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National | Outspoken golfer Vijay Singh didn't play in the Colonial golf tournament and he said it was because of a woman.

Issue: "Middle East: No easy answers," May 31, 2003

Outspoken golfer Vijay Singh didn't play in the Colonial golf tournament and he said it was because of a woman. No, not Annika Sorenstam-his wife. "I told my wife last week that if I won a tournament, I would take a week off," he said after winning the Byron Nelson Championship just one week before the Colonial. Mr. Singh had previously said that he would pull out of the Colonial if tournament officials paired him with Annika Sorenstam, who made the first appearance by a woman on the PGA tour in almost 60 years. "It has nothing to do with the controversy. It just came at the right time, I guess. Just as well."

Mr. Singh vehemently opposed Ms. Sorenstam's participation in the Colonial, saying she should have earned her tour card like all others before playing in a PGA event. The Fort Worth club instead granted Ms. Sorenstam-lauded as the female Tiger Woods-an exception.

For the Colonial, the inclusion of the Swedish golfer proved to be a great publicity move. Both CBS and USA extended their coverage of the event. And though some golfers may have been annoyed, the media circus that set up shop in Fort Worth turned out to be a good thing for the tournament. "I'm very curious," tour pro Jeff Sluman said before the Colonial kicked off. "Vegas has got odds. Players are saying this and that. I am genuinely interested in how she does."

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