ORLANDO, Fla. – Annika Sorenstam went more than 12 years without playing on the LPGA Tour. You now have two more days.
Sorenstam made three birdies after turning around on Lake Nona on Friday and posted a 71-under par on the Gainbridge LPGA. And even with the wrong decision the day before that resulted in an additional hit, he still made the cut in number.
“I did what I could,” Sorenstam said. “The goal was to shoot below par and I did it, so that’s all I can do.”
She was still 12 shots behind when Lydia Ko posted a 3-under 69 and took a 1-shot lead over Nelly Korda (68). Ryan O’Toole had his second straight 68 and was another shot behind.
Sorenstam, who made a one-off appearance because the LPGA Tour is at home, finally got some putts to drop and made three birdies in his second nine. He finished 36 holes at 2 out of 146 and was right on the cutoff line.
And then he had to wait for the other half to play in the afternoon, wondering if that first-round failure would cost him again the weekend.
Sorenstam made a triple bogey on the fifth hole of the first round as his tee shot avoided going out of bounds by a fraction. But it was directly under the gate of a wrought iron fence, the boundary. He asked about opening the door, but was told that a stipulation in the rules did not allow it.
So he opted to shoot a penalty, hit the fairway, and threw three putts from 18 feet in his round of 75.
Turns out that was one of the changes to the Rules of Golf modernization in 2019, the largest revision ever made. The door is now treated as a mobile obstruction, which means that it can be opened, as long as it is not locked (it was not).
The penalty could not be overturned because Sorenstam played from a different place.
Rules Officer Dan Maselli was devastated and apologized to Sorenstam after the second round. Sorenstam wasn’t bothered, saying the rules are so new that it’s easy to be wrong in such a peculiar situation.
“He wanted to apologize. He said he was wrong. He could have opened the door and he could have played,” Sorenstam said. “But he said, ‘This is going to hurt. This is eating me up inside. ‘ I said, ‘Please don’t feel like that.’ Thank you. He said, “I will not make that mistake again.” I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to hit there anymore.’
“You know, those things happen. The rules have changed,” he said. “Is that how it works.”
Even if she didn’t play (making the cut meant finding someone to take her daughter Ava to volleyball), the 50-year-old Swede did what she wanted.
Sorenstam, who retired after a three-win season in 2008 to start a family, described this as an appearance, not a comeback. She wanted a bit of competition as she contemplates playing the US Senior Women’s Open this summer, and said she wouldn’t have played an LPGA Tour event if it weren’t on her home field.
It wasn’t about trying to add 72 wins to his career. But for someone out of competition for about the same time as their LPGA Tour career, they still have a lot to play for.
“The goal was to be a little more aggressive. Sometimes I was, not as much as I should have been,” she said. “Overall, I’m very happy. A bit of a chip didn’t hurt. But yeah, I see it as a great round. I’m not going to analyze it too much.”
The focus is on Ko, a former teen prodigy and world number one who won her first LPGA Tour event at 15. Ko has been almost three years since her last victory, although her game has been on an upward trend.
“No matter what happens over the weekend, I think it’s good to keep putting myself in these positions,” Ko said. “I think you feel more comfortable with that, and the more times you are there, I think the more chances there are. in the end everything happens to you “.