Laura Davies: Ginn course "unfair", give Michelle Wie a 88 break: WorldGolf.com exclusive
HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. - Laura Davies is quickly turning into one of Michelle Wie’s biggest defenders on the LPGA Tour. With everyone from Annika Sorenstam to now Nicole Castrale (who barely knows who she is herself) ripping on Wie for a lack of respect, a 22-year veteran of professional golf defends the 17-year-old’s LPGA-assisted withdrawal from the Ginn Tribute.
“The course was an unfair course in its setup,” Davies said of Rivertown Country Club track where the Ginn was held last week. “Especially if you’re coming back from an injury. It’s not like she’s shooting 88 every week. It was obviously a freak occurrence.
“I think we need to let it go.”
That’s obviously not happening. Not with players wondering when the LPGA is going to explain its actions to them. Not with even Castrale saying late this afternoon, “The only thing that I would say is if it’s true that she came out and practiced on Saturday, it’s pretty sad. It shows a little bit of disrespect to Annika. Annika has done so much for the game of golf and women’s golf …”
Still, Davies’ take is interesting. The veteran straight shooter isn’t one of those beyond-reason Wie Warriors who’s convinced Team Wie actually pulled out because of a wrist “tweak.” Davies says “(Wie) obviously wasn’t injured to the point where she couldn’t keep playing.”
Instead, Davies argument seems to be that the 88 rule should never have applied to Wie anyways because she’s proven she can play on the Tour in the past. Davies’ thinking is more cynical than a grandpa who supposedly walked to school three miles through the snow every day. Again, why not just throw out all the rules in sports then?
But there’s no denying, it’s an interesting perspective. In some ways you have to admire Davies for not giving a damn who she offends in the LPGA locker room by being a voice that’s speaking up for Wie. You have to love a straight shooter on either side.
The problem comes when Team Wie tries to spin everything and deny reality.
Why doesn’t Wie just make Davies’ argument too?
Stay tuned to the front of WorldGolf.com tomorrow for more full stories and columns from the LPGA Championship, including something that’s going to shock you about the No. 1 ranked player in women’s golf. And no, that’s not Wie.
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You have to recognize that Davies can make her argument, and I can make the same argument--but if Michelle were to mske the same argument, her critics would savage her for considering herself above the rules. Tell the truth Chris, wouldn't you have savaged Michelle Wie for somthing like that as recently as a week ago.
The purpose of the 88 rule was never to eliminate top players who have proven themselves. If that were the case why doesn't it apply to an LPGA player loke Kelly Robbins who shot a 90 on Sunday? It is clear to me that the spirit of the law would say it should not be applied on a tough course to a proven player coming back from an injury who said before the start that she was not 100 %.
Now to the Saturday practice. To keep LPGA players from skipping tournaments the week before big events, the way Jack did with the Majors, the LPGA has a rule against practing on a course the previous week. The reason for the rule does not exist for players who are restricted to 6 to 8 events a year.
The LPGA must be filled with a lot of wimps if the majority of players believe (1)that Michelle Wie has hown that she is not an LPGA caliber player and should be banned for a year on the grounds of not being good enough, and (2)that this player who is not up to LPGA standards gets an unfair advantage over them by getting in an extra day or two of practice Saturday and Sunday(?).
But if we do acknowledge that Michelle is of LPGA quality and should not be banned any more than Kelly Robbins should be, is it fair that she is not subject to the previous week rule? On this issue I might have some sympathy except for one point. The people who are complainig are the members of the LPGA and are the ones who made these rules. I assume they could change this rule tomorrow if they wished to do so. For example, to avoid an unfair competive advantage, players ranked in the top 50 100, 200 or whatever could be exempt from the 88 rule but subject to the previous week rule. But I realy see no need for anyone to be subject to the 88 rule. How likely is it that sponsors are going to want to give a lot of exemptions to players who can't shoot better than an 88?
As you said Nicole Castrale barely even knows who she is, so the reporters would have to get some bigger names to back up Annika if it were to make a story.
Since you are reporting on the lpga championship, it's important you are made aware of this bit of news if you haven't heard it already.
Here is comments from Janice Moodie Wie's playing partner at the Ginn Tribue.
Moodie told me she heard Wie say, "Ouch!" after hitting her tee shot on the first hole, which was the group's 10th of the day. Wie had said that was precisely when she began feeling the pain. "My caddie and I were the only ones who heard it," Moodie said. "She didn't swing as hard from that point on." As for Wie's purported petulance, Moodie added, "She was great to play with. Very friendly and respectful."
Brittany is on 18 at -3.
Paula is in at -1.
On what hole will Wie-Wee quit today?
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