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Vijay Singh speaks out against Sorenstam

Vijay Singh says Annika Sorenstam has no business playing in the Colonial next week and "I hope she misses the cut." On the odd chance he gets paired with her, he'll withdraw.

"Why? Because she doesn't belong out here," Singh said after his runner-up finish in the Wachovia Championship. "If I'm drawn with her, which I won't be, I won't play."

Singh knows he won't be playing in the same group as Sorenstam when she becomes the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour. His name will be drawn from a pool of PGA Tour winners when the pairings are made.

Still, his comments were the strongest yet about Sorenstam's decision to accept a sponsor's exemption to play in the Colonial. The last woman to play on the PGA Tour was Babe Zaharias, who qualified for the 1945 Los Angeles Open.

Nick Price, the defending champion at Colonial, has said Sorenstam's presence "reeks of publicity." He thinks she ought to qualify if she wants to prove herself at the highest level.

Scott Hoch, who once played with Sorenstam in a mixed-team tournament, said he wants to see her play well so people will realize "how much separation there is between us and the ladies' tour."

Still, most players have been cautious with their comments, not willing to predict a score and hopeful she plays well so it doesn't reflect poorly on the LPGA Tour.

Singh held nothing back in an interview with The Associated Press as he left the locker room at Quail Hollow late Sunday afternoon, saying the 32-year-old Swede should stick to her own tour.

"What is she going to prove by playing? It's ridiculous," said Singh, a two-time major champion who is No. 7 in the world ranking. "She's the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize 'woman.' We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She's taking a spot from someone in the field."

The Colonial is an invitational with a limited field. Sorenstam received one of eight sponsor's exemptions.

Singh speaks from experience.

In 1998, he played in an unofficial event called the "Super Tour" that matched the scorecards of nine professionals after playing 18 holes a day in four Asian cities. Laura Davies was invited to play, and finished 39 strokes behind Singh.

"Laura Davies is a long-ball hitter, but she still had to hit good irons," Singh said. "It's just different for ladies to play on the men's tour. It's like getting the Williams sisters to play against a man, and they're far better athletes than she (Sorenstam) is."

Sorenstam has become significantly stronger in the last two years as she has taken over women's golf. She won 13 times around the world last year, the most by a woman in nearly 40 years and two years ago became the first woman to shoot 59.

She was returning from Japan on Monday, where she won the Nichirei Cup by nine shots, and was not available for comment.

Sorenstam has been playing from the back tees to gear up for the Colonial, including a round with Tiger Woods in which she is said to have finished 10 strokes behind.

"Some people don't believe she should be out here - golfers and men in general," Hoch said. "Most guys hope she plays well, and what comes out of this is that she realizes she can't compete against the men."

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