The fact that renowned woman golfer Annika Sorenstam wants to play with the boys is making some of those boys pretty upset. After accepting a sponsor’s invitation to play next week in the Colonial Tournament – a Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour event – Sorenstam was publicly beleaguered by PGA golfer Vijay Singh, who said in an interview with the Associated Press that “she doesn’t belong” and he hopes she doesn’t make the cut. “What is she going to prove by playing? It’s ridiculous,” Singh said, as reported by the Washington Post. “She’s the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize ‘woman.’ We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She’s taking a spot from someone in the field.”
Known as the best woman golfer in history, Sorenstam has given little attention to the controversy. “This is my career, and I can’t worry about what anyone thinks,” she told the Post. “I’ve heard things like ‘this is a man’s playground, and I should be on a woman’s playground.’ I think it’s funny.” Sorenstam will be the first woman in 58 years to enter a men’s event. She will be playing from the same tees as the rest of the players – which is approximately 700 yards longer than the average course used in a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event.
Many are applauding Sorenstam’s decision, including champion golfer Tiger Woods, who said that Sorenstam should be given the chance to play several PGA tournaments in order to show the world that she can compete with men. “She is an athlete first, a woman second,” wrote USA Today columnist Jon Saraceno. “We should applaud that she’s willing to put herself under a microscope against bigger, stronger golfers with the risk of possible embarrassment instead of trying to bring her down because she was born with an XX chromosome pattern. So what if she doesn’t make the cut? A lot of men won’t, either.”