OK, so you act a little different when playing with the No. 1 female player in the world.
The PGA Tour rookies were Annika Sorenstam's playing partners Thursday in the first round of the Colonial, when she became the first woman in 58 years to play on the men's tour.
When Sorenstam made a 15-foot putt off the fringe at the
178-yard 13th, their fourth hole and her only birdie, she reacted
by pumping her fist. She then got the celebratory hand slap from
Barber, who was two strokes behind her at the time.
''You can't help but root for her. She's so nice and she plays
so solid out there,'' said Barber, an eight-year pro who didn't
earn his first PGA Tour check until two months ago.
Sorenstam finished 1-over 71, her only two bogeys coming in the
last five holes. That matched Wilson's score and was one stroke
better than Barber, who had two birdies, two bogeys and a double
''I'm not ashamed to lose to her, she's awesome,'' Barber said.
''It's only 18 holes, too.''
After the group putted out on the last green, Wilson -- who had a
two-birdie, three-bogey round -- spoke briefly with Sorenstam and
then got a hug, as did Barber.
''I just told her I was so proud of her,'' said Wilson, who had
made only six PGA starts before this season. ''Just the way she
handled herself, the way she obviously played with all the
attention that she's been getting this week and it's just been a
circus for her. Once she got inside the ropes, she was in her
Barber and Wilson had looked forward to playing with Sorenstam
since finding out Tuesday that they would be grouped together the
first two rounds. Their names were selected randomly by a computer,
drawn from the category of players who haven't won or finished in
the top 125 on the money list.
They knew Thursday wasn't going to be a normal round. They found
out right away, wading through a crowd of people stacked as many as
12 deep just to get to the first tee.
''I just got goosebumps out there. The crowds were so awesome,''
Barber said. ''Obviously they were keying on Annika. And it was
just cool to see. It was great preparation for when I'm in the last
group on Sunday or I get paired with Tiger.''
The fairway on their starting hole, the 404-yard No. 10, was
lined with spectators. Huge crowds watched at every hole.
''A little bit of a circus with so many people,'' Wilson said.
''That's the first experience for me with all that. But a great
experience playing with Annika.''
They get to do it again Friday when they begin their second
round at 2:43 p.m. ET at the No. 1 tee. And they will all be trying to
make the cut.
''There's absolutely no reason why she can't,'' Wilson said.
''She's such a good player. If she had just a few more putts drop
in today, she would be under par easy.''