, Sorenstam is now seeing how she plays against the men.

"I think it's good for golf in general," said Christy Jones, a Clayton County resident who plays golf several times a year. "I think if she does well, it will reflect good on the LPGA. She's the ?Tiger Woods' of the LPGA. If she doesn't do well, I don't think it will reflect bad on the LPGA because the expectations are that she's not going to do well."

Jones disagrees with some comments made by some PGA Tour players like Vijay Singh, who have said that Sorenstam doesn't belong in the PGA Tour event.

"I hope she does well," Jones said. "I think they're wrong and she's not taking anyone's spot. She's playing on a sponsor's exemption, which can go to anyone. I think will be a great tournament and a lot of people will be watching it."

Randy Blocker is pretty familiar with the LPGA and Sorenstam as he has volunteered at the Chick-fil-A.

Blocker also plays golf several times a week at Lake Spivey Golf Club.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with what she's doing; she's a great golfer," he said. "No, I don't think (she'll make the cut). I think she will be in the middle of the pack. I'm looking forward to seeing the competition. I think if she does well, it will change a lot of minds."

Lake Spivey director of golf Matthew Uhl believes that the attention Sorenstam is getting is beneficial for the game and will get more people interested in golf.

"I think it brings in more people to the sport of golf," he said. "It's a game to be enjoyed by all and there are many women who can play very well. Sorenstam wants to see what her game is made of. I think it's great and she has every right to play the game. At first, I was skeptical but now I can't think of one negative thing about her playing in the tournament."

Jeoff Hamilton, the general manager of Lake Spivey and River's Edge Golf Club, also is impressed with Sorenstam.

"I think it's fine she's playing in the tournament," he said. "She's dominated the LPGA and what she's done at that level is very impressive. I'm not sure she will make the cut but it will be exciting."