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Support for Annika, King-size

London: Annika Sorenstam’s biggest problem at next week’s Colonial golf tournament in Texas will be entering unknown territory, according to Billie Jean King.

Sorenstam, the world’s leading female golfer, will become the first woman to challenge the men on the PGA Tour in 58 years when she tees off at the par-70 Colonial Country Club next Thursday.

“No matter how much she practises, you can’t rehearse for that kind of occasion,” said the 59-year-old King.

“It’s very, very difficult. But I think if she makes the cut, that would be just a tremendous thing.”

“Annika is going to be under tremendous pressure,” she said. “Just like when I played Bobby Riggs or when Martina Navratilova played Jimmy Connors or when Babe Didrickson (Zaharias) played in 1945.”

Sorenstam has repeatedly said she does not want to become involved in a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ during next week’s tournament.

“I think more people know her name now than they ever have and I think it’s sad that you have to go and play a men’s meet to get your name known and to have that recognition of her accomplishments,” King said. “That’s what gets me upset.”

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