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Sorenstam Becomes First Woman in 58 Years to Play in US Men's Pro Tournament - 2003-05-22

Star Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam has become the first woman in 58 years to play in an official U.S. men's PGA (Professional Golfers Association) Tour event. Sorenstam was pleased with her first round effort on Thursday.

Annika Sorenstam said she came here to test herself personally and not try to prove anything against the men. She said she would consider it a win if she could shoot even par, which is 70 for 18 holes.

Even with all the media pressure and huge supportive crowds following her during her opening round, she nearly achieved that feat, shooting one over par 71, only after a bogie on her final hole.

"Obviously I'm very, very pleased the way I played all day and, oh was I nervous on the tee," she said. "Actually I was nervous all day. It never went away. I just want to thank the guys I played with, both Dean [Wilson] and Aaron [Barber]. I mean they were so nice to me, so supportive. You know we were just kind of kidding each other that we're going through this together. So they made it easier for me to handle everything. And it was a great day. It was more than I could have every expected."

The 32-year-old Sorenstam was paired with two American rookies, Dean Wilson and Aaron Barber. Like Sorenstam, Wilson shot a 71. Barber was 2 over par 72.

The Swedish star said she hopes she can continue to play well enough Friday to make the halfway cut for the final two rounds.