Will Annika Sorenstam need to do a Mexican hat dance to take the eyes off Lorena Ochoa?
Let me get straight to the point. Annika Sorenstam picked the wrong event for her LPGA season debut.
Let’s face it, the MasterCard Classic honoring Alejo Peralto is a tournament custom-made for Lorena Ochoa. Her fan base is in Mexico and she already won the Corona Morelia last year, earning the respect and accolades of her country and its citizens. Golf is a sport that is rising in popularity in Mexico and Ochoa is at its forefront.
True, Lorena has had her rookie “blips", snowmen coming down the stretch to sidewind her just at the moment of glory. But this year I see a different side to Lorena, one filled with confidence that won’t allow her to be put off by a miserable eight. Although the season-openers in Hawaii were merely “okay” for Lorena (one top-five and one not worth mentioning), this week she has something to prove.
Can Annika offer any advice to Lorena?
“I should ask her,” Annika commented during her pre-tournament interview. “She was Player of the Year last year. She’s on the right track..It’s just a matter of time before she wins a major.”
Speaking of majors, it seems that when reading Sorenstam’s interview, she sounded more interested in going after the majors than any other event. With other projects in the works, is Annika thinking of giving up the weekly rigors of tournament golf?
Is Sorenstam becoming LPGA Tour royalty?
Seven of the top-ten on the money list are in this week’s field. Who else stands a chance?
Paula Creamer and Stacy P. are on hand, fresh off victories in Hawaii. Creamer says her “confidence is high.” Natalie Gulbis is still in limbo, hoping her first win comes soon or people might start thinking of her as an older Michelle Wie. Julieta Granada is really coming into her own (and I think it helps that her mom is on the bag for her).
There’s always Annika’s non-exempt sister Charlotta, who has only won once in 2000. Perhaps she just provides support for her sister but I’ll bet there’s some sibling rivalry. Who can believe Charlotta when she says, “People compare us but I don’t. We are two different individuals. I don’t feel any pressure, and any pressure there is comes from myself.”
As for Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa and the rest of the ladies, perhaps they should be looking over their shoulders at rookies like Meaghan Francella who have the desire to make an impact early this year!
But seriously folks, this week I’m betting it’s a battle for third place as Sorenstam and Ochoa duke it out at the Mastercard Classic.
Check out the action on the Golf Channel.
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