Given the ongoing, highly publicized battle to keep women off the membership scrolls at Augusta National Golf Club, how ironic is it that, as we speak, the sport's hottest name isn't Tiger, Phil or any other male of the species? It's Annika as in Sorenstam, as in perhaps the greatest female golfer the game has ever known.Her game? So good she's actually been invited to play in a men's PGA event, so pure that more than a few men on tour don't want to see it happen. While we'll have to wait a bit longer to see Sorenstam take the wood to Augusta president Hootie Johnson and the rest of the knuckle draggers that make up golf's good-old-boy network, you can catch her in action at the LPGA's 2003 Safeway PING presented by Yoplait, Monday, March 17, through March 23 at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix.
While Sorenstam is without question this year's biggest draw, a veritable constellation of stars has designs on the title. With a field that includes defending champion Rachel Teske, 11 former tournament champions and five LPGA Hall of Famers, golf's reigning queen will have her work cut out for her.
For tickets, call 602-495-GOLF or contact Ticketmaster, 480-784-4444. Visit phoenixlpga.com for details. Craig Wallach
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State Games competitors roll up their sleeves
No athletic endeavor more readily embraces the machismo at the heart of all sporting events than arm wrestling. After all, what other sport eschews all athletic ability, focusing instead on the intense training of a singular appendage, with the hope of one day pinning an opponent's worthy adversary of an arm?Watch a bevy of biceps embrace their moments of glory at the Grand Canyon State Games Arm Wrestling Competition, 5 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Arizona Mills Mall Food Court, Priest and Baseline in Tempe. Male and female contestants age 12 and up will compete in various divisions age, weight, lefty/righty with winners moving on to a Tucson competition in late May. Entries will be accepted on-site, with weigh-ins starting at 3 p.m. Call 480-857-1450 or see www.gcsg.org for details. Craig Wallach