Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anja Monke: 2 Autographed Postcards

Anja Monke is a German professional golfer who has been a pro since 2004, first on the Ladies European Tour, then the LPGA (from 2008 onwards). Her fist victory was at the 2008 Platz Dubai Ladies Master, where she was the first post-Annika Sörenstam winner. The same year, she also won the Platz Verdiorbis Open de France.

I'm not a huge golf fan, but the only time I do watch it is for the women's game. Honestly, I don't care how many hits it takes to get the ball in the hole, I want to see a competition, emotion, humans trying to out-perform one another, not vaguely distinguishable robots whose caddy can calculate the amount of backspin needed to counter a three-knot wind. And since the rest of the male golf world has caught up to Tiger Woods, the men's game is just a blur of boredom to me, one in which I find myself daydreaming about having a picnic on the grass rather than realizing a sport is occurring on top of it.

But the ladies keep me captivated. They are still pure athletes, uncorrupted by their sponsors, uncompromised by ephemeral fame, the same way tennis players are, like my favourite hockey players are. And Anja Monke is one of my favourites. She can be patient, determined, passionate, relentless and as cunning as a chess master.

I wrote her an email in November, not really expecting anything to happen from it, but I received these two postcards from her during the Christmas break, signed in black sharpie:

They are identical from the back, detailing her date and place of birth and best finishes (though her 2010 victory at Lalla Meryem Cup isn't there, probably because the cards date from 2009 or so). I haven't seen any of her scores since September 2012, either, so she may have retired or taken a break from the sport. I wish her the best, of course.

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