Annika Sorenstam is the No. 1 golfer in the world. Tiger Woods, at No. 2, isn’t even in her rearview mirror.

Annika over Tiger? No doubt about it. According to the Guaranteed Genderless International Golf Index, Annika is unequivocally the No. 1 golfer on the planet. So says the GGIGI panel, which is composed of . . . well . . . me.

Cruise to victory at Evian

By the way, fairness requires that the following point be made: Solheim Cup players outnumber Ryder Cup players by a 9-6 margin on the GGIGI chart. Regardless, I will repeat that these rankings are intended to be genderless and free of bias. Any questions about this should be directed to the official GGIGI spokesperson, Martha Burk. The Solheim Cup is on the rise, as the GGIGI correctly emphasizes. And I have it from good authority that the 2003 renewal in Sweden will focus more attention on the two Solheim Cup teams than the Swedish Bikini team. Or so I am told.

Although nobody’s counting, women claim three of the top 5 spots, four of the top 10, eight of the top 20, and 18 of the top 40. With the release of the first GGIGI top 40, we are talking about some really important golf attributes here. When a few of my advisers at Rose City Golf Club in Portland, Ore., wanted more consideration placed on “good legs,” I pointed out the No. 1 pitfall of doing so: If legs were so important, it would be extremely difficult to keep Fred Couples off the list. Meanwhile, everybody knows that if legs could win major championships, Jill McGill would have more majors than Annika and Tiger combined.

Oh, I’m sorry. This discussion suddenly is sounding a little sexist, and the motivation behind the GGIGI was to produce a top 40 roster devoid of gender prejudice. To judge the seriousness of this endeavor, please consider some of the criteria used for awarding bonus points: tight pants (which allowed Charles Howell III to vault considerably higher in the ratings), blonde hair (sometimes called the “David Toms rule”), intriguing foreign accents (which was of great help to Dubliner Harrington).

Here at GGIGI headquarters, we refer to Harrington as the “Irish Tiger,” and we predict he will rise to No. 1 on the world list once Annika decides to go away and have babies. Harrington has replaced the erratic Garcia as the player most likely to succeed Woods as the world’s best male golfer.

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