FORT WORTH, Texas The first woman on the PGA Tour in 58 years played just like one of the boys.
In fact, Annika Sorenstam was better than some of them Sergio Garcia, Tom Lehman and two dozen others.
She split fairway after fairway. She had a birdie putt on every hole. The only time she stepped into a bunker was to study the break on the green.
''I played what I think was one of my best rounds ever,'' Sorenstam said after shooting a 1-over 71 amid the kind of frenzy only Tiger Woods could appreciate.
That still might not be good enough to make the cut at the Colonial, but a historic round in an atmosphere that matched the occasion told her plenty.
Hey, she can play.
''It was more than I could have ever expected,'' Sorenstam said.
She was seven strokes behind Rory Sabbatini, who took advantage of a soft course to shoot 64. He led by one over Mark Calcavecchia and Patrick Sheehan.
Sorenstam was tied for 73rd the top 70 and ties get to play on the weekend and will play Friday afternoon when the conditions likely will be tougher.
Even if she doesn't make the cut, it might not matter.
For one round, Sorenstam showed why she was worth a sponsor's exemption, and why she has become the most dominant woman golfer in 40 years. With a gallery that stood a dozen deep and strained to see every shot, Sorenstam missed only one fairway. She missed four greens, but never far enough that she couldn't use her putter.
''She's a machine. She's awesome,'' said Aaron Barber, who played with Sorenstam and had a 72. ''I've never played with someone over 18 holes who didn't miss a shot.''
Dean Wilson, the other player in their group, had a 71.
Sorenstam hugged them both when she finished her round, another indication this was no ordinary day.
Also at 71 was Nick Price, the defending champion who was among those protesting her sponsor's exemption. Price has said it ''reeks of publicity.'' Sorenstam finished ahead of 26 players, including Garcia (72) and Lehman (73).
But this wasn't an experiment to see if the LPGA's top player was better than the men. She only wanted to see how her game stacked up on a longer course (7,080 yards), with tucked pins, against the best competition golf has to offer.
Several of those who played in the afternoon watched hole-by-hole coverage of Sorenstam's round on television.
''She hit it a lot farther than I thought she would,'' Phil Mickelson said after his 67. ''It looked like the way she's playing, she could easily compete on this level.''
Not many were worried that she would cost them their livelihood.
''It's not like she's robbing a bank,'' Calcavecchia said. ''I don't think any of the guys here feel threatened that she's trying to take money out of our pockets.''
The last woman to play on the PGA Tour was Babe Zaharias in 1945. The last time there was this much interest in one round was when Woods made his professional debut in the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open.
Fans began gathering around the 10th tee nearly an hour before Sorenstam started her round. They crammed into a clubhouse balcony, on a grassy hill to the right of the tee, and covered every inch of rope from tee to green.
Sorenstam was so nervous that she stopped practicing on the putting green 20 minutes before her tee time.
She saw her mentor, former Swedish national coach Pia Nilsson, standing behind the fence and gave her a long, hard hug.
''The pressure was building for months,'' Nilsson said. ''I just told her no matter what happens, she already was a winner.''
CORNING, N.Y. Karen Stupples tied the best opening round ever at the Corning Classic, shooting an 8-under-par 64 to lead the tournament.
Stupples equaled the record set in 1994 by Nancy Ramsbottom. And she did it in the shadow of Annika Sorenstam, the tour's best player, whose play against the men at Colonial was shown on a giant TV screen near the 18th green.
VIRGINIA WATER, England Darren Clarke shot a 6-under 66 to take the lead in the first round of the Volvo PGA Championship.
He leads by one stroke over Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, James Kingston of South Africa and Scotsman Alastair Forsyth, who all shot 67s to finish one ahead of a large group, including Justin Rose of England, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Adam Scott of Australia and Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain.
Olazabal is trying to extend his record of making the cut in this event 15 straight times.
Ernie Els, ranked second in the world and trying to win this title for the first time in eight attempts, began with a 69. Colin Montgomerie, the winner from 1998 to 2000, matched that score.
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