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Old 03-12-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
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More Natural Talent: Annika or Yani?



OK, before I get into the quote from Catriona Matthew, let me get this out of the way--Annika Sorenstam is the greatest of all time. That is not in dispute (by me, at least). But you know, I read a lot of LPGA news articles while searching for things I might like to put here or on my blog...this isn't going on my blog, but I was reading an interview with Catriona in the Scotsman:

Interview: Catriona Matthew, golfer - Golf - Scotsman.com

The quote that struck me was the following:

“It’s difficult to compare Yani with previous number ones like Annika and Lorena,” maintains Matthew. “They are so different. But Yani has more natural ability than Annika. Annika worked so hard and was so robotic. She rarely hit a bad shot. Yani has more flair and so tends to hit more loose shots. But she has the potential to hit the ball 25 yards longer at will. I’ve seen her do that. I’ve been playing with her and been driving alongside her until, when she needs it, she hits one miles past me. Not many women have been able to do that over the years. But she can. That is indicative of the fact that the formula for success in the women’s game is changing. It is more of a power game than it was ten years ago. Just like the men, all the top players hit the ball at least a decent distance.

“Getting up and down from everywhere is not sustainable over a long period. So you don’t see scramblers like Rosie Jones surviving out there for very long these days. She was a great player, but she’d find it harder now than when she played on tour. You need a higher flight and more carry these days to get at the pins.”


Fair or foul? Does Yani have more natural ability? I assume she is talking about Yani's overall game and not just her distance. I imagine a lot of players can outbomb Jiyai Shin, too, but so what? And would a player like Rosie Jones have a problem out there now?

Anyway, the rest of the article is great too...nice to hear from Catriona.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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Thx for the good article.

IMO...Yani has more natural abilities.

It's tough to compare others.....and the competition is getting tougher each yr.

Annika in a very early interview said she would be happy with 1 LPGA win...she worked rigorously to be #1...heard she use to do 700 crunches at 4:30am.

IMO...golf is 70% mental.....one needs to evaluate one's course mgmt too coming down the stretch to win.

BTW...I can see CM becoming a SC captain one day.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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I don't think that natural ability has any meaning. The body is not predisposed to any sport.

People have different body types, some with the types to run faster, jump higher lift heavier things. Thats genetics. Do to the nature of the game of golf this does not come into play as much as other sports. However having certain tools such as flexability, strength, stamina that others may not have can help you, but the still need to be applied correctly.

You don't get to be an elite person in any sport without hard work. The statement insults both players. It also implies that Tsgen has not worked hard to get where she is. That is the furthest thing from the truth.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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I don't think Catriona or anybody else is suggesting that Yani doesn't work hard. But different natural physical gifts can translate into certain advantages across different sports. Coupled with hard work, those natural gifts can allow you to get away with things others cannot.

For example, in boxing (one of my favorite sports) when Roy Jones was in his prime, of course he worked hard. But he also had some natural gifts of speed and reflexes that no other boxer could equal at that time, no matter how hard they worked. What that allowed him to do was get away with "mistakes" in the ring. Circle to the right against a southpaw? No problem for Roy because of his reflexes. For other fighters that's a big (and potentially painful) mistake. Other great fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Oscar de la Hoya, while also amazing fighters, had to be more textbook in their approach, a little more mechanical.

I think that's what Catriona is alluding to, that Annika was more mechanical while Yani has some abilities that allow her to be loose with shots and get away with it. But nobody is suggesting Yani doesn't work her behind off or that Annika isn't also without her own gifts.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
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Oh my, what a putt on 17! I don't know who is better than who or by using what criteria...I'll leave that to experts like Catriona...but I do know that I just had the same feeling I use to have with Annika while watching Yani...long, long, from another area code putt on 17 to tie Ai Miyazato for the lead...Annika was the only one I ever thought would make every single big putt when she had to make it (whether she actually did or not)...before Yani even pulled the putter back, I knew it was in...actually Tiger was like that for a while...of course, everybody gets hot with the putter from time to time, and players like Cristie Kerr are ace putters...but Annika, Tiger and now Yani are the ones who give me the (unrealistic) feeling they will drain every big putt they need...
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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Just whiffed on 18...but like I said...unrealistic or not...I just feel like she will make all the big ones when she has to...like Annika didn't make everything but made so many it FELT like she made everything...

It's not that I feel she'll make EVERY putt...it's that I feel she'll make every BIG putt...she can miss 5 in a row, but if the 6th one will give her a tie for the lead, she'll make it...even if in reality, nobody does...
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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Prior scandal....Tiger's name didn't belong in the same sentence as Annika or Yani when putting was being discussed.
Tiger was in his own league on clutch putting coming down the stretch....Jack could also be in the same league.

Nowadays...one's not sure if Tiger is going to make that 3 footer.

Annika was my top notch fav in her playing days. I would be so disappointed when she didn't win when she was right there coming down the stretch.

IMO....Annika was a very good putter....but not great. She won so much because she was so consistent.

If Annika was a great putter she would have all the significant LPGA records....IMO.

Yani's putter let her down today.....she shot a 'lousy' 67. Missed 3-5 shortish putts.

I do enjoy watching Yani more than Annika.
Why?

Yani plays a more aggressive style....which makes things unpredictable and exciting for the viewers.

on the 18 today....Annika likely might have played a 8 or 9 iron to ensure she clearly the lip and gone on from there putting anything more than bogey out of the equation.

Not Yani....she is so damn confident now....she knew she could put that faded 7 iron from the fairway bunker onto to green....what an amazing shot...too bad she missed the putt...but she did miss on the pro side.

If Yani missed that shot by 1/4 to 1/8 inch...that ball might have plugged in the lip or come back and hit her causing a penalty stroke and putting a triple bogey into the equation.

Jason Hamilton knew not to pull Yani off her decision for fear of job security. He knows her style and plays it into his advice.

Do you remember the 2010 KNC?...Yani was in the trees....she wanted to beam a shot under the trees towards the green...her caddy tried to talk her into chipping out.....90% of other pros would have chipped out.

So what does Yani do...she beams the shot under the trees on her way to win another major.

A week after winning her 2nd major, her caddie is fired.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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I'm not saying Yani and Annika are the best putters...they just seem to me to make the ones they need. Yes, Yani whiffed a few today...but she made the one on 17 to maintain an overnight tie for the lead...she made what she needed...

...but on another subject...this thread started with Annika or Yani...but are you saying you don't put Annika in Tiger's category? I seem to remember back in Annika's prime that some questioned...fame and coverage by the media aside...if Annika was more dominant a golfer than Tiger...what are your thoughts? I know you feel Tiger was more clutch...but overall, was she more consistent than Tiger? Did she dominate her competition more? How strong was her competition...she did have her prime during some good years by Hall of Famers Karrie Webb, Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak...and yet was still far beyond all three of them...

...speaking of Mr. Clutch...

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Old 03-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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Annika was not in Tiger's league (prior scandal) with respect to clutch putting.

IMO...if Annika had putted better she would have made the cut at Colonial....but I thought her nerves that week creeped into putter....she was playing in a 'foreign' environment....with all eyes on her.

In both their respective ultimate prime yrs...Annika and Tiger were on par....I believe during those yrs of domination...both had win records of approx 23%...an amazing record.

Many have said Annika never faced the same level of competition TW did....I disagree.

Annika, I believe, got frustrated losing to Webb during 98-99...then stepped up her practice and fitness routines and starting in 2000 started to leave the competition in the dust.

Supposedly Annika could squat 300 lbs in those days.

If not for her neck injury in 2007....we might still see her on tour today.

IMO......after her injury she wasn't the dominant player she use to be and then this affected her mentally, motivation and likely her priorities.

On her farewell tour in 2008...in Portland...after her rd.... she would sign a few autographs on her way to the clubhouse...but you could see in her eyes she had lost her passion to play competitive golf.

Her family requirements, business interests, charity functions and sponsorship commitments.....she seems busier than her yrs playing golf.

FYI...I noticed your Bruce Lee quote....growing up there was name calling directed at me....resulting in fights....but once Bruce Lee became more famous in North America....the name calling started to stop....go figure.

IMO...the biggest racism Bruce faced was not getting the role that David Carridene (sp?) obtained for the Kung Fu TV series.....the series was written for Bruce but Hollywood was not ready to accept a Chinese star yet....RIP...sad how Brandon passed away at the same age.

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mr3putt View Post
Many have said Annika never faced the same level of competition TW did....I disagree.
Too bad you are disagreeing with the level of competition because you are wrong. The level of competition in the men's game is far and away superior to the women's game, no contest.

Just look at the numbers sometime.

Here is just one example for you, 2011 PGA TOUR q-school. Look at what a golfer has to do just to get to the finals.
PGATOUR.com - Q School
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