To Wie or Not to Wie

May 21, 2007 -

Michelle Wie is a phenomenon. She is an extraordinary talent, very mature for her age and by all accounts a very intelligent young lady. She has never won a tournament of significance.

Wie, has just accepted an invitation to play October’s Samsung World Championship at Bighorn Golf Club. The Samsung is an invitation only event that has an elite field of what is supposedly the best twenty players in the world. Wie hasn’t played a competitive round in months. Her invitation does not sit well with many of her peers; “It’s tough to accept. We’re out here working our butts off to get a spot in that tournament and it’s just handed to her.” — Brittany Lincicome, as told to The Star-Ledger, in response to Wie being giving the invitation to the Samsung.

It doesn’t sit well for us either. Michelle Wie needs to learn how to win. At any level. Her forays into various Men’s Tours have become almost embarrassing. Her last time out she failed to break 80 in either round. It doesn’t hurt the title sponsors, however, that a field for any event that Wie is entered into, increases in attendance by 50%. That the media dog and pony show will become a full fledged Barnum and Bailey extravaganza when she shows up. These are all corporate objectives. Her sponsors (who have paid her a very large amount of money) want that exposure. It doesn’t matter to them, how she performs, but it does matter a great deal that their corporate logos are ablaze on your TV screen. Regardless of the outcome.

Michelle Wie is 17 years old and has started her freshman year at Stanford. Having become a professional, she is not eligible to play in college or Amateur events. A pity, because it would have been a great avenue for her to climb the ladder of “process”. Tiger did it. Jack did it. Annika did it. It is one thing to have the game to win and another entirely to know how to win. Wie needs to learn how to win. It would have been much easier for her to do that learning by playing college golf and competing in USGA Championships. It would also have been considerably less lucrative.

Do you agree with the direction that Wie (and her family) has chosen? Did she do the right thing be turning pro so young?

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