Sorenstam and Creamer Create Buzz in South Africa

The top two female golfers in the world are in the news this week. Annika consents to build a family-friendly golf course in South Africa and Paula agrees to play a Precept golf ball.

Sorenstam and CreamerThere were two reasons why Annika Sorenstam played golf at the World Cup this week. Not only was she intent upon winning her first tournament of the new year but she also had an announcement of grand proportions.

Sorenstam wasn’t the only LPGA golfer to create a buzz in South Africa although her news was directly related to this small country. The number-two player in the world created headlines of her own.

Paula Creamer is now playing golf with a Precept ball. Her intent? “Everything I do, I do with the goal in mind of becoming the number-one ranked women’s player in the world.”

The problem is that nobody told this to Annika as she soundly trounced Team USA.

Sorenstam’s Team Wins World Cup

The Swedish team of Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann easily take the World Cup from last year’s defending Japanese team. Team USA was no threat.

Sorenstam and Neumann Share World Cup VictoryIt should not be surprising that the world’s number one female golfer in the world grabbed the World Cup this weekend in Sun City, South Africa. Annika Sorenstam was the driving force behind the Swedish team today as her defining eagle on the 492-yard par-5 set the stage for a singles score of 70 which was the certain reason for her team’s three stroke victory over Team Scotland.

Her partner, Liselotte Neumann scored a 77 and did not contribute today as much as in earlier competition. “It’s nice to have the number one player in the world as your partner,” said Neumann.

The Swedish duo will each receive a check for $110,000 and the glory of having the first unoffical victory of the 2006 season.

2006 Women’s World Cup of Golf

The first LPGA tournament of 2006 features number-one golfer Annika Sorenstam and Q-School winner Ai Miyazato in a limited field event.

Women's World Cup of Golf logoThe big names in ladies golf are back!

Sorenstam, Creamer and Gulbis are among the forty women looking for their first victory of 2006 at the Women’s World Cup of Golf. Ai Miyazato, fresh from her win at Q-School, will be defending the trophy for the Japanese team. Twenty teams in total will be competing the weekend at the beautiful Sun City Resort in South Africa.

Will Miyazato’s rookie season begin with a win and a follow-up trophy for the Japanese? Or will one of the nineteen other competing countries claim the cup and a piece of the $1.1 million purse?

This tournament is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

‘Tis a New Season for the LPGA Tour

A new season of golf has finally begun. The ladies of the LPGA are slowly returning to their practice routines ready for another exciting year on tour. The rookies will also be in the mix and anything can happen in 2006.

LPGA logoWelcome back to my section at The Sand Trap. I hope everyone has had a nice, relaxing holiday season fortified by the company of good friends, shared family traditions and hearty food.

Frankly it’s nice to be back! I don’t know about you but I’m tired of watching Big Break IV reruns, Tiger’s amateur flashbacks and skills challenges on television. Thank goodness the New Year and a new golf season has finally begun!

I’m especially excited about the 2006 LPGA season and the eclectic mix of both older and rookie players who will surely make this a year to remember. Let’s meet some of the new kids on the block and recall a few interesting moments from some of the more established players.

Sorenstam’s Team Wins Lexus Cup

Team International led by Annika Sorenstam easily clinched the inaugural Lexus Cup in Singapore. Was there ever any doubt?

International Team win Lexus CupAlthough monsoon-like conditions almost brought the Lexus Cup to an early end, the ladies continued their match-play battles creating an exciting inaugural event in Singapore.

Team Asia took an early lead in day-one alternate-shot matches but the combined force of Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer later in the day swept British Open champion Jeong Jang and Meena Lee. Once accomplished, numbers one and two in the world set the stage for an exciting finale which would eventually give the international team it’s victory.

Lexus Cup Preview

It’s Annika Sorenstam and her picks versus Grace Park and the Asian contingency duking it out this weekend at the Lexus Cup.

LPGA logoAn international team of golfers led by the one-and-only Annika Sorenstam hopes to level a group of Asian golfers managed by Grace Park on their own turf at the inaugural Lexus Cup.

Toyota Motors Pacific, IMG and the Singapore Sports Council have hopes that this match-play format which includes some of the finest world golfers will attract attention to the sport which is growing in leaps and bounds in Asia.

The selection is not only based upon experience but on the “personality and charm” of each chosen participant. If you ask me, charisma doesn’t win a golf match, but a bit of luck sure can help!

Ai Miyazato Medalist at Q-School

Ai Miyazato posts a runaway win at LPGA Q-School. Watch out Paula Creamer and the rest of the LPGA Tour, Miyazato is the new rookie in town!

Ai Miyazato Wins at Q-SchoolTwenty-year-old Ai Miyazato delivered a one-two punch this weekend at LPGA Q-School with a wire-to-wire victory against challengers who seemed to fade away as the tournament progressed.

With a lead steadily growing from earlier rounds, Miyazato breezed through her fifth and final eighteen holes while the rest of the pack struggled to gain ground. With only twenty-four tour exemptions on the line, the rest of the ladies were clamoring for either one of those remaining twenty-three spots or even one of the thirty-five conditional status positions. Anything is better than being sent back to the minors.

Q-School is Now in Session!

Tour cards will be on the line in this all-or-nothing battle for one of twenty-four spots on the 2006 LPGA Tour.

Morgan Pressel at Q-SchoolFor five days this week 142 golfers will learn the meaning of the word stress. The LPGA Q-School finals can bring out the best or worst in a player knowing that all of their work might eventually be in vain. A player could either be heading back to the Future’s Tour with just a few unlucky shots or be on the roster for the 2006 LPGA season.

Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lang and Ai Miyazato are among the players who need more than just five solid rounds of golf. Keeping cool under tremendous pressure means no temper tantrums and a great amount of focus. Their future hangs in the balance.

Sorenstam Claims Fourth ADT Victory

Annika Sorenstam’s 2005 LPGA tour season ends the same way it started… with a victory, what else!

Annika Sorenstam at the 2005 ADTI have often wondered whether or not Tiger Woods is human or some sort of alien by the way he crushes his competition and lays claim year after year to the number-one spot on the PGA Tour. Even when he struggles Woods finds a way to win just as he did in Japan this weekend.

Now I’m beginning to speculate similar thoughts about Annika Sorenstam.

The men on the PGA tour have said they needed to elevate their game to keep up with Woods. Will the women make the same commitment as their male counterparts next season? Even Paula Creamer, number-two on the Official Money List, will have to try much harder to topple Annika off her perch. The “Pink Panther” is $1 million behind the dominant Swede even after a stellar rookie season.