It's nice to see greatness in person

By Jeffery Armstrong

Chick-fil-A is pulling its sponsorhip of the Charity Championship after this season and it looks like the company is going out like John Elway did with the Denver Broncos football team: on top.

Chick-fil-A couldn't have scripted this year's tournament any better - having the world's No. 1 female golfer, Annika Sorenstam, dominate the field to run away with the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, which just happened to be her 60th LPGA career win. Not only that, but she did win on Sunday after losing her last tournament by 10 strokes to Cristie Kerr.

Now that's the mark of a champion. They say that greatness isn't defined with how you act when you win, but how you pick yourself up after you fail.

Not that Sorenstam's failed a whole lot in her career, but she didn't get to set the record of winning six consecutive LPGA tournament wins with her loss last week. She tied the record with five straight tourney wins.

But like a true champion, Sorenstam rebounded Sunday to become the first two-time Chick-fil-A Charity Championship winner and she may be well on the way to dominating the rest of the LPGA tournament schedule. In fact, Sorenstam pretty much predicted she would bounce back this week after her loss at the Michelob Ultra Open last week.

"I will dig deep, come back next week and play well," she said. "I just have to start over and maybe I can do another streak. We'll see what happens."

What was nice about this year's tournament is that I was able to see Sorenstam at her very best, unlike last year's Chick-fil-A where she finished tied for 10th place.

She was bogey-free in three of the four rounds in the 2005 tourney, definitely proving she is the No. 1 female golfer in thw world. But what's most important is now she is the third athlete I've seen in person who qualifies as the best in their sport.

I never got to see Michael Jordan or Julius Erving play basketball in person, but I did have the pleasure of seeing Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets play when I lived in Houston. Olajuwon was not only the greatest center of my generation, but when Jordan retired from 1993-1995, Olajuwon was the best player in basketball, hands down.

In baseball, I saw San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn play the Houston Astros in the late 1990s. Gwynn arguably was the greatest hitter I've seen - he was a master at putting the ball in play. Welcome to the list, Annika.

We are the world: Women from all over the world populate the LPGA. Out of the 72 players involved in the final round pairings on Sunday, 42 were from other countries. Out of those 42 women, 13 were from Korea.