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Battle of the Sexes: Shootout at Royal Oak

That was good enough for her to close me out five and four in our match and put my generously marked medal score of seventy-five to shame. When the match officially ended on the fourteenth green, my macho inner voice had gone mute, but I somehow managed to offer Lorie a barely audible "congratulations." No gloating followed from her corner, just one of her winning smiles.

Thanks to Lorie's caddie/coach, I did manage a Pyrrhic victory on the home hole. Danny observed that my continuing troubles off the tee were caused by a faulty setup. To put it simply, I was addressing the ball with my weight more or less evenly distributed between my left and right sides. "That's fine for a nine-iron when you're hitting a descending blow," he said. "But with a driver, you need to put about 70 percent of your weight on your right foot, and you need to tilt your spine to the right to help you hit an ascending blow."

With that advice in mind, I smacked my final tee shot 310 yards down the middle of the fairway, outdriving Lorie by a good forty yards. "So much for turning Japanese," I chortled.

Lorie looked at me rather quizzically, then flashed one more of her "Miss Congeniality" smiles. "There you go," she said.

After we putted out on eighteen, I dutifully treated my playing partners to a round of beers in the clubhouse. I knew what Bobby Riggs must have felt like after losing to Billie Jean King. Any illusions I had harbored that males were innately superior to females on the golf course would forever rest in peace.

Our talk quickly turned to what Lorie does to prepare for the LPGA season. She said that her first priority was maintaining her workout regimen. Then she announced that she was toying with the idea of trying to play a few tournaments on the North Florida PGA minitour, which has historically been an all-male circuit.

"If they let you play, they'll put you on the ladies tees," Danny warned.

"No, no," Lorie insisted. "I have to play back with the guys."

All I could say was, "Look out, Annika, Karrie and Se Ri—and good luck guys."

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