It certainly wasn’t easy — or fair, for that matter — but Annika Sorenstam made the cut at the Gainbridge LPGA.
The Hall of Famer, 50, will be playing into the weekend in her first LPGA event in 13 years. She’s only playing this week as a one-time thing after her initial retirement in 2008, as the LPGA has stopped at her home course.
Sorenstam shot a 1-under 71 on Friday, significantly better than Thursday’s 3-over 75. She just barely snuck into the weekend right on the cutline at 2-over, and trails leader Lydia Ko by 12 strokes at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida.
“I did what I could,” Sorenstam said, via The Associated Press. “The goal was to shoot under par and I did, so that’s all I can do.”
Sorenstam survives rule blunder
Sorenstam ran into trouble in her opening round on Thursday, as she hit her tee shot on the fifth hole under the gate of a neighbor’s fence that backed up to the course.
As the gate was unlocked, Sorenstam asked the rules official at the hole if she could open the gate and play her shot as it was. The official, however, told her that wasn’t allowed.
So, she took a drop and finished the hole with a triple bogey after three-putting on the green.
As it turns out, however, the official was wrong.
The Rules of Golf underwent a massive overhaul in 2019, and gates are now considered movable obstructions as long as they are not locked. So Sorenstam shouldn’t have been penalized at all — something the official realized later and apologized for on Friday.
“He wanted to apologize. He said he was wrong. I could have opened the gate and I could’ve played,” Sorenstam said, via The Associated Press. “But he said, ‘This is going to hurt me. This is eating me inside.’ 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 there anymore.’
“You know, those things happen. The rules have changed. That’s the way it goes.”
The LPGA apologized for the error on Friday, too, but said there was nothing that they could do.
In the end, the rules blunder didn’t cost Sorenstam two more rounds at the tournament — something she’s appearing to have a great time playing in. With 72 career wins under her belt already, she isn’t too stressed about adding another to her collection.
“The goal was to be a little bit more aggressive. I was at times, not as much as I should have,” she said, via The Associated Press. “Overall, I’m very pleased. A little chip-in there didn’t hurt. But yeah, I look at it as a great round. I’m not going to analyze it too much.”
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