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?

6 thoughts on “To Wie or Not to Wie

  1. proeel says:

    Time to put the Michelle Wie thing to bed. Of course she doesn’t belong playing with the men. However, money talks and if she draws a crowd, she will be used as such.
    It seems obvious why men can’t play on the LPGA, however, why not? I think a rule could be made that any man 5′ 5″ weighing less than 140 pounds should be allowed to play. A man that size is just a woman in a man’s body. He would be competitive and possibly fun to watch the little guy get his due. How many 5′ 5″ 135 pound men can play great golf. I only know of one and he should be allowed to tee it up with the ladies.

  2. admin says:

    A WIE UPDATE: Playing in the first round of the Ginn Championship (another “Sponsor’s” Exemption that takes away a place in the field from someone who has earned it), Wie withdrew after being 14 over par through 16 holes, aggravating a wrist injury that sidelined her since January.

    After Wie bogeyed the par-4 seventh, the 17-year-old star from Hawaii told an LPGA tour official: “We’re not going to play anymore.”

    Supposedly, this was because she “tweaked” the injury and not because of an LPGA rule that bans nontour members for the year if they shoot 88 or higher. Wie was two bogeys from that scenario when she stopped.

    “I had issues with my wrist,” she said. “Shooting 88 is not what I think about.”

    Yeah, uh-huh.

  3. Sandy Cable says:

    I agree, the potential 88 was THE issue. While it might not have been on Michelle’s mind, my opinion is the 88 was definately on the minds of her father and manager. I say shame on these men. This is a very talented young girl who has been used and manipulated for money. This young women is not only “not learning how to win” she is not learning respect for the integrity of the game. I blame her parents.

  4. admin says:

    You are 100% correct, Sandy. The blame here does indeed lie at the feet of her parents. Her Father, in particular. The “millions” of reasons that she turned pro, would be very hard for any family to refuse. This whole affair is now turning into a public furor, a maelstorm, that this 17 year old girl will now have to deal with; VERY PUBLICLY. I am convinced that the best course of action for Wie, would be to put this whole LPGA (playing on Tour) thing, on “hold”. She should focus on being a 17 year old freshman at Stanford, and enjoy the next four years of her life. After graduating, then she should devote herself to playing professionally, full time. Sadly, this scenario, will never happen. Too many people (see Sponsors and The “Wie Entourage”), have far too much invetsed in her.

  5. keygolf says:

    A visit to Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, followed by a group meeting at PDA might help (PDA = “Prima Donnas Anonymous”). Otherwise she is only learning and being taught how to take and that will catch up with anyone sooner than later.

    For the record, our friend and participant in the Invitational (Karen Davies) was paired with Wie at the MacDonald’s in the third round. Karen, with 500 Barnum and Bailey attendees following and breathing hard, bested Wie by something like 6 or 7 shots (I didn’t go back and look it up, and my memory is seniorized). The mistakes made around her are too deep and too wide now. The hope is that she will survive it, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  6. admin says:

    Great blog, KeyGolf! It might also be noted that the aforementioned Karen Davies (who plays in our Invitational each year), has been on a tear since she started using Clear Key. Last year, she won the LPGA Teaching Division National Championship as well as several other tournaments. Making the cut and playing so well at the LPGA Championship is just further proof positive that Clear Key is….magic!

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