Annika Sörenstam Makes Cut Despite Controversy

Annika Sörenstam Makes Cut Despite Controversy

Annika Sörenstam Makes Cut
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 10-time Major winner had retired from playing on the LPGA Tour in 2008, but upon her return, managed a second round 71 to make the two-over-par cut mark at the Gainbridge LPGA.

Annika Sörenstam Makes Cut Despite Controversy

Annika Sörenstam had started the second round one shot outside of the cut mark after a turbulent first round that saw the Swede given an incorrect ruling by an official.

On the fifth hole in her first round, Sörenstam had found herself under a gate and wanted to know if she could open it to hit her shot, she therefore called over the nearest rules official, Dan Maselli.

Related: Annika Sorenstam Opens Up On Presidential Medal

On arrival, Maselli announced that the Swede couldn’t open the gate to take her shot and would have to take an unplayable to get relief from the gate.

It turned out however, that Maselii had told the 72-time LPGA winner the wrong information, and that she could, in fact, have opened the gate to play her shot.

Sörenstam 2008

Sörenstam hadn't featured in a LPGA event since 2008. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

After the round the LPGA Tour released a statement saying: "The official on scene linked the word "integral" to the gate, meaning that it could not be moved.

“This was an error under the definition of an Immovable Obstruction in the Rules of Golf. The gate is considered moveable if proven to be unlocked (Rule 16), and therefore could have been moved to allow the player to hit the shot."

Sörenstam proceeded to make a triple-bogey on the hole and finished her opening round with a three-over-par 75.

Despite the incorrect ruling, Sörenstam came out in support of Maselli, quoting him as saying: “This is going to hurt me. This is going to eat me inside.”

Sörenstam recounted their conversation after her round: “I said, ‘please, please don’t feel that way. I appreciate it.’ He said, ‘I won’t make that mistake again.’ I said, ‘Well, I won’t hit it there anymore.’”

Related: Annika Sorenstam Exclusive: The Women's Game Is Evolving

The setback didn’t seem to phase the 50-year-old, though, as she started her second round with 10 consecutive pars followed by back-to-back birdies at the second and third holes (her 11th and 12th).

Sörenstam then made bogey at the fourth, before a chip-in birdie at the seventh put her a shot above the cut line with two to play.

Sörenstam produced rounds of 75 and 71 to make the cut. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

A bogey at the eighth meant a nervy last hole, but the Swede navigated it perfectly; making the cut in her first official LPGA Tour start since 2008.

Throughout her career Sörenstam has made 97% of cuts on the LPGA Tour, a staggering 298 out of 307.

"I did what I could," Sörenstam said. "The goal was to shoot under par and I did, and so that's all I can do. Whatever happens, happens from here. It's been great, two wonderful days.”

Despite making the cut, Sörenstam insisted that this week at the Gainbridge LPGA is an appearance, not a comeback, saying she is using it to prepare up for this summer’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.