Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Annika_300 I wasn't at Annika Sorenstam's retirement-announcement press conference, so you'll have to tell me: What shoes was she wearing?
Yes, I'll explain. Over the years, I've covered a number of Sorenstam's 72 tournament victories, including her first (the 1995 U.S. Women's Open at the Broadmoor) and one of her most recent (her playoff victory over Paula Creamer at the Stanford International Pro-Am). Of all those tournaments, the one that stands out in my mind is the 2002 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Why? Because Sorenstam -- who was once the shyest and most understated of superstars -- showed up for the final round in a pair of high-gloss, blood-red golf shoes that looked liked they'd been swiped from Doug Sanders' closet. Others may disagree, but I think her victory that day, in shoes that screamed "Look at me!", amounted to a sneak preview. It was Annika's way of saying, "I'm confident now, I believe I can do great things. I might even challenge the men."
Sorenstam never wore the red shoes again, to the best of my knowledge, but I'm sure they'll turn up somewhere. Maybe in the World Golf Hall of Fame?
Anyway, here, straight from The Vault, is my version of THE RED SHOES.
(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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