Annika Sorenstam does the right thing unlike Michelle Wie, turns down Samsung exemption
Annika Sorenstam is showing the class that Michelle Wie will apparently never have, turning down a special exemption to play in the Samsung World Championship. This is the exclusive 20-golfer field tournament, the one that was supposed to be limited to major championship winners from this year, top money list players … and well, one spoiled overhyped golfer.
Wie, of course, took the exemption offered to her to play in the Samsung as quickly as Paris Hilton grabs for another designer purse. Everyone on the LPGA Tour - everyone in golf really - knew it was the wrong thing for Wie to do. She did it anyways.
And now Sorenstam is making her look even more ridiculous and completely selfish.
Sorenstam is arguably the greatest player in the history of women’s golf. She’s certainly in the top two. If anyone deserves an exemption to a tournament that professes to reward excellence, it’s Annika. Still, she told the Samsung folks, Thanks, but no thanks.
“She didn’t want the perception that she was taking a spot,” Sorenstam’s agent Mark Steinberg told the Associated Press. “She decided to do what’s best for the LPGA.”
That’s why she’s Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie’s well Michelle Wie, a petulant spoiled teen.
Look, did Sorenstam do this in part to embarrass Wie? In all likelihood, yes. Sorenstam quietly seethed for months over the way Wie treated a Tour Annika helped build up as something almost beneath her. She abandoned the quiet part when Wie walked out on Sorenstam’s own tournament with the biggest phony-seeming injury withdrawal in sports history.
But you know what? Someone needs to embarrass Wie. Her camp had months and months, as Wie’s already shaky game broke down, to do the right thing and turn down the exemption.
I actually thought Wie was headed in the right direction after seeing the way she battled in the LPGA Championship, seeing how her father B.J. Wie stepped in and stopped her from snubbing autograph-seeking fans after a tough day. The arrogance always seems to come back with Team Wie though.
Now Wie needs to drop the stubborn attitude of a temper-tantruming toddler and admit she’s wrong. She should pull out of the Samsung on Monday, give up her spot to Natalie Gulbis, who’s earned the trip to Palm Springs. Wie should even talk about how she learned something from Sorenstam’s gesture and wants to be that type of ambassador to women’s golf later in her career.
You have a better chance of seeing Chicago Cubs - who already have packed up their locker room - playing on in the playoffs than Wie ever doing this though.
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When I asked Ms. Kathy Lawrence, publicity director of the LPGA, if Bubbles would be required to qualify for any LPGA events, her answer was an unqualified "no." No explanation was given.
Perhaps only LPGA members can be required to qualify on Monday's.
In any event, that was the reply that was given to me.
You are so clueless it is not funny. Let me break it down for you and explain it because you simply have no idea what you are talking about.
Annika was not to be in the Samsung tournament until a few days before qualification was completed. In order to get Annika into the field, they had to make new criteria to let her in, and throw out another player from the field. This meant that Sarah Lee in 18th on the money list got thrown out of the tournament, in order to let Annika in.
Annika has stated categorically that this is the reason she withdrew from the event.
She did NOT withdraw because she didn't deserve the inviation. She would have been happy to accept the invitation despite not deserving it.
What she did not want to do was steal a spot at the last minute from a player who had otherwise qualified up to that point.
Michelle Wie received a sponsors exemption in March. This sponsors exemption was not made up for Wie in 2007. It was a pre-existing exemption that was there for the sponsor to give to whomever they want. By accepting this sponsor exemption, Wie was not taking a spot off anyone else, she was merely accepting the sponsors exemption that was there.
Furthermore, when offered the exemption, Wie would have been rude to turn it down to such a prestigious event and more importantly the event has been advertised for months as having Wie in the field. Tickets have been sold on this basis. So for Wie to withdraw as you said she should, would in fact be disrespectful to the viewing public who paid money on the basis of having her in the field.
Wie should honour her commitment to play the event.
I got it! I've seen the light! You've convinced me!
Crafty old Annika, not wanting to be viewed as a greedy, old hag, even though that is exactly what she is, begrudgingly and reluctantly turned down an invitation to the Samsung which she clearly did not deserve.
She obviously didn't want to further besmirch her shady reputation. After all, she had really hurt her image when she had the audacity to publicly criticize Michelle Wie for abruptly walking off the course at the Ginn Tribute, Annika's event in name only.
Contrast that nefarious behavior with that of Bubbles, a well-bred, delightful young lady if ever ther was one.
It would have been easy for her to decline the invitation to the Samsung. She could have cited the severity of her several injuries,
the demands of attending Stanford, and the strain of maintaining her public persona as a great philanthropist and role model for teenage girls. Besides, her hordes of devoted fans had plunked down their hard-earned money to see their idol in action. She would NEVER withdraw! She would NEVER be seen as a quitter!
So, as the dogged, intrepid warrior that she is, and not wanting to disappoint her vast following, and despite the excruciating pain of her many injuries, she will tough it out for Old Glory.
Thank you, Bubbles!
Heaven be praised!
The funny part of the Sorenstam exemption is that she is represented by IMG, IMG owns and operates the SAMSUNG tournament. IMG was the one who insisted on making the change to get Sorenstam in on the HOF exemption. Inkster and Webb are both higher on the money list than Sorenstam and are both HOF members - yet they were skipped over to take Sorenstam - an IMG client. It was only after LPGA players started screaming about changing the criteria for the tournament two weeks before the event that Annika and IMG decided that this was going to turn into a big mess and they better get out of it. The common tread is: Annika is IMG client; IMG owns the Samsung tournament, IMG operates the Samsung tournament, Samsung is an IMG client Sponsor. Seems fairly simple to me - IMG got caught trying to run a client into the tournament and is now SPINNING it to Annika doing something good for the Tour by not accepting. I am not buying it.
You have obviously run out of medication. Please get some more quickly. Your last post is completely off the wall.
Then you agree with Stanley and me!
That old crone Annika and her agent tried to pull an endrun, and only relented when the rest of the LPGA members let out a howl.
But the LPGA members who are not in the Samsung are happy as clams that Bubbles, who is not an LPGA member, is in the event. And of course, there is no resentment by the tolerant ladies in the LPGA. How could there be? Sounds about right.
Several of you have stated that the Samsung committee invited Bubbles in March of 2007.
It is only of minor importance but I believe the invitation was extended in mid-May 2007.
Should Annika have refused the Colonial exemption and deferred to a more capable and productive player?
As with all of your arguments, your latest is a non sequitur.
Annika's appearance in the Colonial in 2003 was a one-time thing by her own admition. She has never received another exemption since then.
The Colonial is a full-field event with probably 140+ golfers in the field each year.
Comparing the Colonial to the Samsung is another of your absurdities.
But, to give you a direct answer to your question, something that you yourself NEVER do, I did not approve of Annika's playing in the Colonial at that time, and I still think it was a PR mistake on her part.
The only good thing about her ill-fated sortee into the PGA was that it taught her never to try it again.
Has Bubbles learned as much?
We'll see if she again lobbies for an entry into the Sony in January.
You are incorrect about Annika learning from her experience.
After the Colonial, Annika boldly stated that she could easily hold a pga tour card if she wanted but would not because she would rather be the best on the lpga tour, than just an average pga player.
This angered several pga players, and John Reigger who is a journeyman pro, who has qualified for the pga tour through q-school on many occassions, but usually fails to hold his tour card was particularly angered. He said that Annika was talking nonsense and he challenged Annika to a one off match. She refused to play it.
Annika dropped her exemption after phone calls came in from Julie and Karrie. They were not happy with IMG or their eleventh hour manipulation of the rules.
Natalie took a week off when she needed to play, based on information from her IMG agent, who said she was a shoe-in for the Samsung.
Get over it folks, sponsors invite whomever they want for their exemption.
Don't you understand Alex's frustration. He is worried about the integrity of the women's game.
And don't forget, Alex loves the women's game.
Well, there you have it.
According to the Wie Warriors, Annika is a miserable, conniving crone not because she is depriving a more worthy LPGA member from competing in the Samsung, it's because she REFUSED to accept an exemption to which she wasn't entitled.
Conversely, Bubbles is to be praised for receiving and ACCEPTING and refusing to decline an exemption which she clearly does not deserve, and thus depriving Natalie a spot in the tournament. Furthemore, she is a heroine for following that course.
Bubbles' modus operandi, according to Wie-wee logic, is the absolute height of courage, character, and consideration.
Luckily, you don't get to decide who is deserving of sponsors exemptions.
The sponsors decide that, and how much every you may dislike it, Samsung decided that Michelle Wie was who they wanted to give a sponsors exemption.
If Samsung gives next year's exemption to Minnie Mouse, who would be as eminently qualified as Bubbles, it would be all right with me.
The only thing that mystifies me is how anyone, even a wiebot, has trouble seeing the injustice and incongruity of such a move.
I suppose that's what separates sensible folks from Wie-wee's. Those in the former group are able to recognize a gross miscarriage of justice when presented with one, while those in the latter group are incapable of seeing the truth.
No matter, differences of opinion are what make horse races. And internet blogs.
As to your proposal that the LPGA should force Bubbles to qualify, the LPGA doesn't have the authority to make any such demand.
According to the previosly mentioned Ms. Kathy Lawrence, LPGA publicity director, LPGA qualifying is open only to non-exempt LPGA tour members
A non-member can receive six sponsors' exemption per year with no strings attached. In addition, two events on the LPGA tour, the US OPen and the British Women's Open are not included in the six.
Since Bubbles did not qualify through "Q" school this year, her schedule will most probably be similar or the same as it was this year.
That is, providing that some of the sponsors have given up on her pitiful performances.
As for the LPGA championship, and the British and US opens, Bubbles does not meet any of the set criteria stated in their publications, so it would take some serious gymnastics by the various tournament committees for her to be included in any of those events.
I wouldn't rule anything out, though.
After all, Bubbles is in the Samsung.
When you discribed Wie as a "well bred delightfull youn lady" did you mean brat? What exactly is your relationship to the Wie family.
While Stanley is a Wie worshipper of the first order, he was not the culprit who referred to Bubbles as a "well-bred, delightful young lady."
I was the one who gave her that left-handed compliment. I was being sarcastic. She is anything but that.
No it wouldn't take any gymnastics for them to invite her. All they have to do is invite her, no new rules need to be made, just issue the invitation.
When you, Timmy and the Bundy's (Barry and Stacy)post your dispatches, the hit counters go apesh*t along with Alex and his cronies.
I'm surprised that Nike, Sony and the rest of the sponsors haven't come knocking on your door for their split.
But then again, maybe you are already on their payroll. Your nebulous little scandal sheet mentions their very lucrative client often enough.
Do you believe that Michelle's exemption is justified because the sponsors know that her notoriety will bring in more viewers/sponsors/attendees, etc?
Much has been written about how much additional revenue Bubbles' presence will bring to the Samsung (as well as other events).
The admission to the Samsung is only a paltry $15 to $25.
If Bubbles were to entice an additional 5000 people each day, folks who had no intention whatever to watch the Samsung in person unless Bubbles was there, the total amount of additional revenue would be about $400K, hardly enough to make Samsung stockholders rejoice.
Two years ago, I saw a little of Bubbles in person. I can't imagine anyone but some immature teenyboppers going gaga over Bubbles.
Do you believe that Michelle's exemption is justified because the sponsors know that her notoriety will bring in more viewers/sponsors/attendees, etc?
As long as the sponsors are paying for the event I'd have to say that theirs is the final voice on the subject.
You notice that the LPGA seldom has an opinion about exemptions. As long as the publicity brings more attention to them, they don't seem to care.
There are a million serious issues in the world and Sponsors exemptions are nowhere near the list of serious items of concern.
For the most part, the opinions voiced here are humorous.
I can't imagine anyone but some immature teenyboppers going gaga over Bubbles.
2007-10-08 @ 18:56
Oh I don't know about that Alex, there seems to be a lot of gaga dimbulbs that get really cranked about "bubbles" everytime the Bundy's and their cohorts publish noxious little dispatches such as the above nonsnse.
How mature are you feeling?
Wie has already brough much publicity to the event.
If she hadn't been entered into the field, you probably wouldn't even know that the event was going to take place.
Neither did anyone else. So.. Unless the LPGA makes a special exception, she will not be joining the LPGA.
Unless of course she wins the Samsung tourney.
It would be safe to say that she will probably try for more exemptions next year. Whether anyone is willing to give her exemptions will be another story.
And as Alex pointed out on another blog, monday qualifiying is only for non-exempt LPGA members.
Thanks for pointing those things out. I'm being serious. Many posters here seem to think that anyone so desirous can "join" any tour by just applying.
Your post contained an interesting expression:"---she will probablt try for more eemptions---."
In the recent past, several Wie supporters expressed the opinion that it wasn't necessary for her handlers to lobby sponsors for exemptions; that her doorstep was being mobbed by sponsors clamoring for her presence at their events.
That may have been the case two or three years ago, but I can't see it being true now after her missed cuts and her pathetic withdrawals.
Other than in the tournaments in her native Hawaii, in my opinion she won't be much of a draw unless lightning strikes and she wins a tournament and her publocists get some new material.
And if she is serious about attending Stanford on a full-time basis, there is simply no way she will be able to play in eight events on the LPGA tour and appear in the proposed events in Asia.
That kid is really under the gun, and it wouldn't surprise me if she ends up on a therapist's couch.
"---She will probably try for more exemptions---."
It has been reported that Wie has already been offered over double the lpga exemptions for 2008 that she can accept so bang goes your theory.
While it might be harder for her to get exemptions to mens events, she is still the biggest draw in women's golf.
That may change if she didn't perform well in 2008, but I expect her to play well.
By the way Alex, you mentioned pathetic withdrawals. What is so pathetic about an injured player withdrawing from a tournament?
If you check out nearly any tournament leaderboard, you should notice a number of withdrawals, that happens, and when a player has a well documented injury, that just makes it all the more understandable.
She had 2 withdrawals from events right after coming back from injury. That wasn't something to be surprised about.
(My personal Favorites in the LPGA are Juli Inkster, Reilly Rankin, Stacy P, Nicole C. and Kim Hall.) Anytime any of them are in the field, I am pulling for them.
As for the exemptions, you may very well be correct for the coming year, but as has been pointed out in many articles around the world, Michelle has lost some of the appeal to sponsors because of her birthday in a couple days. (Oct 12, I believe. Seems to me I saw that in a news clip a few weeks back)
She will have to perform much better in the next year than she has over the past year to retain sponsorship appeal.
Sorry buddy, but that's business.
As to Alex' prediction of the therapists couch, that remains to be seen.
The next year will be interesting for the LPGA. I still think that Morgan’s wunderkind title was a fluke. It seemed to be more a case of Petterson melting down and Ochoa being less than sharp that weekend. It's not that Pressel doesn't have the talent; she just isn't consistent enough to be in the top 5 continuously, which is where your most of your winners come from.
Lincicome is another one that I believe lucked out more than played well. She is just not consistent enough to be a perennial winner…. yet.
Both of them will be there soon but not yet.
I am surprised that Paula hasn't performed better but she is young yet. If Natalie can take 5 years to get her first title, then Paula is well ahead of the curve on that score.
Where was it reported that Bubbles has received such a great number of requests for her presence?
Also, where was her injury "well-documented?" It has never even been made public where the alleged injury occurred. Neither has the nature of the injury been revealed. Enlighten me with pertinent details if you have them available.
And my final question for you is this: With the full knowledge that sponsors can invite anyone to compete in their tournaments regardless of their past performances and present ability, do you believe that Bubbles deserves these numerous exemptions?
Michelle Wie has deserved every lpga exemption she has got BY HER PLAY, up to the Samsung. She didn't deserve the Samsung by her play, but that would certainly be the first lpga exemption that she didn't deserve to get by her play.
Your next question is then likely to be, should she turn it down if she didn't deserve it by her play.
The answer is quite simply NO WAY.
You should remember that she is an intelligent girl and intelligent people don't say, oh that's a nice opportunity to play an elite event, but no thanks give it to someone else.
Her play has not deserved her getting any of the pga exemptions that she has received, but she has still accepted those exemptions, and why wouldn't she. She brings a whole lot to the event and it is good experience playing against great players.
I was referring to the numerous exemptions that you say she is already receiving for 2008. (Something I have considerable trouble believing and which you conveniently haven't documented)
Don't bother to reply to that request.
You have already expressed your opinion that Bubbles should accept anything that comes her way whether she earns it, deserves it, or it should by rights go to someone else.
By the way, when do you think she will bring that "whole lot" to an event on the weekend? Besides the no-cut Samsung, that is?
Have you forgotten the particulars on Bubbles' "well-documented" injury?
I thank you in advance.
When Wie played the Ginn Tribute, it had been widely reported that she had missed the Kraft and other events through injury. So yes it was well documented that she was injured as she came back to that first event.
By the way Alex, if you need a bit of help jogging your memory, that was about the time where you were predicting that Michelle would play a maximum of 2 to 3 events in 2007. Yet another prediction that you were proved wrong in.
And it is surprising how wrong you often are, given that you try to make safe predictions.
As an example, your prediction that she won't be in the top 10 at the Samsung. Wow Alex, lots of guys on the golf channel board are predicting last place, and you won't even predict a bottom 3, only that she wouldn't be in the top half of the field.
Alex, would you not try to do a bit better than that?
Where did her injury occur? In Hawaii or in California? Was her injury a sprain, a fracture, a torn ligament, which one?
As for making wrong predictions, you have made enough wrong predictions about Bubbles winning to fill the pages of the phone book of a medium sized city.
I imagine Alex creates these conspiracy theories while sitting at his keyboard in his undergarments, sporting a tinfoil hat.
It is easy to see he maintains a bizarre phobia concerning Miss Wie, when you consider how prolific his posting is whenever she is the topic.
No tinfoil here, I'm just desirous of a simple explanation.
Do you have one?
I didn't think so.
A phobia is a fear.
I believe the word you're groping for is fascination.
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
A phobia is a fear.
I believe the word you're groping for is fascination.
Phobia: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation
I dunno Alex but judging by the illogical number of posts by yourself on the subject of Michelle Wie, I think phobia about covers it.
You don't do so bad yourself.
The only phobia you Wie-wee's have is fear of the obvious.
Alex, if we did a count of posts by you or me, you'd have the winning number. At a guess, they'd be in the range of 12 of yours to one mine.
I don't have as much time on my hands as you do, obviously.
Then why do you keep replying?
I suppose it's really to see what other insane stuff you can come up with. *shrug*
You asked where her injury happened and what it was.
She broke her wrist in north California while staying at her aunts house. Thanks for asking.
Thanks for the info.
Whence came the original Associated Press release that she injured herself while running backwards in a beachfront park on Oahu?
Are you sure it was fractured?
Jennifer Mario was of the opinion that is was some sort of strained ligament.
I think so. The PGA and LPGA need to establish some criteria to allow participation in professional events. Otherwise, we cheapen the event. It becomes a publicity stunt versus a competition. And if gate draw is the only criteria, why don't we just invite Bill Murray to every event?
I think we can all agree MW's performance has been "sub-par", and is not DESERVING of the invite. On a purely competitive basis, Ms. Gulbis is a much better pick. So why are we rewarding poor play by inviting MW?
Sidebar - Alex, you should know better...That strained "ligament" is her brain...
I apologize if you already covered this in your comments. I got tired of reading through the bickering and just skipped ahead.
Tad is playing today in Las Vegas at the Frys.com event on a sponsor's exemption. Too late.
Annika might have appeased some of her fellow LPGA players. However, she dissapoints millions of fans out there who want to see her play. What about the players' obligation to the sponsor? After all, they are the one paying their salary, not her fellow LPGA players.
If one were to take your proposal a step further, what about the disappointment to the fans of Hall of Famers Karrie Webb and Juli Inkster? Both had scores of LPGA wins and multiple majors won.
And what about Sherri Steinhauer?
Don't forget Natalie Gulbis and Meaghan Francella, both winners this year of their first LPGA tournament.
Wasn't the Samsung originally intended for the previous year's winner, the present year's major winners, and the other top money winners?
With Bubbles getting the undeserved freebie, that premise has gone by the boards, but granting some more Annie Oakley's would make the Samsung into a real farce.
Do they have fans? Why are all the blogs about Wie then?
Hey blog writer. Write a blog about either Juli Inkster or Karrie Webb and don't mention MW's name. How many hits will you get? How many comments?
You apparently don't comprehend what I wrote.
My contention is that Annika was correct in turning down the exemption, since the other players have fans also. Bubbles doesn't play any part in it.
Did you mean to say it DIDN'T steal a spot from Sarah Lee?
Sarah Lee is in the Samsung.
Natalie Gulbis is not. Now why do you suppose that is?
Annika's exemption stole a spot from Sarah Lee, but Annika gave it back as she should.
Nobody stole a spot from Natalie Gulbis. Natalie just didn't qualify under the criteria that had been set.
Did Bubbles qualify under the criteria that had been set?
Your comment represents all that is wrong in sports today - hype.
Sports are supposed to be one of the last bastions of meritocracy.
Why not just invite Paris Hilton to play?
They will probably lay low for a while, waiting for something "good" to happen for Bubbles.
After a while, they will slink back when they think the coast is cler.
Then it will be back to normal with some even more stupid rationalizing. These clowns are incurable and predictable.
Hey now. The legal team from Nike, Sony, Omega and the host Samsung want to clarify that MW is in 20th place. And she parred the 18th so she's playing better than Lorena who DB'd the 18th. MW is going to turn it around in round two because her score in round one doesn't reflect how well she actually played!
Easy there big guy...I am just offering a different perspective...
Rationalization...the diet of mediocrity.
No place in sports for that, either.
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