For a while Thursday at Pine Needles, Annika Sörenstam's first round seemed like shades of yesterday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images
SOUTHERN PINES, NORTH CAROLINA | You wouldn’t have blamed them for not showing up.
Annika Sörenstam went off on Thursday at 8:50 a.m. in the U.S. Women’s Open, not the last morning tee time but late enough that the temperatures in the Sandhills had already crept north of 80 degrees on their way to a toasty 96 with a heat index of 102. Given the television coverage offered by the USGA – featured groups streaming until 1 p.m., then Peacock before shifting to USA Network for the last five hours – you could have excused anyone who wanted to watch this first round from the comfort and quiet of an air-conditioned study.
Plus, the ninth tee (which, for the second year in a row, the USGA was using as the back-10 starting hole because of the course configuration) is at least half a mile from the clubhouse, out and around the old Pine Needles Hotel, which the Catholic Church bought and turned into a...
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