On May 22, 2003, Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to compete in the Professional Golf Association’s tournament since Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias competed in 1945 . She had been told that she did not belong in the tournament by some of the male competitors like Vijay Singh who threatened to forfeit the tournament if he ended up being paired with her, and he did despite being paired with another male competitor.
Many people did not want Sörenstam to play in a sport dominated by men despite the fact that the PGA tour is open to both men and women as long as there is a sponsor involved. But, needless to say where there is an opposition there are supporters, like Phil Mickelson who believed she could end up highly ranked by the end of the tournament.
“It didn’t faze me a bit,” Sörenstam said. “This was a very unusual situation. It was something no other woman had done in 58 years. I think when there is something new, some people will embrace it, some people will question it, and that’s what happened with some of the players. I wasn’t worried about that.”
Unfortunately, Sörenstam did not make it passed round two, and was cut from the tournament. On the bright side her involvement with a male dominated sport became an inspiration to young women trying to peruse carriers in a field where men are the vast majority of employees without discrimination.
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