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Annika Best Not Let NBC Hype Machine Down

Friday, November 21, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 9:43 AM, under , , , , ,

Athens, GA (Nov 21, 2008) - The great Annika Sorrenstam is retiring from competitive golf this weekend, and NBC Sports is all over it. Yesterday's press release came with the headline of "Annika's Final Tour Event Sunday on NBC Sports." The only problem is that Annika might not be there for the finish.

The season ending tournament is the ADT Championship. The winner walks away with $1,000,000, the largest first place prize money on the LPGA Tour. So naturally, NBC Sports hopes that Annika wins the event and gives them a ratings friendly bump from the compelling story. There is one little problem. Annika might not even make it to Saturday.

The tournament, which features only 32 players, has a unique format. After today's second round, the field will be cut to 16 players. After tomorrow, it will be cut to 8 players. The surviving 8 will start out at even par for the deciding round, hopefully making for a more compelling finish. And at the moment, Annika might not even make it to tomorrow, as she sits in 23rd place at 2 over par. Granted, she is only 2 shots out of a playoff to make the round of 16 and could easily make that up today. But if she does not make it through to Sunday, NBC has lost the compelling story line.

If she does not make it, NBC can always switch to the "babe" factor, with Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer in the event as well.

With the LPGA Tour expected to drop 3 tournaments, as well as $5,000,000 in prize money in 2009 (as reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press), this is not the ideal way for the Tour and the players to end the season.

Update (10:55 AM ET): Sorrenstam is now two over through 5 holes today, dropping her to a tie for 29th at 4 over for the tournament.

Some Chip Shots

Thumbs down to ESPN for not displaying the full LPGA leaderboard on their web site. There are only 32 players in the field. It is not like they do not have the screen real estate.

Thumbs up to ESPN for shining a light on J.P. Hayes self-imposed disqualification from the PGA Tour Qualifying School. Hayes appeared on "The Dan Patrick Show" yesterday and was a talking point on ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption", as reported in a PGATour.com article by Craig Dolch.

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Currently have 1 comments:

  1. Patricia says:

    Au contraire, if Paula Creamer wins it'll be a fine way to end the season. In fact much better for the LPGA going forward. Yes, Annika is the best player ever in a lot of ways, but Paula has the potential to do much more for women's golf. IMHO.

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