Singh says remark 'came out the wrong way'

Originally Published: May 14, 2003
Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- Vijay Singh said Tuesday he was sorry if his comments about Annika Sorenstam playing on the PGA Tour -- "I hope she misses the cut" -- came across as a personal attack. "If it was an attack on Annika at all, I would like to apologize to her," Singh said after a practice round for this week's Byron Nelson Classic. "It was not put that way. It came out the wrong way." Singh told The Associated Press on Sunday that Sorenstam had no business playing in next week's Colonial and said that on the odd chance he gets paired with her, he'd withdraw. "I hope she misses the cut. Why? Because she doesn't belong out here," Singh told AP golf writer Doug Ferguson during an interview as he left the locker room after the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, N.C. "If I'm drawn with her, which I won't be, I won't play." On Tuesday, Singh attempted to cast his remarks in a different light. "I actually said if I miss the cut, I'd rather she miss the cut as well," he told reporters who were waiting for him as he came off the course. "I hope she missed the cut because I don't want to have a woman beat me." A review of Ferguson's notes confirmed the original version of Singh's remarks. On Tuesday, Singh said he would play with Sorenstam if they both made the cut and were paired in the weekend rounds. But he said something would be wrong if the two were paired for the first two rounds because, as a past champion, he is drawn from a different pool. "I was saying my category was different," Singh said. "If I was put with her, it means I wasn't give the right attention for my category." Singh's reaction has been the strongest yet about Sorenstam becoming the first woman in 58 years to compete on the tour. The last woman to do so was Babe Zaharias, who qualified for the 1945 Los Angeles Open. Efforts to reach Sorenstam through her agent were unsuccessful. The Colonial is an invitational with a limited field. Sorenstam received one of eight sponsor's exemptions, and Singh reiterated his feeling that she didn't deserve one. "This is a man's tour," he said. "There are guys out there trying to make a living. It's not a ladies' tour. If she wants to play, she should -- or any other woman for that matter -- if they want to play the man's tour, they should qualify and play like everybody else." On Sunday, he told Ferguson: "What is she going to prove by playing? It's ridiculous. She's the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize 'woman.' We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She's taking a spot from someone in the field." Asked Tuesday if he spoke for a majority of tour players, Singh said, "I speak for myself and that's my opinion."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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