And the Awards Go to...
Player of the Half Year
Despite her cameo with the boys, Annika Sorenstam has still found
time to dominate the tour, leading the money list and finishing
no worse than sixth in a half-dozen starts. (With a 68.81 scoring
average, Sorenstam is on pace to break her own record.) Honorable
mention to Se Ri Pak (right), who has taken her game to a higher
BREAKOUT PERFORMER Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, a 30-year-old from
Freedom, er, France, took the first major of the year and with
her ebullient personality won over even the most hawkish
BIGGEST FLOP Last season's rookie of the year, Beth Bauer, has
fallen into the maw of a sophomore slump, having missed five cuts
in 10 starts and plunged to 92nd on the money list. Bauer's
struggles are symbolic of American futility, as U.S.-born players
have been able to win only two tournaments so far this year.
Michelle Wie's 310-yard drive over a 100-foot eucalyptus tree
guarding the dogleg on the 418-yard, par-4 16th hole at Mission
Hills Country Club during the third round of the Kraft Nabisco.
The driving show put on by the 13-year-old Wie, who played in
the final group on Sunday and finished ninth, was the most
stunning display of pyrotechnics since Tiger Woods's Masters
Sorenstam was on the verge of making history with three straight
wins at the Kraft Nabisco, but on the par-3 14th hole on Sunday
she jacked a wedge over the green and off a rock wall, making a
CLUTCH PUTT Grace Park's double-breaking 20-footer for par on the
final hole to win the Michelob Light Open and avoid a playoff
with Cristie Kerr, Lorena Ochoa and Karrie Webb.
Wie, on why she wants to attend Stanford:
"They have a really good shopping mall."
In the News
SUPER BOWL MVP LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw and tour veteran Sophie
Gustafson went public with their romance by canoodling at
January's Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, and tongues continue to
wag about their unlikely union.
EXTREME MAKEOVER Hall of Famer Betsy King (right), 47, has picked
up a Pilates trainer, shed 15 pounds and ditched her trademark
Hillary Clinton hair helmet in favor of straightened, dyed-blonde
locks that have earned her rave reviews for a more stylish look.
STOP THE PRESSES "For anyone to say she's doing this for the
publicity is comical because everyone knows that Annika doesn't
love publicity," said Sorenstam's agent, Mark Steinberg, whose
client has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show,
the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and 60 Minutes, as well as in the
pages of PEOPLE, TIME, TV Guide, Parade and every golf rag.
BAG LADY The roaring start of Ochoa (left)--a pair of third-place
finishes have pushed her to fifth on the money list--has
attracted the attention of longtime PGA Tour caddies Tony Navarro
(Greg Norman) and Andy Martinez (Tom Lehman), who are both
angling to carry the rookie's bag.
A reinvigorated Sorenstam will be the talk of the summer as she
gets back to her stated goal of winning majors, while the tour's
young talent will continue to blossom.
COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL GREAT RECOVERY Sorenstam squashed talk of a post-Colonial letdownby opening last week's Kellogg-Keebler Classic with a 62, and shecruised from there to her second win of the season, by threestrokes over Mhairi McKay.
COLOR PHOTO: TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS (PAK)
COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES (WIE)
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID BERGMAN (KING)
COLOR PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS (OCHOA)