Monday, August 13, 2007

Annika Hates Canada – Should Canada Hate Her?

In case you haven’t heard, Annika Sorenstam will not be in the field at this year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal because Annika never plays the Canadian Open. Not since 2003, anyway. I guess completing six holes in Round One before withdrawing kinda counts as “playing”.

But what about that LPGA rule that requires its members to play every event at least once every four years? Annika got around it
by saying that she is still recovering from the back injury that kept her out of action earlier this year. This after informing the media at Evian and St. Andrews that she has been playing “pain-free” and then she went on to play in her own event in Sweden, making three straight weeks of competition. If you didn’t notice, the article I linked to was published last Wednesday before Sorenstam had played a single shot in her own event, which means that she was backing out of next week’s tournament due to injury while still planning to play this week! Amazing. You would think she would have had the PR savvy to wait until after her tournament was finished to beg off playing in Edmonton, but I guess I over-estimate her. Anyway, the Canadian press isn’t buying it.

If this were an isolated incident, I would have quickly given her the benefit of the doubt. But our good friend William at
The Florida Masochist has recorded several examples of the Ice Queen bending the LPGA’s rules on and off the course. Here is one example, and here are a couple more. Then she had the gall to hypocritically slam Michelle Wie after Wie withdrew from Annika’s precious Ginn Tribute.

A couple of these articles even mention that the rule is once every FIVE years - I had always heard it was four and have even seen it in print, but who really knows? I don’t know exactly what the rule is, or what the penalty is for violating the FourOrFive-year rule. I don’t even know if there IS a penalty – maybe you only get a form-letter warning from Der Kommissar’s office. If the LPGA wants its players and fans to take any of its edicts seriously, they can not allow them to be so publicly and easily circumvented. The fact that it is being done by the Tour’s biggest star only magnifies the flaw.


Cath said...

As per article linked below-
"One notable exception who won't be in the field in Edmonton is Annika Sorenstam, arguably the best female golfer in the modern era.

"She will not be joining us," VanKesteren said. "She is still nursing an injury a little bit ? we have not forced her to play and wish her well."

The LPGA mandates that each of its golfers must play in each tournament at least once every four years. Sorenstam last appeared in Canada in 2003. The golfer injured her back earlier this year and the world's former No. 1 was forced to rest for an extended period of time. However, she played in last week's Women's British Open. VanKesteren said Sorenstam was taking advantage of a new loophole in the rules that allows a player to opt out of one tournament per year without breaching the so-called one-in-four rule."

Seems Annika is playing by the rules after all

Hound Dog said...

Very interesting. I wonder which tournament she'll use that "new loophole" to skip next year?

The Florida Masochist said...

Lets see if Annika shows up at the TOC in November. Want to take bets she doesn't?

I've shown plenty of instances in pro golf, where the rules aren't applied the same way to everyone. Go to this post.

I called the LPGA this morning. No mention of a exception was made, except for health or if the Commissioner approved it. What the Post is writing sounds to me like 'The Annika rule'.

Annika will get what's coming to her one day.

The Florida Masochist said...

Actually this is the post for exceptions for pro golf stars

Galley said...

Interesting; I never knew about that rule. It makes good sense, though.

Cath said...

I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't show at the TOC. However she won't be rule breaking if she doesn't because the 1 in 4 rule only applies to full field events and the TOC is a limited field invitational.

The Florida Masochist said...

Annika gave the TOC the finger last year by playing a pro-am the same weekend as the TOC. What's the defense for that? 1- It wasn't in Europe(It was in Florida) 2- Annika wasn't the sponsor or host.


The Florida Masochist said...


You aren't Cathy Lawrence at LPGA HQ are you? It seems you know an awful lot.


Cath said...

No I'm not. I'm just a well read golf fan.