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St Andrews welcomes Women's Open

Annika Sorenstam didn't know whether to rejoice or recoil. There she was, an amateur golfer the world had never heard of, strolling the grounds of the Old Course at St. Andrews. Soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of the home of golf, Sorenstam couldn't help but notice a sign hanging outside the clubhouse.

No dogs, no women.

"Is it still there?" Sorenstam wondered aloud. "Hopefully, they'll take it out for the week."

The sign is from another, none-too-distant time — gone, but clearly not forgotten. Dogs might have to fend for themselves, but women are welcome this week at St. Andrews.

Inside the clubhouse.

Inside the ropes.

The Women's British Open makes its debut at St. Andrews this week. Come Thursday, a women's professional event can call the home of golf home for the first time.

"I think it's a big, big, big deal," Sorenstam said. "I'm really excited about it. I think it's a huge step for women's golf to go there."

St. Andrews has been the center of golf's universe for more than 500 years. King James II of Scotland tried to ban golf in 1457 out of concern it was interfering with archery practice and threatening the national defense. James IV lifted the ban in 1502, on the grounds he was an avid golfer. Largely unspoiled by time or progress, St. Andrews has been a touchstone to everyone from Old Tom Morris to Bobby Jones to Sam Snead to Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods.

 

 




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