Sorenstam fares well at first day in the Colonial

It was one of the most anticipated tee shots in the history of golf. Several hundred spectators and a nation of sports fans tuned in to see how the best women's golfer in the world would fare against the men. Flashbulbs popped, fans cheered and Annika Sorenstam played well in the face of great pressure.

Just as with most of her drives, Sorenstam hit this one straight and on the fairway. She played to the crowd with a mock sigh of relief, and proceeded to shoot a one over, 71 at the Bank of America Colonial. She had a lone birdie, but played safe enough to have just a pair of bogeys, one of which came on the final hole.

"I've been nervous all day. Obviously, I'm very happy with the way I played," Sorenstam said. "I'm just glad the day is over. It's a relief now."

Sorenstam avoided trouble and had a putt for par on every hole. Unfortunately for the Arizona grad, most of those puts were 25 feet or more.

That first, historic drive went 243 yards and Sorenstam continued to hit well from the men's tees. She averaged 248 yards on her drives and hit 13-of-14 fairways on the day.

Sorenstam birdied her fourth hole and did not bogey until the she three-putted on her 14th hole, the 470-yard, par-5 fifth hole. That was the only hole where she did not reach the fairway. Her drive went into the rough and rolled down a hill.

She played well, but making the cut will not be easy. She finished the day tied for 73rd place.

The crowd was on her side, applauding when she made good shot. Even her playing partners were on her side, high-fiving her after the birdie putt. The only pressure came from herself and the 500-plus members of the media.

"I'd love to make the cut, but if I play like I did today, it hardly matters," Sorenstam said.

Former Wildcat Rory Sabatini is the first round leader. He is at six-under par, one stroke ahead of Mark Calcavecchia and Patrick Sheehan.


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