This story first appeared in the June 2, 2003, issue of Sports Illustrated.
For two days a woman golfer played an ordinary PGA Tour event and turned it into something major. She played with the men, from their tees, for their money, and everywhere you went, people were talking about it, including in the men’s locker room of the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, where a PGA Tour event has been played since 1946, when the Tour was more bawdy and guys drank well into the night.
As Annika Sorenstam, fit and muscular and erect, came off the 18th green last Friday, her eyes were blurry from tears and exhaustion. She had shot an assembly-line 71 in Thursday’s opening round of the Bank of America Colonial, an exhibition of control and precision on the fabled par-70 course. She had just holed a 14-footer for par on Friday for a loose 74 that would have been worse in the hands of a golfer less composed and not as tough. Golf undresses a man — that’s what they used to say.