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Annika Sörenstam at the Colonial

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In 2003 Annika Sörenstam was invited to play in The Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, making her the first woman to play in a PGA event since Babe Zaharias[?], who qualified for the 1945 Los Angeles Open[?]. Less than week before The Colonial, Vijay Singh[?] made what appeared to be disparaging comments to the Associated Press about Sörenstam's invitation.
  • "I hope she misses the cut. Why? Because she doesn't belong out here."
  • "If I'm drawn with her, which I won't be, I won't play."
  • "What is she going to prove by playing? It's ridiculous. She's the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize 'woman.' We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She's taking a spot from someone in the field."

Singh later gave further explanation to his original comments.

  • "If I miss the cut, I'd rather she miss the cut as well. I hope she missed the cut because I don't want to have a woman beat me."
  • "If I was put with her, it means I wasn't give the right attention for my category."
  • "This is a man's tour. There are guys out there trying to make a living. It's not a ladies' tour. If she wants to play, she should -- or any other woman for that matter -- if they want to play the man's tour, they should qualify and play like everybody else."

After winning the Byron Nelson Championship the week before the Colonial, Singh announced his withdrawal from participation in the Colonial. He said the withdrawal occurred because of a promise to his wife that he would take a week off if he won a tournament, and that the decision had nothing to do with the Sörenstam controversy.

A day before the Colonial, golfer Ernie Els said "You have a girl that's so much better than the rest of the girls, if she wants to prove it to herself, I'm all for it, but if she wants to prove something to us, I think she's making a mistake."

Ken Schofield, executive director of the PGA European Tour, announced his opposition any women playing in a men's event on his tour.

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