National Post Column: Sorenstam in Toronto

Yesterday I made the drive up to Magna GC to do a short interview with Annika Sorenstam, as well as have the opportunity to catch up with Morgan Pressel and Alena Sharp, currently our top Canadian. The Sorenstam interview was perfunctory, with little new information, other than she can’t see herself returning as a part-time player. It is all or nothing for her, apparently.

Pressel is funny. Surrounded by myself, The Globe’s Lorne Rubenstein, and the Star’s Dave Feschuk, she was given the choice by her handlers of doing a one-on-one or scrumming with all of us firing questions at her.

“Well, you all will ask the same questions anyway,” she said, opting for the scrum. Problem was we didn’t. Lorne wanted to talk about the state of the LPGA Tour, I wanted to talk about the 40th anniversary of Sandra Post’s win, and Feschuk wanted to talk about Sorenstam. So the scrum wasn’t particularly linnear.

Anyway, maybe she though Canada was too cold — she was wearing mitts after all. Or maybe her ego is bigger than she is (she’s tiny). Either way, she was okay once the interview started, though she didn’t say much of substance.

That’s enough of a preamble. Bob Weeks has his thoughts here — and wants to let all of us know that the new Score website that was announced for Tuesday looks like the old Score site, at least for another day.

Here’s a taste of my piece — and yes, I do think the LPGA is in trouble.

LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens must have hated the optics. Just as Bivens received three-year contract extension and prepared to sign a new television deal for the LPGA, one of the game’s enduring superstars – one of only a handful of female golfers recognized by most sports fans – announced she was putting down her clubs.

All of which leads to more uncertainties for the LPGA following the decision last week of Annika Sorenstam, one of the LPGA’s few visible stars, to retire at the age of 37. Sorenstam, who has 72 wins on the LPGA Tour, plans to play out the season, including a stop in Ottawa for the CN Canadian Women’s Open, before quitting competitive golf to start a family.

Sorenstam, in Aurora Tuesday for an event in support of women’s charities, said the response to her decision has “been very positive.”

It may have been positive for her personally, but the move raises questions for the LPGA, which has to develop new stars and attract corporate dollars out of a floundering American economy. The tour lost the sponsor of one of its biggest events this year when Safeway withdrew.

My full column is here.

Related Articles

About author View all posts Author website

Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • The LPGA ‘d better pursuade Michelle Wie to abandon her schooling and play full time on the LPGA.

    Oh, they probably need to pay for a good mental coach as well.

    On top of that, they should offer Wie an ownership stake in LPGA.

    I am sure there are a lot of people who will be upset. But this is about business, not about fairness.

Leave a Reply