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.