ESPN 100: Top golf stories
Updated: January 7, 2004, 1:14 PM ETESPN The Magazine
It was a weird year in the world of sports, and golf was no exception to that trend. Five stories from a strange season in golf made The ESPN 100, and all fall into the category of the odd.
Annika Sorenstam excelled in her pressure-packed Colonial appearance.
No. 12: Woman Enough
"You da man!" a guy yelled as Annika Sorenstam stepped to the first tee at the Bank of America Colonial. After striping her drive 243 yards down the middle, the first female golfer to play in a PGA Tour event in 58 years went on to post a one-over-par opening round. She missed the cut by four strokes but won over millions of fans. Six months later, she took $225K playing in the Skins Game with Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and Mark O'Meara. Annika says she's done, no more. She accomplished what she wanted to at Colonial, and we won't be seeing her on the men's Tour again. That would be a downright pity.
No. 25: Girl Enough
No. 33: Gender Gap
No. 43: One-Timers
This was an all-too-common sight of Tiger Woods at the majors in 2003.
No. 44: Majorly Bummed
The shoulders said it all. Even though Tiger Woods kept insisting otherwise, his summer slouch said slump. By his standards, the shoulders spoke truth. He started late but hot after rehabbing from knee surgery, but soon Sunday fist pumps gave way to frustrated putter tosses. He floundered between Nike and Titleist drivers. He set career lows in fairways hit and had his lowest greens-in-regulation mark since 1998. And there were the majors. Masters: balloons to 75 on Sunday, later blames caddie for an early double-bogey (T-15). U.S. Open: spends most of week in the deep lettuce at Olympia Fields (T-20). British Open: misses six putts of 15 feet or less on Sunday's back nine (T-4). PGA Championship: never a factor; struggles to make cut (T-39). Five tourney wins, the Vardon Trophy for best scoring average and second place on the money list would have marked a career year for mere mortals. But for Tiger, all that -- oh, yes, and PGA Tour Player of the Year honors for the fifth straight time -- couldn't offset his oh-fer in the majors.