Ron Albertson / the Hamilton
CROWD PLEASER. Annika Sorenstam put on a clinic and played for
charity yesterday at the Magna Golf Club in Aurora. Here, a group of
golfers and caddies get a lesson.
While it would be nice to report that Laura Hildebrandt, 15, of
Ancaster beat Annika Sorenstam -- the world's top female golfer --
yesterday in their one-hole match at Magna Golf Club, that wasn't
Sorenstam was at Magna yesterday for the Scotiabank Women's Charity
Classic, a one-day event which raised $250,000 for various women's
Part of the festivities saw Sorenstam pitted against teams of four
amateur women players and nine of the top-ranked juniors in the
province. Each team played a one-hole match against Sorenstam.
Hildebrandt was teamed with media members. To say they weren't good
golfers would be charitable.
In fact, when they had to take a shot out of a sand trap, Toronto
radio host Erin Davis drew a chuckle from the gallery when she asked
in all seriousness if someone would 'swiffer' the sand for her.
Hildebrandt's team bogeyed the hole while Sorenstam made a nice
up-and-down from the fringe to save par.
The Grade 10 student at Ancaster High School, who is the fourth-
ranked junior in the province, said she wasn't really nervous.
"I was more excited," she said.
Hildebrandt says Canadian Lorie Kane is still her favourite LPGA
Tour player but admits she will take away something from her
experience with Sorenstam.
"I want to take away her tempo," Hildebrandt says. "It's very steady
and I'm going to work on that."
Sorenstam, who also put on a clinic, was asked how she would feel
down the road a few years if the teenagers she played against
yesterday suddenly appeared on the LPGA Tour and started to beat
"I'll know it's time to retire," she said with a laugh.
Sorenstam did say, however, that Hildebrandt and the other juniors
are the future of the game.
"A lot of them are very talented and they have great futures," she
said. "I remember going to a clinic when I was a teenager and saw an
LPGA player and said I want to play on Tour one day.
"I think this is a responsibility we have to share the experience.
They are the next generation and we have to make sure that
generation is solid and ready so the growth of the game is there."
She said if she had one message to give the young players, it's that
their journey in golf is just beginning, they have a long way to go,
and that they should enjoy the journey.
Hildebrandt has a busy summer that includes competing in the Ontario
Women's Amateur Championship in St. Catharines and the Ontario
Junior Girl's Championship at Willow Valley Golf Club in Mount Hope.