« Memo to Nancy Lopez: put Michelle Wie on the Solheim teamOnly in Hawaii: a new take on pace-of-play »

123 comments

Comment from: AkamaiOkole [Visitor]
Hi Jennifer:

Hope you are enjoying golf in my hometown of Hawaii! Love the golf courses there (even if they are a little windy in the afternoons).

Also refreshing to read some opinions that are not purposefully inflamatory, unlike your buddy Chris Baldwin.

I think Michelle Wie is great for golf. I know a lot of people that have tuned in to the LPGA, just to watch her, and ended up liking the women's game at the end of the day.

I have been watching Michelle play for almost 3 1/2 years now. Do you know what I think is amazing? When I watch her play, she makes it look so easy that it looks like she is playing "sub-optimally" -- i mean, it always looks like she could be doing something a little better. Lately it has been her putting. When another golfer has a good round, it really looks like they are shooting "lights out", but for Michelle, it always looks like she is leaving a few shots on the course. And yet, she still ends up on the leaderboard time after time -- if you look at her record, she is the most consistent golfer next to Annika this year. Not bad for a 15-year old highschool junior (to be). If she ever starts gettng hot with the putter, she will be SCARY SCARY good. Can't wait for that to happen! Then Chris Baldwin can find some other adolescent girl to trash in order to bolster his masculinity (or lack thereof).

Aloha!

08/01/05 @ 01:30
Comment from: Jennifer Mario [Member] Email
Aloha to you, AkamaiOkole--
thanks for your comment! Yeah, I love the golf here too.
Would you be interested in listing some of your favorite courses here in Hawaii? I'd love to hear your take on which to play/avoid.


08/01/05 @ 01:41
Comment from: Jim Coulthard [Visitor]
4 Top 10s for Michelle Wie? True, but that understates her sucess. All four were Top 5s: a 2, two T2s(two way), and the latest two way T3. Except for her first T2 at SBS all were against strong fields outside her home state. Add in two more Top 20s, and a worst finish at a T23 that included Annika at the US Open.
08/01/05 @ 01:58
Comment from: Vernon Wong [Visitor]
Thanks for not posting stupid remarks just to provoke responses, like some other writers on this site. I have followed Michelle wie's career closely ever since she qualified for the US Woman's Amateur when she was 10. When she was 11, she won 2 of the 3 major women's tournaments in Hawaii. I took a video of her then almost driving the 320 yd 10th hole. Granted, it is slightly downslope and downwind. But she also hit her drive on the 18th hole, about 270 yds. The 18th is right next to the 10th but in the opposite direction. How far did Tiger hit his drives when he was 11? I think it is significant that only Annika has a winning record against Michelle in the events Michelle played, 3-2-1.
08/01/05 @ 03:24
Comment from: Bob [Visitor]
Hi Jennifer,
There are alot of great courses on the neighbor islands but the courses on Oahu that I recommend are the following: Ko Olina, Kuilima (Palmer designed course), Koolau (only if you want the ultimate challenge, hardest rated course in nation), if you can get on military courses, they're all pretty decent, Hikam and Kaneohe Clipper standout.
08/01/05 @ 06:09
Comment from: Bert [Visitor]
And oh yeah, for those replying, don't forget the article was about Jeong Jang, not Michelle Wie... **smile**

Yes, Michelle has done remarkably, but let's not forget who just won a major wire-to-wire...

08/01/05 @ 07:18
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
Take a look at the MMD (Majors Measuring Device) utilized with scientific precision at the Ron.Mon blog to confirm that Wie is a few strokes stronger than her closest young rival, the Pink Panther.
08/01/05 @ 07:47
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Michelle Wie proved once again that she belongs in the LPGA field. Just like Jennifer Capriati proved at the young age of 14 that she belonged in the WTA field. They are/were both young, female athletic phenoms. On that there is no disagreement.

However, just as Capriati's success in the female ranks provided no indications concerning her ability to compete with her male counterparts, so does Michelle's. Michelle is awesome and deserves to be considered as one of the top female golfers in the world. It's the 'she can play with the men' hype that grates on some people, myself included. I think it would be cool if she could; I just hate the hype and speculation that she definately can, when she has done absolutely nothing yet to indicate that she will be able to do so. What a let down it's going to be for many people if she is 'only' able to be a dominant female golfer.

The fact of the matter is, if she either came out with the intention to play only with the women OR she went through Q school or Monday qualifying to play with the men and succeeded; there would be no disagreement about her at this point and she would be enjoying near unanimous support and praise (except maybe from the severely bigoted crowd). But she hasn't done that. She has accepted sponsor's exemptions and the media has hyped her to no end. That is the part that rubs some people the wrong way. And just because someone has a negative feeling or qualifies their praise of Michelle, does not mean they are a racist, bigoted idiot. There is some validity to their position.

What I would love to see is her, or some other female golfer, go to Q school and actually qualify for the tour. That would be awesome.
08/01/05 @ 10:06
Comment from: June [Visitor]
Arnie,reasonable criticism. But with all due respect, Michelle isn't the first person trying to earn PGA membership through Sponser's exemption (if this is really what she was trying or will)?

Phil Michelson did by winning atournament as a amateur. Tiger did through exemption.

If and when Michelle truns pro on LPGA, i kind of expect that she will try to earn her LPGA memberhsip card again through sponser's exemption since LPGA probably won't allow her membership out right till her 18th birthday (LPGA will probably cross theri finger hoping that she will get full exemption nonmembership by winning a tournament. That way they can save their face and Michelle earn membership status.).

So if it is OK to earn a card through sponser's exemption on LPGA, why not on PGA?

I can understand your point on principal. But earning a card through sponser's exemption was not that unusual.
08/01/05 @ 10:44
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
I was going to write this response to the wie knockers under Baldwins column but thought better of it. Maybe he will stop writing his stupid articles if people stop responding to them.
Anyway if Michelle Wie was a professional and the ladies had world rankings she would probably be no2 by now.
If you take the average finishing position of the 4 majors plus the Evian Masters (considered the fifth major) I think you will find that Michelle is second behind Annika by half a position.
Absolutely amazing.
Alan
08/01/05 @ 13:53
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
June, I agree with you and I wasn't intending to rip on Wie for accepting sponsor's exemptions. Less qualified people than her get them every week and I don't know her for taking them. I just think it would have been really cool if she actually qualified. Sponsor's exemptions are one of the things that keeps golf from truly being a 'sport', but that's another whole discussion.

The issue I was trying to communicate is the real reason that Wie is getting so much press is the argument that she can compete with the men. On that issue, there is zero evidence that she can today or will ever be able to do so. Truly 'compete', that is, not 'not come in last in a tournament with Nationwide caliber guys'.

Look at it this way, (as I'm sure Michele has), Annika is possibly the best female golfer who has ever lived and she has been dominating the women's tour for a while now. And guess what? Nobody cares. Outside of a very small segment of the golfing populace, nobody cares about women's golf at this point. If Annika can't generate any interest in herself, how can Wie possibly do so? The answer is she can't, unless she plays the 'I want to play on the PGA Tour' card. If she came out with the sole intention of playing the LPGA, people would have been amazed at the 15 year old's ability at such a young age, and then they would have moved on. But the hype machine has created this monster that has to be fed by the PGA Tour fuel. Those of us who are of the opinion that Michelle competing on the PGA Tour is a total fantasy thereby view her current popularity as mostly hype. Not because she's not a phenomenally talented female golfer, she is. But because that is all she is, until she proves otherwise. And most male golf fans don't have any interest in watching the Nationwide tour guys play golf, much less have any appetite for watching the women play. No offense and I'm not trying to be sexist. Just looking for the highest entertainment value.
08/01/05 @ 15:39
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Sorry Arnie. People don't watch Wie because she wants to compete with men. They watch her because she is 15 and is probably the second best woman golfer in the world. She has possibly the best swing in golf and has personality, something severely lacking in Annika.
It's truely amazing that people still don't understand what Wie has accomplished. She will have more impact than Tiger, if she hasn't already.
Alan
08/01/05 @ 16:04
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
Arnie, your facts are incorrect, though part of what you say is very true. I think Alan has it right, in part - Wie would be a phenom and draw a lot of attention even if she were only playing LPGA events and the like, because she really does appear to be, right now at the age of 15, one of the very best women's golfers out there. As a poster on Kiel's very funny blog mentions, if there were World Rankings for the women Michelle might very well be #2 behind Annika right now, depending on the formula. And looking at cumulative finish in the five "majors" (including the Evian) Michelle comes in behind only Annika, and not by much there!

But you are correct Arnie, because she plays with the men she gets much, much more attention. No doubt about it. I commented on that in an early posting on one of Jennifer's blogs. Her media draw is directly related to her competing with the men.

But that's where you drift away, and your facts become fiction. See, she IS competing with the men, though you claim she is not. She did NOT come in dead last at a Nationwide Tour event and call it a day. She played in the PGA Tour's John Deere, which has a weak PGA field (but better than a Nationwide field by far), and she missed the cut by ONE STROKE! She also did what you say she should, and flat out qualified for the Men's Publinx, then played well enough to make the top 64 in stroke play, and then played well enough to win three matches before losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion. In what way is that not competing with the men? She is only 15 and she is playing with the best male amateurs and showing she definitely belongs, and also played with male pros in a PGA event and was one lipped put from making the weekend! Again, at 15! Annika got hammered when she tried to step up to the PGA level, by contrast, because her game is actually less suited to play against the men than Michelle's, even though Annika's total game is better than Wie's.

Wie is a phenom, and would be a draw no matter what. But COMPETING with the men, as she has and will continue to do, definitely pushes her to a much higher level as far as media darling is concerned. And shouldn't it? She is a role model for every young girl out there: don't listen to the naysayers, don't believe that you can't do it just because you are a girl. Try your best, and play against the best, and see how good you can be.

(And that's why Baldwin's blog is so damn offensive - I have a little girl, and I don't want Baldwins out there telling her she can't be the best just because she's not male!)
08/01/05 @ 18:12
Comment from: Ben Moore [Visitor]
on the PGA tour. But now that you brought it up, it definately rings true. Many men are threatened by the idea the women are actually superior
in regards to half of all human skills
(yes I am presuming that men and women are equals but have different speciality skills). I see no reason that a women (with a 300 yard game) will be able to compete against the men. I often think of pool when I think of sports where men and women could be equal but suprisingly enough we never see women compete against the men in pool. (since I have never noticed the men play pool on tv but have seen the same familiar women play often makes me think that perhaps the money is better for the women, NOT (but perhaps should be)
08/01/05 @ 21:09
Comment from: Ben Moore [Visitor]
And even if Michelle never wins a tournament, she still has made (and is still making) a mark on the LPGA by making golf cool and interesting to young girls which will add thousands of competative women to LPGA in the years to come.
08/01/05 @ 21:17
Comment from: Jim Coulthard [Visitor]
Sorry Alan--the fact that Michelle competes against men ia a big part of the reason people watch Wie. Annika got more attention for missing the cut at the Colonial than for going after the grand slam this year.

As far as hype is concerned, that is what big time sports is all about--can you think of any other reason why people would care about grown men playing children's games like baseball? The WORLD SERIES? The SUPER BOWL?

But Michelle Wie competing on the PGA a total fantasy? Hardly. Look how close she has come to making the cut as a 14 and 15 year old AMATEUR. Let's suppose she turns pro at 16 with a multimillion dollar Nike endorsement. Suddenly instead of the Wie's operating on a shoestring budget, they can match the money Tiger pays his caddy. This would be a full time job working with Michelle and scouting maybe a dozen golf courses a year until Michelle graduates from high school. Instead having her father as caddy, she would have a caddying situation second to none in the world of golf. Add to that another years's matuurity at 16 and 2 more at 17 and there would be dramatic improvement. If she then takes up golf full time at 18 watch out. She could totally dominate LPGA events, and routinely make PGA cuts. PGA wins could follow in a few years.



08/01/05 @ 23:13
Comment from: BOB MARTIN [Visitor]
WIE'S POPULARITY AND GREAT PRESS COVERAGE HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE FACT SHE IS SIX FEET TALL, STATUESQUE, AND HAS A PICTURE PERFECT SWING. SAD TO SAY, BUT IF SHE WERE 5 FOOT TALL, OVERWEIGHT AND HAD A AWKWARD SWING HER CELEBRITY WOULD BE SEVERLY DIMINISHED.
08/02/05 @ 01:27
Comment from: AhhSoo [Visitor]
Arnie, I believe that you have a few valid points about Michelle but your emphasis on Q-School or Monday Qualifying does not seem all that important. Although Michelle has missed the cuts at 3 PGA events (2004 & 2005 Sony Open and the 2005 JDC) so far, she did finish ahead of many of the touring pros in those events. You must agree that many of those "many" were there because of Q-School or Monday Qualifying. Seems like a waste of time to go to Q-School if you consistently beat Q-School qualified pros. Isn't the "exemption route" what Tiger did when he turned pro in 1996? Just wondering?
08/02/05 @ 01:34
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Ahh Soo - Does that mean that if I shoot a 76, I could forego Q-School, since that would have beat many pro scores as well?
08/02/05 @ 07:05
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
This thread is wandering. I'll respond to one point. The 'competing' with the men point. First, I must say that I consider anyone who misses the cut in an event is, by definition, not competitive. And yes, there are plenty of men out there that are 'not competitive' and in my opinion should be back at their local muni working the counter. My point was that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of talented young men (and women) in this country that could shoot low enough to not come in last at a men's PGA tournament. But I don't consider that 'competing' and just by their coming in mid pack, I would not conclude that they one day could do so, which is what everyone is doing with Michelle.

What clinches the hype thing for me is the fact that nobody is so 'dead sure' that all of these people that have beaten her, some repeatedly, are capable of competing on the PGA tour. So why are we so sure Michelle can? Annika couldn't do it and still can't, neither do I think Paula or Morgan or Lorena or Natalie or any of the other women on tour could do it either. Is the fact that Michelle is 2-3 years younger the only thing you're going on? Geez, we're not even sure Ryan Moore can compete on the PGA tour and he hits is longer than Michelle, has a better short game, and won just about everything there is to win in amateur golf.

I'm a fan and I hope she does the most she possibly can with her talent. If she competes with the men, and in doing so changes the game of golf forever, I think that would be awesome. But let's just wait and see. This country is just so full of media hype and style over substance, that I hope you'll forgive me if I'm skeptical.

The
08/02/05 @ 11:25
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
The one reason Wie may be able to compete on the PGA and not Paula and Morgan etc is her length of the tee.
Simple!!
Alan
08/02/05 @ 12:11
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Length? Hank Kuehne bombs it off the tee a heck of a lot farther than Wie and until recently, he hadn't seen the north side of a cut line much for a long time.

Also, I'd be curious to see what her AVERAGE driving stats in tournaments has been. I know she's capable of hitting it 300 at times, but in the last tournament I saw stats for, her average driving distance was slightly below Annika's. And Annika is not know for being a bomber.
08/02/05 @ 13:45
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
No need to be curious. I looked it up. At the John Deere Classic, Michelle's average driving distance was 277.5 and 265.3 in the first two rounds, respecitvely, for an average of around 271.5. That would put her 1 yard below Fred Funk's average of 272.4 for the tournament, and we know what a bomber he is...

Could it possibly be that the media has latched on to the fact that she CAN launch it 310 'once in a while' and, dare I say, hyped her distance a bit?

Did we all take stupid pills and forget that the 'competitive' men can launch it in the neighborhood of 340+ 'once in a while' and AVERAGE over 300 off the tee?
08/02/05 @ 13:56
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
Arnie,

I don't have any problem with what you are saying - you are right, there are plenty of young players that show promise each year, and only a few end up being long time pros, let alone top notch pros.

What is driving the Michelle whirlwind is the fact that, like all young prodigies, she stirs the imagination. Who knew if Tiger would end up being all that great a golfer? But his potential had people writing articles and raving about him from a very young age - because the possibility that something special was about to happen was worth being excited about.

And isn't that what it's about for all of us fans and viewers? Watching for the amazing, the Ruthian feats, the legendary accomplishments. Of course, for every Tiger there are a dozen Eric Lindros or Junior Griffey type players, hailed as "the next great player" who turn out to be very good, but not spectacular. And there are hundreds of failures, like Todd Marinovich and countless others, most whose names are lost to time and the next "great one" coming along.

But watching them and seeing them develop and seeing what they accomplish at such a young age and thinking about their possibilities...that's what makes being a fan interesting. And even when they fail, they often inspire many to try and reach for more than they thought they could do.

Michelle may end up being a let down (by which I mean a servicable LPGA pro, at worst - less than that would be an incredible implosion on her part at this point), or she may be very, very good but not incredible (top notch LPGA player for many years). But she is showing that at only 15 years of age she is already willing to go for something more than any female golfer has ever accomplished, and THAT is what captures the imagination and creates the whirlwind that follows her. Annika put her tow over the line, and then pulled back to dominate more familiar territory. I am not saying that Annika should be playing PGA events all the time, but Michelle is pushing that frontier much harder than Annika at this point.

I hope she succeeds, but even if she doesn't, I applaud her for trying to go for something that most tell her is impossible or beyond her capabilities. Even if she fails to achieve the very highest goals she sets out for, she will know that she gave it her all - and she will likely blaze a path for the next phenom to try to climb to the higher rung.
08/02/05 @ 16:06
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Candace, I agree with you and, believe it or not, I am a fan of Michelle Wie, but more for what she can do to make the LPGA tour relevant and interesting that what she can do on the PGA Tour.

Back to Alan's comment, one more statistic. Michelle's average driving distance at the Sony Open? 261 yards. That's 31 behind the winner, Vijay, and 15 behind the aforementioned Fred Funk. She may be long by 15-year-old-girl-playing-on-the-LPGA standards, but by PGA Tour standards she'd be considered a short hitter.

08/02/05 @ 16:28
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
But her PGA tour aspirations are what make her more interesting than Creamer or Pressel or the others. That's what captures the imagination, a woman competing (not just playing) at the PGA level. I am very interested in what she does at the LPGA level, but it's the prospect that she may become a PGA player someday, the first woman to do so, that makes her so compelling.
08/02/05 @ 16:38
Comment from: James [Visitor]
Arnie--that's her average driving distance--which can be misleading and she's averaged 290 at other tournaments.

She drove the ball 310 at the John Deere, and she's hit a golf ball 300 yards plus many times....
08/02/05 @ 17:12
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
John,

What?! Average driving distance is misleading? It's what matters. If you want to compare her to PGA touring pros, you need to compare apples to apples. And the best method is average driving distance, not just her one or two bombs. Either way you need to compare apples to apples. The top PGA pros all have average driving distances in the upper 200's to lower 300's and their long drives are routinely in the 320-340 range. Michelle Wie is well down in distance by all of those measures, about 10% it appears. Which likely means two clubs on the approaches.

I'm not sure where you're getting a 290 average you quote, since there doesn't appear to be any published statistics for her outside of the PGA Tour stuff. But if it were true, I'm guessing it would be an LPGA event where there is less penalty for missing the fairway. Though I recall seeing a statistic during the first LPGA event she played this year, and her average driving distance was in the high 260's, a yard or two off of Annika's.
08/02/05 @ 17:57
Comment from: George [Visitor]
I really don't know how good Michelle Wie is. All I know is she drives the ball 300 yards and by her own admission is a poor putter. (No matter how long you drive, if you can't covert with one-putts, it matters not)

But what irks some people is that so many very fine young female golfers, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lang, are just sideshows to Michelle Wie.

Creamer has won, twice. And she also slew the dragon, Ms. Sorenstam, in France. Remember that Sorenstam got in the final group in R3 at Evian? Creamer left Sorenstam in the dust. Think Creamer is going to be afraid to be in the final group with Annika on any weekend? I doubt it. In fact, Sorenstam's faltering performances starting with the U.S. Open, coupled with how Creamer dismantled Sorenstam at Evian, have de-mystified and de-fanged Sorenstam.

And what about Pressel? She says she wants to be influential in the LPGA. Pressel is playing in all the amateur events and she's going to Q-school. Both Creamer and Pressel and many other young phenoms are doing it the Tiger Woods way. Same with Brittany Lang.

Most of the teen stars are earning their dues en route to the LPGA circuit. Maybe Michelle Wie doesn't have to earn her dues. Who knows?

One thing that is certain, is that the combination of Creamer, Wie, Pressel, Lang, Gulbis and others has done at least something beneficial. They are so young and so good that it looks as if American woman are in good shape to take the mantle of supremacy from Annika.
08/02/05 @ 19:58
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Michelle would be the longest driver on the LPGA if she were a member. She needs all that length to have any chance of competing on the PGA in which she would be an average driver. 90% of the females couldn't compete on 7000 plus yard courses.
Alan
08/02/05 @ 20:16
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Alan, well you're close. Her average driving stats in the two PGA events this year (about 267), would put her just below the top LPGA pro, Sophie Gustafson, who is averaging 270 off the tee. And her average driving stats in those two PGA tour events were at or slightly BELOW the field average and both were very weak fields with almost none of the big boys playing.
08/02/05 @ 20:38
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
It is disingenuous for those that compare older male and female players' statistics with a 15-year old schoolgirl's evolving driving stats and putting. There is an age difference and experience that accumulate over time. Certainly Michelle Wie has phenomenal potentials in addition to her talent and hard work. People are fascinated with her talent and potentials given her age and resilience to keep on trying. She is 15 years old. Even Judy Rankin, golf analyst made this point rather emphatically on air. I can't begin to try to understand why adults spew hatred towards her. I am generous enough to regard that it might be somewhat understandable for other competitive teen-ager golfers would be envious and jealous of Michelle. I doubt that the average high school and college female golfers would feel envious and jealous and hateful, they'd be too busy to polish their own games.

As to some folks who complain about why Creamer and others that don't seem to garner enough attention is that none of them has expressed any interest in playing against the boys/men. This is a polarizing point for people about Michelle Wie's desire and ability to cross the gender divide.

Let's not forget that at the end of the day, Michelle, her parents and coach know more about how far she will go and accomplish both in golf and educational pursuits. It's unlikely that she will play golf only but will pursue a college education since she comes from a family with numerous doctoral degrees on both sides of her parents.
08/02/05 @ 23:04
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* Certainly Michelle Wie has phenomenal potentials in addition to her talent and hard work. People are fascinated with her talent and potentials given her age and resilience to keep on trying.*

Isn't that really the problem in the discussion? The talk is constantly about Wie's potential. Then somebody says well, what about what she has accomplished. The reply: "Wie is only 15." or "Wie could dominate if she chooses to."

People use Wie's potential as proof that she is better than people like Creamer, or Pressel, or Lang, or others who have actually won tournaments.

How can anyone compare someone's *potential* -- which is only a supposition -- to another person's actual accomplishments?

*She is 15 years old. Even Judy Rankin, golf analyst made this point rather emphatically on air. I can't begin to try to understand why adults spew hatred towards her.*

I have no hatred towards her.

I blame the news media for the Wie hype, and the people who are only too willing to swallow whatever is the media's flavor of the month.

And what about Michelle's own attitude? From 'The Guardian' newspaper the week of the recent Women's British open

*****
Nancy Lopez, who will captain the US team in this year's Solheim Cup, is another who has suggested that rather than taking on the men the teenager should concentrate on beating the likes of Sorenstam.

Others argue that Wie has a responsibility to help promote the women's game, and that means playing in their events.

"I don't feel any obligation at all to promote women's golf," Wie said (on July 27) "I am not the commissioner. I am just doing what I want to do."
*****

* I am generous enough to regard that it might be somewhat understandable for other competitive teen-ager golfers would be envious and jealous of Michelle. I doubt that the average high school and college female golfers would feel envious and jealous and hateful *

Or more likely, the teenage stars are focused on being the best they can. They figure by playing great golf that will speak for them, rather than having the media hype machine do the talking.

So they just accomplish things such as being the youngest winner ever of a multi-day LPGA event, being the youngest millionaire in the LPGA, and probably being the only 18-year-old to win multiple multi-day tournaments, and being the only 18-year old to win U.S. and European tour events, or coming in 2nd in the U.S. women's open as an amateur, and then kicking behinds in a variety of amateur events.

So I doubt that the average teenage professional player is spending much time being hateful.

* As to some folks who complain about why Creamer and others that don't seem to garner enough attention is that none of them has expressed any interest in playing against the boys/men. *

So what you're saying is the LPGA is a failed enterprise. Women's golf is a failure and should be shut down. The only young women golfers who can get any attention are those who want to use the LPGA merely as a stepping stone to play against men.


* This is a polarizing point for people about Michelle Wie's desire and ability to cross the gender divide. *

Wrong. The polarization was created by the news media that sees only the Sorenstam and Wie show.

The real shame is the media has virtually ignored the remarkable stories of Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang. Morgan and Brittany had zero fear of Sorenstam at the U.S. Open and finished far ahead of both Annika and Michelle with the championship on the line. Pressel and Lang didn't choke: The tournament was wrested from then by a legitimately great shot for the ages.

And at the Evian Masters, Creamer had no fear at all of Annika. Partnered with Sorenstam in the final group for Round 3, Creamer cleaned Sorenstam's clock, and left her gasping far behind.

The young players who slew the Sorenstam dragon in 2005 -- and derailed, probably forever, any chance for a Soren-slam -- were named Creamer, Kim, Jang, Pressel and Lang.

None of the dragon slayers were named Michelle Wie.

-George
08/03/05 @ 02:43
Comment from: Vernon Wong [Visitor]
George, you seem to have a low opinion of the media and the golfing public. If there were not some basis for the interest in Michelle Wie, do you really think she would be getting this much coverage and interest? Or do you think BJ Wie is paying off the media and conning all those tournament committees who fall over themselves, inviting her to their tournaments? What about the 10% more spectators and 20-30% more media coverage from all over the world when she is in the field? Only one other person makes that much difference. For those of you who have no clue about who started the "hype" about Wie, let me tell you because I was there. It started at the Sony Open in 2002 and 2003, when Wie played in Junior/PGA Pro exhibitions. That is when Tom Lehman dubbed her The Big Wiesy, calling her swing "perfect." That is when all the PGA pros would stop to watch a 12 year old girl keep up with them on the driving range. Vijay Singh described her swing as "unbelieveable." Fred Couples described her swing as "the scariest thing you've ever seen." Ernie Els called her swing as the best of any woman golfer he has ever seen. Johnny Miller, during the Woman's Open, called her swing, one of the 5 best swings in the world, including men. During her 2nd round at the 2004 Sony Open, Jesper Parnevik joined her gallery after he finished his round, the only time he has ever done that in 18 years as a pro. But what do they know; they're only PGA touring pros.

As far as driving distance in LPGA events, do not assume she is using a driver on any of the holes they measure. She probably uses a 4 wood. She hit a 3 wood 255 yds to the 17th green at the John Deere, after a 302 yd drive. At Shaker Heights, she hit driver and 4 iron to the par 5, 497 yd 17th hole. She averaged over 270 yds with a driver when she was 10 or 11. I doubt if she uses her driver more than 2-3 times a round, if that.

If you think Creamer, Pressel, Lang, etc. deserve more coverage, ask the press why they don't cover them more. Don't blame Michelle! I really doubt if Michelle told the press to only cover her! And why should Michelle have any responsibility to the LPGA? She is not even a member!
08/03/05 @ 06:10
Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]
George---

"The young players who slew the Sorenstam dragon in 2005 -- and derailed, probably forever, any chance for a Soren-slam -- were named Creamer, Kim, Jang, Pressel and Lang."

YOU INCLUDE PRESSEL AND LANG BECAUSE THEY FINISHED AHEAD OF ANNIKA??

DO YOU KNOW THAT
MICHELLE FINISHED AHEAD OF ANNIKA IN BOTH THE EVIAN MASTERS AND THE WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN ?


Quit the Michelle bashing will you--its really disgusting.

Has Paula Creamer ever even finished 2nd at a major --NOPE and she's 3 years older.

Lang hasn't done much.

Last month, Pressel lost in the 3rd round of a Junior girl's tournament...

so by your estimation they must be all LOSERS right ?
08/03/05 @ 06:56
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Just a quick response to George above: It is a discussion about a young golfer's potentials, no need to get your knickers in a twist about it. The bitterness is unnecessary in a discussion unless you're a relative of one of those young female golfers.

It is ironic that you are critical about the same media that pays attention to Michelle Wie and complains about the same media for not giving enough attention to Pressel, Creamer, and others. The media attention and commercial revenues generate quite a big boost of sponsorship for the LPGA.








08/03/05 @ 13:21
Comment from: George [Visitor]
George---

"The young players who slew the Sorenstam dragon in 2005 -- and derailed, probably forever, any chance for a Soren-slam -- were named Creamer, Kim, Jang, Pressel and Lang."

* YOU INCLUDE PRESSEL AND LANG BECAUSE THEY FINISHED AHEAD OF ANNIKA?? *

Umm ... yeah!

* Quit the Michelle bashing will you--its really disgusting. *

You're getting unhinged. My point was that the media has chosen to ignore other players who have actually accomplished -- accomplished -- important achievements. Those include Creamer's historic win at Sybase and her subsequent win in France. Not to mention more than $1.1 million in earnings.

I wasn't bashing Wie, except in the eyes of those who are hyper sensitive about pointing out that the discussion of Wie vs. the world is primarily a discussion of potential vs. achievements.

Wie has the potential, no question about it. I wouldn't be so foolish as to say Wie could never be better than Creamer, as a blogger on this site claimed. I also would never make the reverse claim, based only on potential vs. achievements.

* Has Paula Creamer ever even finished 2nd at a major --NOPE and she's 3 years older. *

I guess the tat for your tit would be to ask whether Michelle Wie has ever won an LPGA event.

* Lang hasn't done much. *

Well, Lang did finish 2nd in a major, right? That would have to be an incredible achievement, since you point to that as an incredible achievement for Wie.

* Last month, Pressel lost in the 3rd round of a Junior girl's tournament... *

* so by your estimation they must be all LOSERS right ? *

Nope. Creamer has won two tourneys, so I wouldn't call her a loser. Maybe you would but I wouldn't.

-George
08/03/05 @ 16:47
Comment from: George [Visitor]
to ann...

* Just a quick response to George above: It is a discussion about a young golfer's potentials, *

At least you're rational enough to concede that the only thing you can point to is Wie's potential. Not her achievements.

* no need to get your knickers in a twist about it. *

Don't confuse my offering a view contrary to yours with bunched up knickers.

* The bitterness is unnecessary in a discussion unless you're a relative of one of those young female golfers. *

I'm not bitter. But nice try, anyway. I just don't buy into the conventional wisdom and prefer to praise people based on their achievements.

* It is ironic that you are critical about the same media that pays attention to Michelle Wie and complains about the same media for not giving enough attention to Pressel, Creamer, and others. The media attention and commercial revenues generate quite a big boost of sponsorship for the LPGA. *


It's not ironic, it's consistent. I criticize the media because it is ga-ga over somebody who offers only potential and has yet to achieve a tour victory. Yet it also largely ignores a player, Creamer, who did achieve historic victories at Sybase and Evian, and set a youthful record for winnings.

-George
08/03/05 @ 16:54
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Vernon W. ...

* George, you seem to have a low opinion of the media and the golfing public. *

Ya think?!? (At least insofar as the news media)

* If there were not some basis for the interest in Michelle Wie, do you really think she would be getting this much coverage and interest? *

Self-fulfilling prophecy much? Just because the media hypes something doesn't mean it has substance. The media hyped the dot-com boom, too.

[...]

If you think Creamer, Pressel, Lang, etc. deserve more coverage, ask the press why they don't cover them more. Don't blame Michelle!

I don't blame Wie. I blame the media. Which is what I said from the start.

-George
08/03/05 @ 17:10
Comment from: June [Visitor]
George sounds a lot like Chris Baldwin.
08/03/05 @ 21:40
Comment from: George [Visitor]
...June...

* George sounds a lot like Chris Baldwin *

Phonics not your strong suit? Sort of like cat sounds a lot like dog? ;)

Seriously, you must have something a little more insightful to say in reply. (I hope)

I've brought up at least two key points, which no one seems to be able to refute:

1. comparing one person's potential to somebody else's achievements is an apples and oranges kind of game that is not particularly meaningful.

2. is the news media failing to see other intriguing youthful upstarts LPGA stories in their zeal to chase the Michelle Wie story? Is one story rightfully so much more compelling than the other?

Now, June, maybe you can hack away at those in a substantive way.

-George
08/03/05 @ 22:14
Comment from: Stephan [Visitor]
Yo' George - Are you trying to show off how smart you are on this blog? I came to read the discussion about Jang and Wie, and you're taking up all the spaces just to argue with anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint. Dude, don't you have a job or life; those girls don't need some old man to defend them.

Go team Wie
08/03/05 @ 22:58
Comment from: Jennifer [Visitor]

George-you keep on contradicting yourself !

"The young players who slew the Sorenstam dragon in 2005 -- and derailed, probably forever, any chance for a Soren-slam -- were named Creamer, Kim, Jang, Pressel and Lang."

* YOU INCLUDE PRESSEL AND LANG BECAUSE THEY FINISHED AHEAD OF ANNIKA?? *

Umm ... yeah! "

Why aren't you including Michelle Wie on this list of yours when she has finished ahead of Annika Sorenstam two tournaments in a row. You can't deny you have a bias against Michelle if you're bashing her and praising other players for accomplishing the exact same thing.

08/03/05 @ 23:00
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
George,

I see your point about comparing potential and acheivement. But it really depends on how you look at it. To me, Michelle Wie has acheived a lot already. It's needless to point out what she did, but let's take a stab. Of the LPGA tournaments she has played in this year, she would have 1 Top 25 finish, 1 Top 15 Finish, 3 Second Place finished, and 1 third place finish. Women on the LPGA tour would have died to have a record like hers. Yet, with all her acheivements she still shows the potential to be greater than she already is. As someone said early, the only thing lacking in her game is her normal putting.

As for your take on all other young stars to "slew the dragon." I wouldn't consider beating Sorenstam ONCE or TWICE slewing the dragon. Even if you do so, I don't see why you wouldn't include Michelle Wie just because she didn't finish first. You included Pressel and Lang because they finished second to her 23rd. Well, Wie finished ahead of her two weeks straight. For two straight weeks Wie "slewed the dragon." I guess in your margin she should be included, yet as Jennifer said you contradicted yourself.

As for the media, yes they might be covering way too much of Michelle Wie. But does that mean it's not deserved? Wie, in my estimates, has showed she already is a star. The media is a double-edged sword you can say. They cover Wie too much you say. But if it were not for interesting stories like Wie's, coverage of the LPGA would be no where close as it is now. Which could possibly have meant little to no mention of Lang, Pressel, of Creamer to the general public. I agree with you in that the media, in that sense, is bad. But I must reiterate myself, the attention Wie is getting is much deserved.

The only thing I know is that it would be really interesting to see how Wie, Creamer, Pressel, Lang, and other young stars battle each other out in the near future.
08/04/05 @ 07:54
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Hey, Stephan, I'll answer here to everyone so you don't have to fret over my using too much of the spaces on the blog.

To all who have replied...

* Yo' George - Are you trying to show off how smart you are on this blog? *

(Blushes)

* I came to read the discussion about Jang and Wie, *

Someone stopping you from reading about it, or talking about it?

* and you're taking up all the spaces *

Yeah, I'm taking up all the space. Because space is so LIMITED on the Internet!

* just to argue with anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint. *

Are people not supposed to post comments here? Or post only comments that provide the delicate tropical flowers that are your opinions with aid and comfort?

* Dude, don't you have a job or life; *

I post, therefore I am! (You do realize how 20th Century are the "don't you have a life or job" comments, right?)

* those girls don't need some old man to defend them. *

Or some young'n like you?

Regarding the slaying the myth of the Sorenstam invicibility: I mentioned several folks. Some people whined because I didn't include Wie. I have no problem with her being in the mix. I'll always root first for an American to win a golf tourney, over all comers.

But Creamer, B.Kim and Jang, should get the most credit. They actually won big tournaments that Sorenstam was chasing in a big way.

Creamer whipped Sorenstam in round 3 OF the Evian. Paired with Annika, Paula left her gasping in on the fairway.

Jang was being chased by Sorenstam and blitzed her.

Kim won the U.S. Open. Pressel and Lang showed no fear of Annika. Pressel, didn't win, but by the time Kim made her bunker shot, Pressel had left Annika for dead and was looking at a win in the U.S. open.

Wie can contribute to the dragon slaying in a more meaningful way when she wins a tournament.

* Go team Wie *

Go team America!

What would be great for women's golf would be a Big X (Big 3, 4, 5, whatever) of young American stars who can face off against the world's best, but also give each other a tussle whenever they're in the same tournament.

Right now, the most likely candidates for that group are Creamer, Pressel and Wie, with, potentially people like Lang and Gulbis ready to join the party. I believe none of the five fear any of the other four

And probably none of them fear Annika any longer, especially following the remarkable and confounding meltdown of the once-unbeatable Swedish star this summer, starting with the U.S. Open

That makes for a great rivalry, and I believe that is what women's golf needs.

-George
08/04/05 @ 14:49
Comment from: George [Visitor]
From Vernon Wong:

George pasted this from a news story:

*****
Others argue that Wie has a responsibility to help promote the women's game, and that means playing in their events.

"I don't feel any obligation at all to promote women's golf," Wie said (on July 27) "I am not the commissioner. I am just doing what I want to do."
*****

Vernon replied:

* And why should Michelle have any responsibility to the LPGA? She is not even a member! *

First of all, Vernon, the context was to promote *women's* golf, not the LPGA.

And in contrast to Wie's comments, there is this from Cleveland regarding a sponsored appearance by Creamer a day or so ago:

*****
LPGA's Creamer is an ace at First Tee youth program
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Dennis Manoloff
Plain Dealer Reporter

Paula Creamer arrived Tuesday morning at Washington Golf Learning Center in Slavic Village exceptionally tired. She was less than 48 hours removed from a tie for 15th at the Women's British Open, her wrist watch still set for tee times in Merseyside, England.

Nonetheless, Creamer, already an LPGA standout as an 18-year-old rookie, had no problem mustering enthusiasm for a clinic with youngsters from The First Tee of Cleveland program. She clearly was in her element interacting with the several dozen in attendance.

"This is wonderful," Creamer said during a lunch break between instruction on the driving range and around the putting green. "It's nice to give back, especially through First Tee, which is such a fantastic program. This is the fun part of my job,' believe me."

The First Tee initiative uses golf as a platform to teach essential core values and life skills. A list of nine values includes honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect. Being able to hole a wedge from 75 yards is a bonus.

"Ms. Creamer epitomizes everything we stand for," said Doris A. Evans, M.D., executive director of The First Tee of Cleveland. "It's easy to see why we're delighted to have her with us."

One of Creamer's endorsement deals is with Royal Bank of Scotland, which sponsored the appearance. RBS got its money worth. The affable Californian pulled into the grounds early and stayed late, spending three-plus hours answering questions, signing autographs and offering one-on-one instruction to anyone who asked.

"Helping kids, seeing them enjoy themselves, is better than winning tournaments," Creamer said.

Nicknamed, "Pink Panther," Creamer already has won twice as a pro, the second coming in a runaway over a loaded field two weeks ago at the Evian Masters in France. She ranks among LPGA leaders in numerous categories -- notably victories and earnings ($1,144,948) -- and would be on the Solheim Cup team if the event were held this week. She became the youngest and quickest player in LPGA Tour history to earn more than $1 million.

Creamer brought no air of teenage millionaire to the proceedings Tuesday. She went so far as to open her bag to the students. Christian Price, 15, of Cleveland, was handed her shiny Taylor Made r7 quad driver and took full advantage.

Price, fast and fluid through impact, hammered drive after drive long and straight.

"I wish I owned that club," he said.

Creamer, as expected, handled every club with aplomb. She basically did whatever she wanted with the ball as the youngsters watched, wide-eyed.

"She's really good," said Amber Samkas, 11, from Cleveland.

Samkas donned a First Tee cap with the signatures of Creamer and Creamer's father, Paul, who travels with his daughter. Paul Creamer quietly helped a couple of the golfers correct swing flaws.

Samkas had asked Paul Creamer to sign. He was flattered and, after asking, "Are you sure?" signed in pink Sharpie.

"Wait until Paula sees this," he said with a grin.

At one point, the group gathered to sing happy birthday to Paula, who turns 19 on Friday.

"She could do this all day," Paul Creamer said of his daughter's interaction with the youngsters. "We're going to have to pull her away, and only because we have a plane to catch."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

dmanoloff@plaind.com, 216-999-4677


© 2005 The Plain Dealer
© 2005 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.

*****

-George
08/04/05 @ 15:34
Comment from: Jason [Visitor]
George

Pretty much what you're saying in a nutshell is

Unless Michelle wins -even if she finishes 2nd or 3rd---she's a complete loser....

While everyone else can just finish ahead of Annika even if they're 19th -and they are the greatest thing since sliced bread....

You and Chris Baldwin's hatred of Michelle Wie is appalling, I hope she has an extremely successful career just so the two of you will be completely miserable....
08/04/05 @ 17:06
Comment from: Jennifer [Visitor]

George--

I think its completely unfair and SICK that you are implying Michelle is somehow a less moral person because Paula Creamer did something very nice.

What do you mean "in contrast to Michelle" ?

Has Michelle ever done anything that says she would be against doing the nice thing that Paula just did ?

You are pathetic-that you would make this into a
Michelle Wie is selfish and evil
Paula Creamer is generous and good argument...

First of all-you take a quote by Michelle totally out of context and now she's the most selfish person in the world...

I didn't even like Paula Creamer at first because the press had made her out to be a catty person that was jealous of Michelle--but once I found out more about her I realized she was a really nice girl who was friends with Michelle.

Its unfortunate that an old guy like you finds some enjoyment villifying a school girl who has not done anything but want to play golf....

You and Chris Baldwn are pathetic...
08/04/05 @ 17:12
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Comment from: Jason [Visitor]

Sounds like you and Jennifer are getting pretty much unhinged about the whole Michelle Wie sich.

* Pretty much what you're saying in a nutshell is Unless Michelle wins -even if she finishes 2nd or 3rd---she's a complete loser.... *

Can you find a place where I said that Wie is a complete loser?

In fact, all I've been saying that it's unfortunate that rising stars like Paula Creamer, and amateur standouts such as Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang, who have done a lot as non-pros, are pretty much ignored.

* While everyone else can just finish ahead of Annika even if they're 19th -and they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.... *

If you're talking about Morgan Pressel or Brittany Lang, they finished 2nd at the U.S. Open. I don't think I ever talked about somebody finishing 19th.

* You and Chris Baldwin's hatred of Michelle Wie is appalling, I hope she has an extremely successful career just so the two of you will be completely miserable... *

I also posted this earlier.

*****
Go team America!

What would be great for women's golf would be a Big X (Big 3, 4, 5, whatever) of young American stars who can face off against the world's best, but also give each other a tussle whenever they're in the same tournament.

Right now, the most likely candidates for that group are Creamer, Pressel and Wie, with, potentially people like Lang and Gulbis ready to join the party. I believe none of the five fear any of the other four

And probably none of them fear Annika any longer, especially following the remarkable and confounding meltdown of the once-unbeatable Swedish star this summer, starting with the U.S. Open

That makes for a great rivalry, and I believe that is what women's golf needs.

*****

As you can see, I stated my hope that Wie would be part of the mix and one of the Big-3-4-5 on the women's tour.

So if you think that "in a nutshell" means I hope Wie does not have a successful career, or that I hate Michelle Wie, then maybe you have some reading-comprehension issues. Or maybe you missed seeing that post.

-George
08/04/05 @ 18:58
Comment from: George [Visitor]
From Jennifer...

* First of all-you take a quote by Michelle totally out of context and now she's the most selfish person in the world... *

Then, Jennifer, if you can discuss this unemotionally, please set me straight.

What WAS the full context of the quote? Can you supply that?

*****
"I don't feel any obligation at all to promote women's golf," Wie said (on July 27). "I am not the commissioner. I am just doing what I want to do."
*****

What is the correct way to interpret what she said? Can you help me out here?

* Its unfortunate that an old guy like you finds some enjoyment villifying a school girl who has not done anything but want to play golf.... *

Did I villify Michelle Wie?

Or is the problem that her statements offer an insight into her attitude about women's golf?

One thing's for sure, Michelle's got us talking, which is what you want on a blog!

Don't forget, this is something Michelle said. I didn't say it.

Finally, I maintain I did not villify Michelle Wie when I wrote this:

*****
Go team America!

What would be great for women's golf would be a Big X (Big 3, 4, 5, whatever) of young American stars who can face off against the world's best, but also give each other a tussle whenever they're in the same tournament.

Right now, the most likely candidates for that group are Creamer, Pressel and Wie, with, potentially people like Lang and Gulbis ready to join the party. I believe none of the five fear any of the other four

And probably none of them fear Annika any longer, especially following the remarkable and confounding meltdown of the once-unbeatable Swedish star this summer, starting with the U.S. Open

That makes for a great rivalry, and I believe that is what women's golf needs.

*****

Got that, Jennifer? To review...

... I think it would be great if Creamer, Pressel and Wie were to become the Big 3 of women's golf, or maybe part of a Big 5, if you throw in Gulbis or Lang or somebody else. That kind of multi-headed rivalry, led by American women, would be fabulous for women's golf.

-George
08/04/05 @ 19:13
Comment from: Bud [Visitor]
Comment from: George [Visitor]

"And no, I haven't posted in that thread!"

But you sure go out of your way to dig up dirt on a 15 year old!!!
You must spend hours on this, have you no life?
08/04/05 @ 23:44
Comment from: Vernon Wong [Visitor]
To Jennifer Mario, Is there some way you can disinfect your comments sections so the same inane individual does not dominate the space? Some people do not have a life so are just jealous of others who do. Have you seen the spread of articles on Michelle Wie in the Aug 3 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser?
08/05/05 @ 04:21
Comment from: Jake [Visitor]
Everyone---

Its very difficult for narcissistic people like George to own up to their own mistakes, or see any mistruths to what they're saying.

Its a waste of time pointing out all his B.S. because he's always going to think he's right...

Better focus your energy elsewhere...
08/05/05 @ 07:14
Comment from: Shayna [Visitor]
For those interested--

Michelle Wie will be on David Letterman August 8 Monday

and Good Morning America the next morning Aug. 9 :)
08/05/05 @ 07:36
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Geez, the way you guys are ripping on George just proves how bad political correctness has infected our thought processes. Granted, his posts are very long and are dominating this blog, but you guys/gals are jumping to all sorts of conclusions and suppositions about his 'real intentions and motivations, not to mention ripping on him personally. A quick read of his posts and I don't see where he has villified anybody, including Michelle, or where he has drawn any sweeping conclusions, or where age, sex, or racism have played any part in his comments. He has merely stated some facts and presented his viewpoint. If you don't agree with his facts, present facts of your own to refute them. If you don't agree with his opinions, voice your own in a civil manner.

What is interesting to me in this debate is that those that are questioning the Michelle Wie phenomenon seem to be the ones that are doing so backed by facts and civil discussion, while those who are in such earnest support of her are quick to turn this into a personal attack fest. Suddenly anyone who questions her must be an old guy, an old sexist guy, or an old sexist bigot.
08/05/05 @ 12:26
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
Arnie,

Maybe you shouldn't paint all Wie "supporters" with the same broad brush either. I'll ask you to point out where I did not use facts to back up my argument, or where I failed to state my opinion in a reasonable manner.

I have already refuted George's "facts", and yours, with facts of my own elsewhere - the conversation has now become cyclical. Those who were undecided have enough to decide, those who are decided will not be changing their opinion based on this blog.

So don't say that the balanced, fair and rational arguments are made by the Wie "questioners", while the Wie "supporters" are vilifying only. Not true.

And let's remember how this started - rational, opinion and fact based blog by Jennifer Mario, irrational, opinion-for-reaction-only based blog by Chris Baldwin.
08/05/05 @ 13:17
Comment from: Michelle K. [Visitor]
Actually Arnie--

I believe the personal attack fest was started by none other than Chris Baldwin---

I guess some people just felt that you had to stoop to his level so he can comprehend their point.

Usually, I mind when blogs have personal attacks in them but in this case I think the attacks were deserved.
08/05/05 @ 14:35
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
I agree that CB's article on Wie was ridiculous and mean spirited, but I don't think George, or I for that matter, have gotten personal at all. But if you read this thread and CBs, you will note that it was the Wie supporters who raised accusations/intimations of racism, sexism, age, simple bias, jealousy, just because they did not agree with the people who aren't leaping on the Wie bandwagon. That's all I'm saying.

Also, I don't consider someone saying they think Wie is overrated, overhyped, etc. as a personal attack. However, calling someone else fat, old, bald, ugly, sexist, racist, etc. does seem to cross that line.
08/05/05 @ 17:06
Comment from: June [Visitor]
fat, old, bald, ugly, sexist, racist! Wow?
08/05/05 @ 21:27
Comment from: Michelle K. [Visitor]

Arnie-

You're complaining that you're being personally attacked and stereotyped ---
yet you just stereotyped all "Wie supporters" as engaging in personal attacks...

Do you see any irony in this ??
08/05/05 @ 21:55
Comment from: AhhSoo [Visitor]
Yes, John D, you need to go to Q-School if you shoot a 76 but Michelle does not because she never shot higher than 75 in any of her 3 PGA tournaments. Besides, you being an "old guy" and the best you can do is 76 (your choice of "if" scores) where a 15 year old girl has not shot worst than a 75 is making me LOL. The impressive thing about Michelle's story is not that a man, woman or boy fails to make the PGA cut but a 15 year old girl who misses the cut by 1 or 2 strokes!
08/06/05 @ 04:44
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Michelle, I wasn't complaining for me, but for George. I haven't noticed anyone inferring those things about me. But since I not old, not fat, not (that) ugly, not racist, and not sexist, I wouldn't care if they did. And while I do continue to wish the best for Michelle, I do agree that they hype has gotten out of hand. But I don't see it as a big deal, because reality will set in, she will never be truly competitive on the PGA tour and she will simply be a very solid player on the LPGA tour, which, lest we forget, has a lot of very good young women just breaking on the scene.
08/08/05 @ 00:21
Comment from: BW Lam [Visitor]
I am an Asian-American young woman (older than Michelle Wie), started golf 2 years ago, am only a 20-handicap. You know, I really hope Michelle Wie makes something of her career. As for me, after reading all this BS from guys who are getting their panties (boxers?) in a twist about a teenager who dares to compete at the highest level she can, I'm sick to my stomach. How can anyone attack Wie for accepting PGA sponsor's exemptions? Attack the damn sponsors for giving them to her, if you must blame someone. She obviously CAN compete with the men. OK, she is not good enough to WIN against them yet, nor was she good enough to make the cut on the LPGA tour when she first started at age 13 (now she is batting 100% for making the LPGA cut). She needs a chance. Yup, she could and should go to Q-school for the PGA, but why should she if sponsors are oh-so-willing to give her exemptions (a la Tiger, Phil, etc.). I mean, if someone wants to attack the whole system of sponsor's exemptions altogether then let that be the case, but why is it so wrong (in some people's minds -- usually SOME men's minds) for Michelle to get the exemption that would otherwise go to some relative of some rep who works for the sponsor, or some local favorite who has a near-zero chance of ever playing on the PGA Tour? Michelle Wie is merely just accepting the exemptions offered to her, like any aspiring pro golfer would likely do (hell, if I didn't suck and someone offered ME an exemption, I'd take it too). So what? I mean, do you want to rank her performance out of all golfers who accepted PGA exemptions, that would be the more appropriate comparison? Look, I don't know if she's going to be great in golf or not. Anyhow, good luck to Michelle. I personally am sticking to soccer and baseball because there are no women's pro leagues/tours so I wouldn't have to put up with this s**t. (Just as Danica Patrick doesn't have people saying she should race women's racecar driving because there isn't any). Geez, I wish men were more secure about sports. Note this is not targeted towards ALL men, just some. And to the reader who wrote that Wie gets so much (media) attention because she is statuesque, tall, and attractive, well, DUH. You think we'd enjoy watching Tiger so much if he were a fat Kenny Perry/Jason Gore type? Of course not. Next you'll be complaining that Brad Pitt only gets his roles because he's hot and not because he is a talented actor. Since when is being attractive enhancing a person's marketability a new thing? Grow some balls. BTW, is it true that it took Tiger 8 or 9 tries to make a cut? ANyone out there bitching about why HE was getting all those sponsor's exemptions after he missed the cut hit first 3 times? Was he playing "out of his league" then too, like Michelle? Well, gee, maybe Tiger should have stopped too after accepting 3 PGA sponsor's exemptions and missing all 3 cuts, like many would like to see Michelle stop with reference to the PGA. Anyone who thought Tiger should keep plugging away but Michelle Wie should stop accepting PGA exemptions NOW is just plain sexist because that's what having to sets of rules translates too. For those who thought Tiger should have stopped after accepting/missing cute for his firsat 3 tourney exemptions then at least you are being consistent (but you can see how ridiculous that would have been).
08/08/05 @ 01:13
Comment from: BW Lam [Visitor]
P.S. There is at least ONE good thing about all the Michelle naysayers, it seems to be her personality that it drives her to be better, to prove the naysayers wrong. So in that sense keep saying that she won't make a PGA cut.
08/08/05 @ 01:22
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
BW, I totally agree with you re: the exemptions. As stupid as exemptions are, they're there and they always will be as long as corporate america continues to foot the bill for pro golf in this country. Nobody should fault Michelle for accepting them, just like nobody screams when John Q. Local PGA Pro gets one.

However, unless she does something spectacular and actually competes at one of these events relatively soon, that opportunity will disappear and she will be relegated to Q school at some point if she wants to play a semi-regular schedule on the PGA Tour.

I would actually love to see all of the top young women try to get through Q school. If women could compete with the men, I think it would be great for 'women's golf' to have the best women playing on the PGA tour, and have the LPGA tour become the 'Nationwide' Tour for the women so-to speak. However, I don't think there is any way Michelle, or any other woman for that matter, will ever truly compete with the best male players in the world. The physical differences are just too great to overcome. They might make the cut in an event, likely a weak field, and sell a few newspapers. But I applaud her for trying to do the most she can with her enormous talent.



08/08/05 @ 11:37
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
BW, I totally agree with you re: the exemptions. As stupid as exemptions are, they're there and they always will be as long as corporate america continues to foot the bill for pro golf in this country. Nobody should fault Michelle for accepting them, just like nobody screams when John Q. Local PGA Pro gets one.

However, unless she does something spectacular and actually competes at one of these events relatively soon, that opportunity will disappear and she will be relegated to Q school at some point if she wants to play a semi-regular schedule on the PGA Tour.

I would actually love to see all of the top young women try to get through Q school. If women could compete with the men, I think it would be great for 'women's golf' to have the best women playing on the PGA tour, and have the LPGA tour become the 'Nationwide' Tour for the women so-to speak. However, I don't think there is any way Michelle, or any other woman for that matter, will ever truly compete with the best male players in the world. The physical differences are just too great to overcome. They might make the cut in an event, likely a weak field, and sell a few newspapers. But I applaud her for trying to do the most she can with her enormous talent.

One other point though, re: the comparison between Tiger and Michelle. Tiger didn't miss those cuts playing his best. He missed cuts in tournaments with solid fields, playing worse than he had been accustomed to playing. Plus, he had a demonstrated track record of winning everything in sight AND he still had a lot of physical maturity ongoing. To expect Tiger to win was not speculation at all.

Michelle has just about played her best golf when she has missed these cuts. And girls mature much quicker than men, so she is probably not getting any bigger than she is now. Finally, she hasn't won anything, save the Women's Amateur Public Links last year, so some people are still reluctant to conclude she's a lock for anything. At best, I think there is evidence that she has the potential for doing to the LPGA tour what Tiger did to the PGA Tour. But I wouldn't underestimate the issue about winning tournaments, nor would I discount the quality of the other young female golfers. Not just the likes of Pressel and Creamer either. There are a lot of good young golfers out there that just aren't getting the press. Anyone notice how Mina Harigae almost beat Pressel earlier this week? Mina won the California Women's Amateur at 12 years old.


08/08/05 @ 11:44
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Arnie, you must spend a lot of time writing your comments. How come you write so much trash.
Michelle Wie has proved herself this year with her results. Try looking at some facts.
Having to repeat myself is getting boring but has to be done.

Let's introduce some facts I posted on the Solheim cup blog.
The following is a list of the 12 leading Solheim Cup contenders and how they have performed against Wie this year.

Wie 3-2 Cristie Kerr
Wie 4-1 Meg Mallon
Wie 4-1 Juli Inkster
Wie 3-2 Rosie Jones
Wie 5-0 Christina Kim
Wie 4-1 Natalie Gulbis
Wie 4-0 Pat Hurst
Wie 3-2 Paula Creamer
Wie 3.5?1.5 Laura Diaz
Wie 5-0 Michele Redman
Wie 3-1 Dorothy Delasin
Wie 4-1 Heather Bowie
These results are from the 5 major events in ladies golf. It doesn't get any better.
I think the stats speak for themselves.
How can you possibly say she is not competing.
She is the no1 female golfer in the States.

Alan
08/08/05 @ 12:14
Comment from: Pete [Visitor]
How about Morgan Pressel for the Solheim cup? Wie who?
08/08/05 @ 15:13
Comment from: Arnie [Visitor]
Alan, can you read for chrissakes? I wasn't ripping Wie or talking trash. I was agreeing that she deserves to be on the team. And yes, I have seen the stats. Again, I was saying that she deserved to be on the team. Do you morons actually read the post or simply stop reading if someone says something even remotely un-a$$ kissing about Michelle?

My only qualifying comment was that maybe Nancy Lopez was putting more stock in players who have already demonstrated the mental toughness required to win. Most if not all of the people on your list above have actually won tournaments. Still, if it were my vote, I would put Michelle on the team. Primarily, because I think she could win and second, because at least it would generate some interest in the Solheim (*yawn*) cup.
08/08/05 @ 15:50
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Arnie
How many of these ladies have won this year?
Alan
08/09/05 @ 05:43
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Arnie
Several of your comments were ripping at Wie.
For example.
"However, unless she does something spectacular and actually competes at one of these events relatively soon, that opportunity will disappear and she will be relegated to Q school at some point if she wants to play a semi-regular schedule on the PGA Tour."
I think most people would agree that she has competed at these events.
At last year?s sony she beat Todd Hamilton Matt Kuchar Scott Hoch John Cook Steve Flesch Craig Stadler Adam Scott Notah Begay III Skip Kendall Jeff Sluman to name a few
She was level with Jim Furyk Darren Clarke Scott Hoch Stuart Appleby Jeff Maggert Ben Curtis Craig Perks Kenny Perry Chad Campbell .
Also in the field were Vijay Singh Ernie Els (winner) Paul Azinger Retief Goosen Davis Love III to name a few.
I would like to suggest that was a pretty strong field and her finish was exceptional

You then say
?One other point though, re: the comparison between Tiger and Michelle. Tiger didn't miss those cuts playing his best. He missed cuts in tournaments with solid fields, playing worse than he had been accustomed to playing.?

Tigers first 6 PGA tournaments were nothing less than average. They were over a 3 year period at an AVERAGE score of 75. He must have been playing bad for a long time. Remember he was 16 when he played his first PGA event.

You also stated ?Michelle has just about played her best golf when she has missed these cuts.
How on earth do you know that?

Michelle?s first PGA event she shot a 68 &70 to miss the cut by 1 at the age of 14. Tiger didn?t break seventy in his first 6 tournaments.

Alan
08/09/05 @ 13:58
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Alan,

Two responses. First, regarding competing. I don't know anyone in golf who would say that hovering around the cut line is competing. Sure there are journeymen pros who do that all the time. Memo to you. That is not 'competing'. Competing is actually haveing a chance to win a tournament. So far, Michelle has not 'competed' on the PGA tour and my opinion is that she never will. I'm not ripping her. I'm stating my opinion. Sorry if you feel that anything but glowing praise and positive speculation about her is 'ripping her'.

Second, how do I know she has played her best golf? Because she said so and her scores reflect it. Michelle hasn't demonstrated the ability to go really low in any tournament she's played in, and her rounds of 70ish on the PGA tour are clearly the best she can muster right now. If you take away her late 2nd round collapse at the Deere, she said she played great, which would have resulted in a score for her that would have had her hovering right around the cut line.

So my point/opinion regarding Wie is the same as with Annika. The best female golfers in the world have the ability, at best, to make the cut in a PGA tour event, likely one with a weaker field and on a shorter course. There is nothing (except pure speculation) to suggest anything more at this point. To actually be competitive, meaning have a chance to win or even finish top 10, is extremely unlikely. It would be cool if a woman could do it and I would be 100% supportive. But I just don't think it's gonna happen. Sorry if you think that my having an opinion different than yours constitutes 'ripping on' the subject of our discussion.
08/10/05 @ 11:41
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Arnie
What about the comparrison you made with Tiger. Why did you make excuses for his poor performances on the PGA?
Do you admit that Wie is much better golfer at 15 than Tiger?
Based on her current progress I would say that before she is 20 she will finish in the top ten in a PGA event.
Whatever happens it will be interseting to see her try.
Also she will get much stronger. Even Annika at her age has gotten considerably stronger in the last few years.
Finally, shooting a 71 in the second round of the John Deere doesn't exactly constitute a collapse.
Alan
08/10/05 @ 12:24
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Yes, I would say that Tiger (or any young male amateur) struggling and shooting 75s in his early tournaments was not playing his best, particularly given his TRACK RECORD OF SHOOTING LOW SCORES AND WINNING TOURNAMENTS. And when I said collapse, I meant when she fell apart on the last few holes to miss the cut. I was not referring to her overall round. Again, you're making my point, i.e. that but for those last two holes, her round would have been fantastic (she said so herself). And guess what? She would have made just barely made the cut, in a weak field with none of the top players. Forgive me if I don't categorize that as 'competing' on the PGA tour.

Michelle has matured physically faster than most young people and has been working with professional instructors and trainers for YEARS. To assume that she will get much stronger and will continue to show linear improvement just because of where she is at this age is pure speculation. She definately has the talent to make some PGA cuts, but so do a number of the top female golfers if they chose to make that a priority. But that's not 'competing' in my opinion. Funny, it seems the best female golfer in the world seems to have the same opinion.
08/10/05 @ 16:06
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Arnie
Obviously Tiger wasn't able to perfom during the first three years of trying on the PGA because he couldn't handle the pressure.
Outside of these tournaments he was winning everything.
He choked. He didn't just miss cuts, he missed by a long way.
Could I ask you a question about Wie.
Where would you rank her on the LPGA and who you put in front of her?
Cheers
Alan
PS. Anyone can respond to that question.

08/10/05 @ 18:53
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Alan,

Based on Michelle's performance to date, I would put her in the top 5 on the LPGA tour, no doubt. Whether that would be accurate or not, only time will tell, as neither she, Paula, or Morgan have really played enough tournaments to get a real look at them. But right now, I'd say she is a top 5 LPGA tour player and is capable of winning on that tour. But just like in every other physical sport, the top female player in the world cannot compete with the top male players in the world. If you include men and women, I would say she is, at best, a top 250 player in the world right now.

There are large number of male pros, club pros, and amateurs who could hang around the cut line at PGA tour event like the Sony Open or the Deere. But few if any of them could actually 'compete' to win. I highly doubt Michelle could get through PGA Q school, but the magic of sponsor exemptions will allow her to sidestep that process. For a while at least.

My opinion is that she will win plenty on the LPGA tour (ala, Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, Christie Kerr, maybe Annika) and she will make a cut or two here and there on the PGA tour, but eventually that dog and pony show will get tired and the exemptions will dry up. Maybe she and other women will try the men's Q school. When one of them gets through that and earns their card, then it's game on and I'm interested. Until then it's just a convoy of speculation rolling down the media hype highway.
08/11/05 @ 13:23
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Thanks Arnie
Let's say Michelle is 250th. To me that would be absolutely incredible, considereing she is a 15 year old girl.
I do believe that there are many people who just don't appreciate the magnitude of her achievements so far.
How far she goes in the game is anyones guess but based on her current ability the sky is the limit
Even competing with the men.
Remembering that this year she has only played top LPGA events.
Also check out the field for the Sony Open and you will find it is actually very strong.
Alan




08/12/05 @ 06:08
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Comment from: Jake [Visitor]
** Everyone---

Its very difficult for narcissistic people like George **

It's not about me, it's about Wie!


** to own up to their own mistakes, or see any mistruths to what they're saying. **

Jake, if you're capable of typing without looking in the mirror that hangs over your computer screen, can you set me straight?

I looked at the list of LPGA winners and youngest LPGA winner ever, and I found Paula Creamer's name, but not Michelle's.

I looked at the list of winners of the U.S. Women's Amateur, and I found Morgan Pressel's name, but not Michelle's.

I think Michelle won a junior's championship a few years ago.

** Its a waste of time pointing out all his B.S. because he's always going to think he's right... **

Jake, did you have some facts to back up your comments?

Better focus your energy elsewhere...
08/12/05 @ 13:57
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Alan, wow, we finally agree. Almost. I agree that she has done amazing things for a 15 year old girl and she's an awesome female golfer. What I disagree with is people concluding that she will someday compete with the men on the PGA tour based on her accomplishments so far. That's just pure speculation, and ill informed at that. What she might do is make the LPGA interesting enough for people to actually start caring about it. That would be a great achievement. But even there, there's no evidence yet that she'll dominate. There are a lot of other good female golfers and some supremely talented young ones coming up.

I for one am excited about all the young talent showing up on the scene in both tours. Golf has gotten really boring with all the same old guys, who have all gone totally corporate by the way, spouting the same old cliches to the media every week. Pro golf has really become a rolling corporate mixer and we need some young talent and attitude to make it interesting again. Watching robo-Tiger talk to the media every week is getting old.
08/12/05 @ 14:38
Comment from: Jim Coulthard [Visitor]
GEORGE It was nice that PAULA CREAMER promoted GIRLS' AMATEUR GOLF, even if it was something she was paid to do. BUT when MICHELLE WIE is asked about promoting women's golf, it does not meaning promoting interest for AMATEUR GIRLS. It means, Michelle Wie, don't you feel a responsibility not to compete with MEN, because when you do it makes the LPGA pros look bad by comparison. It is this question which Michelle Wie answered in the negative. She was noT saying anything about a responsibility to do the type of thing Paual Creamer did.

ARNIE and GEORGE

How much better does Michelle Wie figure to get? She has had excellent coaching, but so have Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel. Both of these young ladies are better than they have ever been. Paula is 19 and Morgan is 17. As George noted, the youngest LPGA winner ever was Paula Creamer. What George did not mention was that she was 18 years 9 months 17 days. Considerably older than Michelle is now. It seems reasonable to expect that female golfers should continue to improve at least until they are as old as the youngest winner in LPGA history. Which would give Michelle until July 29, 2008, not only to break Paula's record, but also to show continued improvement.

Michelle Wie's caddying situation is a mess. Once she goes pro, that will be straightened out. Replacing her father with a first class pro who is well paid and can work well with Michelle should easily improve her performance. I believe she will be the dominant woman playing LPGA events next year, winning more than one ladies' Major. I also believe she could make PGA cuts on a routine basis once she leaves school and devotes herself to golf full time.
08/12/05 @ 23:51
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* How much better does Michelle Wie figure to get?*

See, now there is the big question. And that's been one of my points all along. With Wie, all you have is speculation about her potential. With Creamer and Pressel, there are at least some actual accomplishments to analyze.

The fact is, Creamer actually won on the pro tour -- at 18. Seems like that's something to celebrate.


Now, I'll speculate. Can we agree that Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are the greatest golfers of their respective generations? And Annika Sorenstam is the greatest of hers in women's golf.

Yet despite their dominance, NONE OF THEM have come truly close to winning the grand slam in one year. Jack won the first two in 1972 and had held three of the titles at one time from the PGA in 1971 through the U.S. open in 1972.

Then there's Tiger. His accomplishment of holding all four titles at once will likely never be surpassed. Yet he too never won the official Grand Slam, although to be sure, the "Tiger Slam" is an incredible accomplishment.

See, I find lots of parallels in the vagaries of golf and those of baseball, although obviously one is a team sport and one is an individual sport. Yet both will break your heart time and time again. Those of us who have golfed know that there's a score out there, or a hole on a particular course, that proves elusive and very difficult, maybe impossible, to achieve.

Now about Michelle. I find it amazing that people are so sure that she will dominate the LPGA, and some even think that the boys in the PGA should get used to "play for 2nd."

Sometimes the course beats you. Sometimes a Lee Trevino beats you. Sometimes it's a Mike Campbell who breaks your heart. And sometimes you beat yourself.


* Michelle Wie's caddying situation is a mess. *

Why is that?

* I believe she will be the dominant woman playing LPGA events next year *

If that comes true, then what you're suggesting is that fewer than five months from now, Michelle not only will be better than Creamer or Pressel, but better than Sorenstam as well.

Does that seem logical?

* winning more than one ladies' Major. *

Why do you think Michelle faltered so badly at the U.S. Women's Open? And please, something other than "she's only 15." If you're going to be in the Big Show, then you should be scrutinized as such.

It seems as if Michelle got the putting yips and choked. Oh, and BTW, I think Creamer and a whole bunch of other players (hello, Lorena-of-the-Lake) made a hash of it too, being in position to win a tournament that was up for grabs for about 10 players. And Birdie Kim was headed for choke-land as well until she made a once-in-a-lifetime bunker shot that she'll probably never make again. And as for Pressel, she blundered as well, with her constant over-clubbing and under-clubbing. The way Pressel was putting, she could have put that tourney away by the 15th hole if she had just hit some greens in regulation.

* I also believe she could make PGA cuts on a routine basis once she leaves school and devotes herself to golf full time *

Speculation. Which is all we have about Michelle at this point.

I'm still amazed that people have dismissed Creamer's accomplishments this year as an 18-year-old because they figure Wie will top them without breaking a sweat.

And you want ugly online behavior? Chris Baldwin seems to have turned into a case study. But perhaps a few of the Wie fans should be examined for emotional issues as well.

In one of the other threads here, somebody was ecstatic when Creamer triple-bogeyed in the final round of the British Open. So I guess that's perfectly OK to do, to be cheering the misfortunes of one of the young stars.

But no one can even raise a hint of a question about Wie without getting hit with that hackneyed 'you're just an old man,' 'you're just like Baldwin,', 'you're a racist,' 'why do you hate this child,' blah, blah, blah.

Some folks should accept the fact that some legitimate questions are being raised and deal with the debate rather than just trash the debater.

-George
08/13/05 @ 00:53
Comment from: `Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
A 2, two T2/3s and a T3/4, two in Majors and one in the unofficial 5th Major. I think that is an accomplishment in only 7 events this year. In official Majors she is better than any non-Major winner such as Paula Creamer.

The Wie's don't have the money to get the type of first class caddy Michelle needs to be totally dedicated to a golfer who plays just a few events. But NIKE money will change all that.

FEWER than 5 Months? The LKPGA had no January events this year. I would expect Michelle to play her first tournament in late February--the SBS--and improve her T2/3 to a win. Major season starts in March. You admit that Annika is the dominant woman of her generation--and the record shows that Michelle is already better than Annika. Even when Michelle was playing her worst at the US Women's Open, Annika could no longer beat her. At the Evian and the British, Michelle beat Annika two tournaments in a row. At the British Open Annika was two strokes ahead of Michelle after 71 holes and could not even tie Michelle. Perhaps Annika will improve more than Michelle over the next few months and overtake her--but I doubt it. Certainly Michelle is not going to have any fear of Annika after these last three tournaments.

Michelle did better than Paula the last two rounds of the Evian, with her father as caddy, and finished 4 strokes ahead of Paula at the British with her father carrying her bags the entire tournament. I think it is reasonable to expect better caddying and normal development to pu Michelle into position to win 2 of the 3 Majors in which she has Top 5 finsihes this year or last year.

This year's US Open was on a course that had such long rough that it took the driver out of the hands of the big hitters like Michelle, Annika, and Laura Davies. Indeed Laura Davies average for the first two rounds was worse than Michelle's final round 82. Most Majors are held on courses that are much more conducive to Michelle's game.

Did anyone notice how Jeong Jang talked about her caddy? When she looked at the leaderboard her caddy yelled at her to stop. She looked anyway, 5,6 maybe 10 times--but it could have been a lot more, and it sounds like her caddy was the one who was calling the shots. That is the way BJ is when he caddies for Michelle. BJ helps to keep Michelle in the right frame of mind--but BJ is not a golf professional, and cannot give her the professional advice on the course that she needs to put her over the top. Find a caddy who can bound with Michelle like BJ, be the boss while she is still young like BJ or Jeong Jang's caddy, and has top notch golf knowledge--and Michelle Wie's game improves considerably. And the question about closing becomes moot, because Michelle won't be competing alone--she will be doing what her coach/caddy tells her to do which will undoubtedly include DO NOT LOOK AT THE LEADERBOARD.

I see improvements due to a better caddying situation and one more year of experience which not only will make her dominant in LPGA events, but shuld be enough to help her make cuts jon the PGA. I do not see her at the level where other players would have to play for second on the PGA.
08/13/05 @ 14:41
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Jim, last I checked Morgan Pressel hadn't trained for years with David Leadbetter; she had been coach by her grandfather...but enough of this argument about Paula v. Michelle v. Morgan. They're all going to be great female pros. But NONE of the them will ever 'compete' with the men. I'm amazed at how much people are making of Michelle's finishes so far in her tournaments. She missed the cut in Nationwide events masquerading as PGA tour stops. Anyone happen to notice that four club pros made the cut at the PGA championship this weekend, an event at which Michelle Wie, or any woman, could never even hope to sniff the cut line? Does that mean those club pros could be competitive on the PGA tour? No. Just like none of the women can. Like I said, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of male PGA teaching pros and male amateurs who could hang around the cut line at a weak PGA tour event. That doesn't mean they could ever compete.

This discussion is just so ridiculous, but unfortunately it will take a while to play out. Anyone who thinks Michelle Wie can really compete on the PGA tour really doesn't understand the gap between the top male golfers and the rest of the planet.
08/13/05 @ 23:20
Comment from: `Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Are you certain that no club pro could ever be competitive on the PGA Tour? I wish someone would check the records to see if there has ever been a person who has been a club pro who later played on the PGA Tour. It certainly seems to me that young men who are trying ro qualify for the Tour might take jobs as club pros. Is there a place on the PGA website where it says no club pro ever has or ever will make it on the PGA Tour as a touring pro. That would be convincing evidence to support your claim that there is a vast difference between the top male golfers and everyone else on the planet.

I checked and I noticed the four who made the cut, as well as the 20 who did not. Among this super elite group of club pros who qualified for the PGA, the median two round score was a +9.5, missing the cut by 5.5 strokes, which is 3.5 strokes worse than Michelle Wie did at the John Deere. Tougher tournament, but a worse score for these elite club pros. Call it about even. Since I have no reason to assume none of these club pros could ever make it on the PGA Tour, why should I make that assumption about someone who is just as good and a lot younger?

She missed the cut on the Nationwide Tour when she was 13 or 14. I imagine there have been grown men who have done that and later made it on the PGA Tour. Are you assuming she will never be better than she was at 13 or 14?

Why do amateur events exclude pros? I think it is because pros have financial advantages that make it difficult for amateurs to compete. Michelle Wie will soon have those advantages and we may reasonably assume that her game will improve.

We also have a different definition of competitive. I will say she is competitive if she can consistently make the cut, or if you like I will say she is competitive if her average PGA earnings per tournament are as good as some of the guys who earn an exemption for the next year on the PGA Tour. I do not expect Michelle Wie to do more than that in the next year or two. But would we really say a guy who plays well enough to keep his card is not competitive. Maybe you would, but I wouldn't.
08/14/05 @ 02:29
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* I would expect Michelle to play her first tournament in late February--the SBS--and improve her T2/3 to a win. * I thought Wie was supposed to turn pro in October? * Major season starts in March. You admit that Annika is the dominant woman of her generation * I "admit" that. I thousands of other people also "admit" that. * the record shows that Michelle is already better than Annika. * And people are calling Chris Baldwin out of touch! * Even when Michelle was playing her worst at the US Women's Open, Annika could no longer beat her. At the Evian and the British, Michelle beat Annika two tournaments in a row. * Did Wie win those? I'm not all that impressed by someone coming in ahead of somebody, but also finishing more than a half-dozen shots behind the winner. [ ... ] * Perhaps Annika will improve more than Michelle over the next few months and overtake her--but I doubt it. * (Boggles) So Annika is already washed up. OK... * Certainly Michelle is not going to have any fear of Annika after these last three tournaments. * The only thing Wie has to fear is fear of winning herself. * Michelle did better than Paula the last two rounds of the Evian * You do realize how silly that comment is, right? Didn't Wie LOSE by about 7 or 8 strokes to Creamer? Paula was coasting after she did a real woman's work and got rid of Sorenstam in round 3. It was Creamer who whipped Annika face-to-face playing in the final group, not Wie. British Open. Check. But I think Creamer did better than Wie in the U.S. Women's Open. But the fact is, everyone blew it that last round, including Paula, and so would have Birdie Kim if she hadn't pulled out a miracle shot to avoid her own complete choke job. * I think it is reasonable to expect better caddying and normal development to pu Michelle into position to win 2 of the 3 Majors in which she has Top 5 finsihes this year or last year. * Linear extrapolation is one of the biggest follies in sports. Just ask the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s, who lost four straight Super Bowls in a row. Surely they sould have gotten better and been the world champ ONE of those times! As it turned out, the Bills' best performance was the first one. Or how about Phil Mickelson? If you looked at all his near-wins in majors over the years, and used the same sort of extrapolation, why, that must have been Mickelson who won the U.S. Open, not Payne Stewart! Until Wie learns to putt -- and so far she can't do so consistently -- the first 300 yards will matter little if Wie can't master the last 300 inches. Or was that somebody else missing 2-foot putts during crunch time at the U.S. Women's Open? Anyway, like Arnie says, this debate is ultimately ridiculous at this point. One side only can point to speculation and attempt to extrapolate. The other side can point to accomplishments. The two are apples and oranges. When they are all in their early 20s and late teens, or if Wie becomes the youngest winner ever, a more appropriate comparison can begin. Eventually, what will really count is the big stage gold: who wins the most majors. Just ask Tiger and Jack -- and Phil and Davis -- what counts the most. -George
08/14/05 @ 07:54
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* I would expect Michelle to play her first tournament in late February--the SBS--and improve her T2/3 to a win. *

I thought Wie was supposed to turn pro in October?

* Major season starts in March. You admit that Annika is the dominant woman of her generation *

I "admit" that. I thousands of other people also "admit" that.

* the record shows that Michelle is already better than Annika. *

And people are calling Chris Baldwin out of touch!

* Even when Michelle was playing her worst at the US Women's Open, Annika could no longer beat her. At the Evian and the British, Michelle beat Annika two tournaments in a row. *

Did Wie win those? I'm not all that impressed by someone coming in ahead of somebody, but also finishing more than a half-dozen shots behind the winner.

[ ... ]

* Perhaps Annika will improve more than Michelle over the next few months and overtake her--but I doubt it.

* (Boggles) So Annika is already washed up. OK...

* Certainly Michelle is not going to have any fear of Annika after these last three tournaments. *

The only thing Wie has to fear is fear of winning herself.

* Michelle did better than Paula the last two rounds of the Evian *

You do realize how silly that comment is, right? Didn't Wie LOSE by about 7 or 8 strokes to Creamer? Paula was coasting after she did a real woman's work and got rid of Sorenstam in round 3. It was Creamer who whipped Annika face-to-face playing in the final group, not Wie.

British Open. Check. But I think Creamer did better than Wie in the U.S. Women's Open. But the fact is, everyone blew it that last round, including Paula, and so would have Birdie Kim if she hadn't pulled out a miracle shot to avoid her own complete choke job.

* I think it is reasonable to expect better caddying and normal development to pu Michelle into position to win 2 of the 3 Majors in which she has Top 5 finsihes this year or last year. *

Linear extrapolation is one of the biggest follies in sports. Just ask the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s, who lost four straight Super Bowls in a row. Surely they sould have gotten better and been the world champ ONE of those times! As it turned out, the Bills' best performance was the first one.

Or how about Phil Mickelson? If you looked at all his near-wins in majors over the years, and used the same sort of extrapolation, why, that must have been Mickelson who won the U.S. Open, not Payne Stewart!

Until Wie learns to putt -- and so far she can't do so consistently -- the first 300 yards will matter little if Wie can't master the last 300 inches. Or was that somebody else missing 2-foot putts during crunch time at the U.S. Women's Open?

Anyway, like Arnie says, this debate is ultimately ridiculous at this point. One side only can point to speculation and attempt to extrapolate. The other side can point to accomplishments. The two are apples and oranges.

When they are all in their early 20s and late teens, or if Wie becomes the youngest winner ever, a more appropriate comparison can begin.

Eventually, what will really count is the big stage gold: who wins the most majors. Just ask Tiger and Jack -- or Phil and Davis -- what counts the most.

-George
08/14/05 @ 07:57
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
I am guessing she will turn pro in October--but I do not expect any great improvement in just a few days--so I am making no predictions for the Samsung. The SBS is a weak tournament held in Hawaii early next year. I expect her to enter that tournament and win it.

There is no longer anyone who is able to consistently finish ahead of Michelle in the women's game--including Annika.

I talked about the final two rounds at the Evian, because those were the rounds where BJ carried her bags, as he did in the British.

You want an NFL comparison. Try NFL rookies. We routinely expect NFL rookies to get better with more experience--and they usually do. Expecting young players to improve is a reasonable extrapolation.

You say Michelle Wie cn't put. That would be overstating the case--but just look at how well she has done with a struggling putter. 4 Top 5s in 7 events. Now give her a caddy who can keep her as relaxed as her father does--but who can give her professional advice on her puts and other shots. An improvement of just 1 stroke per round would have meant two wins for her this year, incluing one Major(the McDonalds LPGA).

If the topic of discussion is what Michelle Wie is likely to do next year it is ridiculous not to extrapolate. And why is finishing ahead of the greatest woman golfer of the era for two tournaments in a row not considered an accomplishment for a 15 year old.

Nancy Lopez has accomplished a great deal in golf, yet I would predict that Michelle Wie would easily beat her in a match. If I understand your argument, you would favor Nancy based upon her accomplishments, while it is only speculation on my part that Michelle would win.

08/14/05 @ 12:50
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* I am guessing she will turn pro in October--but I do not expect any great improvement in just a few days--so I am making no predictions for the Samsung. The SBS is a weak tournament held in Hawaii early next year. I expect her to enter that tournament and win it. *

OK, so Wie is the overwhelming favorite, and I guess it's on her home turf. So if Wie doesn't win...

* There is no longer anyone who is able to consistently finish ahead of Michelle in the women's game--including Annika. *

Amazing. Based on just a few tournaments, none of which she won. And in fact, in recent tourneys, Wie didn't even come close to winning.

* I talked about the final two rounds at the Evian, because those were the rounds where BJ carried her bags, as he did in the British. *

Isn't it more accurate to say that Wie out-shot Creamer in round 4 ONLY. And at that point, Paula was coasting, and in fact wound up with a bigger lead after four rounds than after 3.

In the real world, Creamer had better scores than Wie in rounds 1, 2, AND 3. These are the little stretchings of stats and facts into extrapolations that strain the credibility of some of the Wie supporters.

* You want an NFL comparison. Try NFL rookies. We routinely expect NFL rookies to get better with more experience--and they usually do. Expecting young players to improve is a reasonable extrapolation. *

It sounds reasonable. It doesn't always pan out.

Why wouldn't you extrapolate for Creamer, then?

Paula should win some majors next year based on the facts that she actually won tourneys, and she get better. Using your approach. I'm not making that extrapolation, because there are far too many vagaries in golf, too many pitfalls, too many ways to lose a specific tournament. Just ask all the people who have won the modern men's or women's grand slam how easy it is to win four specific tournaments.

* You say Michelle Wie cn't put. That would be overstating the case--but just look at how well she has done with a struggling putter. 4 Top 5s in 7 events. *

Just looking at the results, is all.

* If the topic of discussion is what Michelle Wie is likely to do next year it is ridiculous not to extrapolate. And why is finishing ahead of the greatest woman golfer of the era for two tournaments in a row not considered an accomplishment for a 15 year old. *

Then isn't it an accomplishment for an 18-year-old to dust the greatest female golfer of the era in a major European tournament when paired head-to-head on moving day? Or was that just a big nothing at Evian for Creamer? And Creamer didn't just barely win, she mopped the fairway with Annika.

* Nancy Lopez has accomplished a great deal in golf, yet I would predict that Michelle Wie would easily beat her in a match. If I understand your argument, you would favor Nancy based upon her accomplishments, while it is only speculation on my part that Michelle would win. *

If and when Wie wins an LPGA tourney, then you'll no longer be speculating. We would have an actual fact to ponder.

-George
08/14/05 @ 14:09
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Paula Creamer has been very impressive. But she was nearly 3 years older than Michelle Wie is now when she won her first tournament against a weak field--and she was more than 3 years older than Michelle when she won the Evian. She alo had all the advantages of competing as a member of the LPGA. Michelle Wie is far ahead of where Paula was at the same age. It hardly seems sporting to criticize a 15 year old for not winning at a level where the youngest winner ever was 18.

As far as further improvement for Paula next year, it is quite possible. But the example of Aree Song makes me hesitate to predict improvement for a players 2nd season on the LPGA Tour. It is quite possible that Paula Creamer will have the lowest score for any member of the LPGA in multiple Majors next year, assuming that Michelle Wie is not granted membership.
08/14/05 @ 20:26
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Jim you're really exposing yourself as a golf novice. You're comparing the scores at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol with the John Deere Classic. Are you for real? Ya think the courses and set ups are comparable? A joke event and a major championship? Lucky for us, we won't ever have to deal with the Wie Hype Train on a major championship weekend.

Michelle Wie is just another solid female golfer. Nothing more. I noticed Paula Creamer was busy actually winning something this weekend and Pressel was ending her fantastic summer with a heartbreaking loss in 39 holes in the finals of the North South Amateur...to the same 16 year old who beat Wie in the Publinx last year. Gee, ya think there are other young female golfers out there who are pretty good as well?

Your comments regarding Michelle being the only woman who can play consistently at the top of the LPGA (even including Annika) is particulary comical. Especially considering she has yet to play a regular schedule on the LPGA tour, or even the Amateur circuit for that matter. Forgive the LPGA leadership if they don't have all of next year's tournament trophies engraved with Michelle Wie's name just yet.
08/14/05 @ 23:09
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Did you read what I wrote? Did I say anything about Michelle Wie being one under while Tiger was 4 over after two rounds. No. I suggested that Michelle Wie's 1 under was comparable to the median club pro score of 9 or 10 over at the PGA. On a per round basis I estimated the PGA at 5 and 1/4 strokes harder relative to par than the PGA for every 18 holes. I think that is a fair comparison.

I know Pressel lost in an amateur event over the weekend. Second place in the ladies equivalent of the PGA counts for nothing when it is Michelle Wie who does it, but second place in some amateur tournament is supposed to be impressive when Morgan Pressel does it. Am I supposed to be impressed that she bogey's a hole and loses when the tournament is on the line? I thought Morgan Pressel's strength was her ability to do well when a title is on the line. Not any more, I guess.

Paula won a torunament, but it was not at the level of the LPGA as far as I know. Something called the Japan LPGA. Paula may be the top player on the LPGA now, but don't expect her to stay there.

Name one other woman on the LPGA who has come within 2 strokes of a PGA cut. Michelle has done it twice, And remember Annika was very careful to pick a tournament in which she could do as well as possible.
08/14/05 @ 23:58
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
To make the PGA/John Deere comparison easier. If 4 under par wins the PGA over 4 rounds, I am assuming that is roughly equivalent to 25 under par at the John Deere. That would mean the median club pro was at the same level as Michelle Wie.
08/15/05 @ 00:41
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Jim, while I disagree with your math, you're making my point. Michelle Wie is about as good as a solid club pro. And there are only about 250 of those running around the country, not to mention a long list of male amateurs who are equally good. All of whom might sniff a cut line in a PGA tour event, but can't compete at that level. Just like Michelle.

And the difference between what Pressel and Wie are doing is that Pressel is putting herself in pressure situations, where she is expected to win, against some very fine young women's golfers. And she's winning a lot. But for Kim's miraculous shot, Pressel is the US Open Champ. Wie is putting herself in no pressure, 'nothing to lose' situations. No doubt, Wie will win, but once she is playing a full schedule and the pressure is on, she's going to find it's a lot different than the no pressure free-wheeling she's become accustomed to so far. But she's been smart, or is getting good advice, because she's clearly chasing the big endorsement dollars and the way to do that is not to lose amateur events. Keep the mystique alive as long as possible.
08/15/05 @ 10:43
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
One other point, comparing her efforts to Annika's. The Colonial is equal to the Wailea course they play the Sony Open on, and it plays much tighter. And the Colonial 300 yards LONGER than the course they played the John Deer on this year. By the way, Michelle was 17 STROKES BACK OF THE LEADERS after two rounds at the Sony Open and 8 strokes off the cut line. If you want comparability with Annika the best comparison is the Sony to the Colonial, and Annika seems to have outperformed Michelle. The Deere is a short course and the leaderboard wasn't exactly a who's who of dominant male pros.

08/15/05 @ 10:52
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Fine. Go with the Sony versus the Colonial. Annika missed the cut by 4 in her first and only PGA event. Michelle Wie missed the Sony cut by 1 in her first event at age 14. If Michelle were like Annika she would have rested on her miss the cut by one laurels--but she intends to do better.

How is Michelle any different from Tiger? Tiger played against weaker amateur competition, but his choice was to sign an endorsement contract when he went pro--before anyone could see whether all his potential could bear fruit on the pro level. In different ways both have tried to maximize there return without taking unnecessary risks.

Michelle Wie is a big dog who hits it long, while Morgan Pressel is a little dog. Morgan Pressel is only competitive to win on little dog courses. The amateur events are held on short courses that fit her game, not Michelle's. The US Open is a USGA event that favors the little dogs for a different reason. They are Tiger proofed. The course is long but the penalties for just missing the fairways are so severe that the best strategy for long hitters is to change their games and just hit short Morgan Pressel tee shots. On normal pro courses the Michelles and the Annikas are able to take advantage of their greater power leaving the morgan Pressels with very little chance to win.

Tiger did not just develop a winning attitude when he played against amateur competition. He also developed the big dog power he would need at a higher level. Morgan Pressel just doesn't have the game for a big dog course unless it is Tiger proofed.
08/15/05 @ 12:09
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
Guys, it is impossible to compare people?s abilities unless they compete against each other on a regular basis. Save your time trying. You can't compare courses because weather conditions make a huge difference from day to day.Would Ali have beat Tyson?
Question. Why would Wie be under more pressure trying to win a tournament as a pro?
The prestige is no more (possibly less even), she doesn?t care about the money because she will be making so much from sponsors the prize money will be insignificant. So what?s the big deal?
The main thing with Wie is that people enjoy watching her play. She has charisma and ambitions people find enchanting.
What ever happens next year there will be people on the edge of there seats over the winter waiting for it to happen.
Alan
08/15/05 @ 12:50
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Alan you hit the nail on the head. This is all about money. Sponsor money. Wie and her handlers are angling for the big payday and managing her on and off course presence to maximize that payday. Who can blame them, given how weak the LPGA purses are these days. Plus, you don't get a check when you miss the cut on the PGA tour, and the girl's gotta eat.
08/15/05 @ 13:17
Comment from: jay [Visitor]
Arnie. How can you say colonial was 300 yards longer than deere run course? When annika played in colonial, it played 7060 yards while deere run played 7200 yards. Just do the math.
Also waialae is tighter than colonial. waialae might be slightly easier than colonial in normal condition but That's because waialae doesn't have water hazard and allows players to be able to run up to the green, not because waialae is more wide open. And if wind blows like this year, it becomes much harder course than colonial.
08/15/05 @ 13:29
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
The Johm Deere web site at a glance page lists the yardage at 6762 yds. If you click on COURSE you will find the yardage listed at 7183--the same yardage you get if you add up the yardage for each hole as also listed when you click on COURSE.
08/15/05 @ 14:39
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* Paula Creamer has been very impressive. *

FINALLY, some common sense from one of Wie's Warriors! (I guess it's never too early to come up with a moniker for the Wie fans)

* But she was nearly 3 years older than Michelle Wie is now when she won her first tournament against a weak field--and she was more than 3 years older than Michelle *

WTH???? How is it that Creamer was nearly 3 years older at one point in the year and then more than 3 years older a few months later???? Did Creamer continue to age and Michelle stop aging? Why wouldn't their relative ages remain the same or am I missing something? Or do Michelle's many accomplishments include discovering what Ponce couldn't in Florida 400 years ago?

* when she won the Evian. *

I presume you agree Evian was a strong field. And Creamer murdered that field, including Sorenstam and Wie. After every round, Creamer had improved her position or extended her lead.

* As far as further improvement for Paula next year, it is quite possible. *

But not probable?

* But the example of Aree Song makes me hesitate to predict improvement for a players 2nd season on the LPGA Tour. *

So extrapolation only works for Wie? Not for anyone else, especially not for a player who actually won two tournaments. For everyone else, we have to use caution in predicting extraordinary success. For Wie, the sky's the limit by your lights.

-George
08/15/05 @ 14:44
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Paula Creamer is about 3 years and 2 months older than Michelle Wie. Paula's age when she won her first pro tournament was slightly less than 3 years more than Michelle's age now. When Paula won the Evian she was slightly more than 3 years older than Michelle is now.

I am confident that the top females will improve up to about the age of 18 maybe 19. My hesitance to predict improvement beyond a first full LPGA season applies to both Paula and Michelle. But Paula is currently in her first full season, it will be more than 2 years before Michelle is old enough to qualify for LPGA membership. If she peaks at the age Paula was when she won at Evian, Michelle still has more than 3 years to improve.

I did not say improvement for Paula was not probable. I simply declined to make a prediction.

08/15/05 @ 15:54
Comment from: George [Visitor]
* I am confident that the top females will improve up to about the age of 18 maybe 19. *

HUH ????

And what about after female golfters are 19? They won't get better? So Annika Sorenstam won her nine majors before she was 20? When did she win her first one, at 15?

Or did you pick 19 because that's a convenient age for you to use to claim that Paula Creamer won't get any better?

Is there some basis whereby you suggest the female golfers won't improve in their 20s, but males can and do improve? I would have figured that by 20, the males have caught up to the females in their physical development.

I thought conventional wisdom is golfers continued to improve through their 20s and peaked in their mid-30s. At least that's what folks are saying about Tiger Woods and that's the yardstick used to suggest that the window was no longer wide open for Phil Mickelson based on his age.

But what's your citation or basis for your implication that female golfers tend not to improve beyond 19 years of age? Is there really a lot of evidence for that?

* My hesitance to predict improvement beyond a first full LPGA season applies to both Paula and Michelle. *

You're hesitating to predict improvement? Really? Because up the thread, you prognosticated thusly:

* I think it is reasonable to expect better caddying and normal development to put Michelle into position to win 2 of the 3 Majors in which she has Top 5 finsihes this year or last year. *

So you wouldn't want to predict how well Wie would do in her 2nd full LPGA season -- but you have no problem predicting what Wie would do in a part-time season in 2006.

* I did not say improvement for Paula was not probable. I simply declined to make a prediction. *

This is an example why at least some people are skeptical about the Wie Warriors. We have to be very careful in making predictions about any players besides Michelle Wie. But for her, there are no limits in her growth.

-----

I'm going to reiterate something, because I notice in these blogs that some folks like to be attack terriers and maybe make assumptions about how some people view Michelle Wie.

In women's golf, I'm rooting first for Paula C. (who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I'm from), then for Natalie Gulbis (who is from Sacramento), then it's a tossup between Morgan P. and Michelle W., and then after that, for any American.

In men's golf, yes, I'm a Tiger Trooper (born in California, attended Stanford U.) first and a Phil Fanatic (you always have to root for an underdog!) 2nd. And then a John Daly (cause that's how a lot of male golfers wind up looking!) fan. And before that, I was a Nicklaus fan. I was never a Watson fan because he took too many championships away from Jack. And after Tiger and Phil, I'll then root for any American. And you won't ever catch me rooting for either Sergio Garcia or Colin Montgomerie.

So that's why I'm pleased as punch on weekends when Tiger W. and Paula C. do well. They have those strong Bay Area connections and Paula is from here.

-George
08/15/05 @ 19:13
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Fine. We'll go with conventional wisdom. Michelle at 15 is doing better in PGA events than Tiger did at 15--so at 30 she should be better than Tiger at 30. I'm not willing to make a projection like that.

Annika never had the quality preparation early that Paula and Michelle had--so I would expect Paula and Michelle to peak earlier than Annika did.

On the other hand, Nancy Lopez was never better than she was her rookie year, at least in comparison with her competition. I project improvement a player's rookie year--and after that I am not sure. In Michelle Wie's case I project some of the improvement when she goes pro part time(the benefits of virtually unlimited money) and then the rest when she goes full time after graduation. No amateur hat I know about has a record in LPGA events that includes 4 Top 5s in only 7 events.
08/15/05 @ 21:08
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Guys. There is still a lot of comparing Michelle with other people and wondering how or if she will improve.
Can we agree on something?
There has been nobody in golf history that has played at the same level as Michelle at the age of 15.

Alan
08/15/05 @ 22:09
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Alan, yes we can. Can we also agree though that there have been parallels in other sports, like women's tennis, where 14-15 year old girls suddenly sprang onto the scene and were competitive with the best female players in the world? And can we agree that none of them, even two incredibly athletic girls named Williams, were ever able to compete with the best male tennis players in the world? So maybe all this linear projection about Wie's PGA tour future may be...dare I say, unfounded speculation?
08/16/05 @ 10:39
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
I don't remember any media comments about the Williams sisters having potential to play with the guys.
Can you quote any particular articles.
If there was it certainly didn't reach the same level of discussion that Wie has managed to attain.
Remember that in golf you are playing the course and not another person. It is the same with Danica Patrick, she is driving a car not cometing physically with a guy. This isn't arm wrestling.

Alan

Alan
08/16/05 @ 12:38
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
I wasn't insinuating there were articles about it, I was stating just the opposite. That there have been many young teenage female tennis phenoms (Tracy Austin, Jennifer Capriati, etc.) who at very young ages were competitive with the best women and they all went on to be...WTA pros. None of them could compete with the men, and they, and everyone else, knew it. My point is, just because a teenage girl can be competitive with the best women at an early age has zero bearing on the likelihood of her competing with top male competitors in the same sport.

And comparing golf to IRL/CART motor racing is ridiculous. Motor racing is mostly about the car, plus reflexes and feel not strength and athleticism, plus Danica Patrick has a huge weight advantage over the male drivers (80 to 100lbs in a 1750lb car is HUGE). And, oh by the way, she's struggling mightily right now.

If you don't think strength plays a big part at the top of the PGA tour, you're kidding yourself.
08/16/05 @ 12:57
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Stregnth is not as important in golf as it is in tennis. The tennis players with the biggest serves are much more likely to be near the top than the golfers who can win long drive contests. Finesse plays a larger role in golf.

Michelle Wie already has a big dog drive that is almost as big as the little dog drives on the PGA Tour. But just looking at Michelle Wie you can tell she is nowhere near as strong as the Williams sisters. Michelle gets her length primarily from her flexibility. If men have more strength, women are likely to have more flexibility. If Michelle can add strength while retaining flexibility as she has said she wants to do, then she might well reach a length that would be middle of the pack for the PGA Tour.
08/16/05 @ 14:17
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Jim C., since you love to make projections, is it possible that as Wie's flexibility tops out -- true of everyone as they become older -- would that attenuate her effectiveness as a long-ball hitter within a few years?

-George
08/16/05 @ 16:07
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Agility may not be as important in golf as in tennis, but strength sure as heck is as important when you're talking about tournament golf at the PGA tour level. But you are right that Michelle Wie's distance is due to her flexibility and technique, which is letter perfect, which also means she is probably maxed out on distance and won't be bombing shots 350 yards any time soon. She, and all the other women, don't have the strength to hit mid to long irons out of the rough on the PGA tour and they don't hit it long enough to be hitting short irons into the greens. And they can't hit the variety of bunker shots the men can, because they lack the arm and back strength. The simple fact is, to win a PGA tournament you have to have the ability to truly go low for 3 out of 4 days on a PGA tour set up. There is no woman who can do that. It's simple human physiology. At best they can threaten par in an easy field and course set up.

It's really a moot point, because this is all about money and she's going to make a ton of it from endorsements right out of the gate. By the time the 'I want to play with the men' fantasy runs its course and dies, she'll have laughed all the way to the bank and probably be a really solid LPGA player.
08/16/05 @ 16:52
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Michelle will add 10-20 yards on her drive by next season.
There is no way a golfer could max out on length at the age of 15.
By the way she already drives it approximately the distance of an average PGA player.
Alan
08/16/05 @ 19:50
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
Her average driving distance is just short of the average PGA tour player, which is roughly equivalent to the average driving distance of hundreds of club pros competitive amateurs do, nothing more. Her average driving distance is right at 270. Did you happen to see the stats on the junior golfers in SI last week? The average driving distance of the junior boys is 284 yards, and guys mature slower than girls. The high school and college boys that practice at my club all drive the ball well over 300 yards.

She'll never be long enough off the tee to compete and she'll never have the short game necessary to compete. She'll just sniff around the cut line enough to make her sponsors happy. For the next 3-5 years, her body will be one of the most valuable billboards in sports.
08/17/05 @ 11:07
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
ARNIE
You are firing stats that you can't backup and I doubt the validity of your statements about the high school boys.
But I really object to the statement you made about Wie's short game, that is a preposteruos statement. Have you seen another 15 year old with a short game as good as Wie, I doubt it. If you have tell me their name and I will look out for them on tour.
Get real
Alan
08/17/05 @ 12:01
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Alan:
* Michelle will add 10-20 yards on her drive by next season.
There is no way a golfer could max out on length at the age of 15.
By the way she already drives it approximately the distance of an average PGA player. *

So what? In the PGA Championship aftermath, Golf Channel had what I thought were some stunning factoids.

Phil M. ranked only 75th in driving distance and only about 55th in driving accuracy. Yet he won the tournament. And the folks who were the leaders in those categories didn't even finish in the top five, and I'm pretty sure not in the top 10.

So why did Phil win? By process of elimination, his approaches and/or short game and/or putting had to be nails. And look at how he won the tourney: with a great chip and then an easy one-putt birdie.


Look at Michelle's performance in the U.S. Women's Open, round four. All she needed, pretty much was to shoot Even par to probably +3 to win. But she had three and four putt holes, she missed from 2 feet at least once or twice. Had Wie even putted and chipped properly, she would have been in the mix in the final three holes.

You and others are all ga-ga over Wie's driving.

Still ... "You drive for show but you putt for dough." Wie adds another 10-20 yards, cool. Paula Creamer, who clearly is a mistress of the short game, said she's going to work on getting her drives longer, too. Morgan Pressel, who is a fine putter, plans to work on the same thing.

Like I said elsewhere, while the first 300 yards are very important, what is absolutely crucial are the last 300 inches. And I maintain that Michelle has yet to master those final several yards.

(I know, I know: SHE'S ONLY 15 !! Or: bigotry, racisim, old, fat, blah, blah, blah)

Nevertheless, Wie has to absolutely get that part of her game under control if she is to succeed. And she has to figure out how to win. Wie had a chance at the history books at the U.S. Open (and so did Creamer and so did Pressel) But Wie melted down (and so did Creamer -- but not Pressel).

But Paula has 3 wins now on three continents, just past the age of 19. Maybe it's Paula who's the real teen phenom right now -- since she's actually winning stuff.

BTW, is Paula the youngest to win tournaments in the U.S., Europe and Asia in the same season?

I know Paula was the youngest U.S. winner, the youngest to win in the U.S. and Europe. That's probably unprecedented, but I guess it's more interesting to speculate about Michelle than applaud an actual 3-time champ who has accomplished things no one else has managed in the LPGA.

Did I overstate that? Aren't these historic accomplishments?

Maybe that's why Jennifer Mario would rather talk about the Creamer blog. Otherwise Mario would have to talk about somebody other than Michelle Wie, a somebody who is actually winning tourneys, and quite a few of them.

And the same goes for Chris Baldwin: I'm pretty sure the only time he discusses Paula Creamer is when he's ripping Michelle Wie.

Mario and Baldwin could get together and maybe between the two of them they might manage to come up with an interesting topic about a teen phenom who is actually winning on the LPGA, actually whipping Annika Sorenstam head-to-head. Maybe they might stumble across a topic beyond empty-headed scribbles that slavishly praise or mindlessly rip Wie.

Somehow, I doubt they will. Wie is the planet around which they both orbit, and they are bound to her in undisciplined disdain and devotion.

-George
08/17/05 @ 20:02
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
Yes, George, Wie is garnering more attention than Creamer despite Creamer's accomplishments. But that's because Wie is actively seeking out competition with the men. As I mentioned before, Wie would not be the phenom and media darling if she were just playing "where she belongs", as others have put it, in amateur and women's only tournaments.

Now, maybe Arnie is right that Wie will not "compete" against the men. Maybe you are right and Creamer will accomplish far more than Wie over the next twenty years. But Wie's pursuit of playing and beating men in the highest level of golf - the PGA Tour - is what drives the media towards her. And that drive generates a buzz that Creamer (or Sorenstam for that matter) and all her LPGA wins cannot match.

Wie captivates the imagination. And that is a good thing for all golf - women's, men's, amateur, what ever. Unless you are John D, in which case attention is the LAST thing you want for golf, because it might mean sharing the course with someone other than your Men's Golf Association members at your local club. The horror!
08/18/05 @ 01:18
Comment from: James Coulthard [Visitor]
Michelle has done better than Paula in the 4 Majors. Paula also has missed a cut and gotten a T62 which are both worse than anything Michelle has done lately in LPGA events. Why is Michelle criticized for missing the John Deers cut, while we generaly ignore Paula missing an LPGA cut?


Want a factoid. Here's one. Paula Creamer is not Nancy Lopez. Her rookie year is far less impressive than Nancy Lopez's. If not for Michelle Wie, very few people would either know or care who Paula Creamer is or what she has done. If people are belittling what Michelle is doing against the men, then without Michelle Wie they would simply belittle the entire women's game.






08/18/05 @ 02:31
Comment from: alan metcalfe [Visitor]
James and Candace well put.
As for George, still got his head in the sand.
All the big players have melted down at some point to lose a major tournament. I can't remember any of the being 15 years old.
Was it Phil M who I saw 5 putt during a melt down a couple of years ago.
Also George none of the Wie thing has anything to do with Pressel or any other player. All these girls are very good but they don't stir the imagination the same as Wie.
Alan.
08/18/05 @ 06:12
Comment from: Greg Pinelli [Visitor]
Hello to all my Michelle admirers....Others please read on and catch a clue. Michelle Wie is important because she is going to change women's golf in a way few can imagine. She DOESN'T NEED TO QUALIFY FOR THE LPGA because her fututre doesn't lie there! In 10 years she will be competing for the title in the "men's" US Open and British Open and Masters. Or someone like Michelle will!
A few athletes change the focus of the lens of the sport they play in. Ruth and Paige did it for baseball....Hogan and Palmer did it for golf (for a number of reasons Palmer is more important than Nicklaus to golf history...but not as good a player!)...Didrickson and Wright and Sorenstam did it for women's golf. In the future there will be only golf.
Technology and bigger, stronger bodies have done the rest. The LPGA will be relegated to a satellitie type venture and young women will take the final hurdle in life and not only beat men up in marriage but also on the golf course.
I have come to accept it all.
08/18/05 @ 21:55
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Arnie
You are dead wrong about motor racing.
All the top drivers are extremely fit and strong. They spend a lot of time in the gym.
Try arm wrestling with Danica and you would probably get a shock.
Alan
08/20/05 @ 12:20
Comment from: George [Visitor]


** Hello to all my Michelle admirers....Others please read on and catch a clue. **

If you say so, Dr. Watson.

** Michelle Wie is important because she is going to change women's golf in a way few can imagine. She DOESN'T NEED TO QUALIFY FOR THE LPGA because her fututre doesn't lie there! **

Then there's no need to include Wie in the Solheim Cup team this year. From what you say, she's not going to be part of the LPGA in any meaningful way.

** In 10 years she will be competing for the title in the "men's" US Open and British Open and Masters. Or someone like Michelle will! **

That's a nice out. Do you mean Michelle or someone else? And 10 years from now, no one will remember what you just said. But what you're saying is Wie will be a top 5 finisher in the men's majors, right? Or top 10, or however you define as competing for the title.

** A few athletes change the focus of the lens of the sport they play in. Ruth and Paige did it for baseball....Hogan and Palmer did it for golf (for a number of reasons Palmer is more important than Nicklaus to golf history...but not as good a player!)...Didrickson and Wright and Sorenstam did it for women's golf. In the future there will be only golf. **

Your analogy falls apart immediately. First of all, you left out Jackie Robinson. I presume that two of the three bb players you mentioned demolished the color barrier. No question about it.

But here's where you collapse. How did Ruth, Paige, Robinson get women in baseball? Didrickson and the others were remarkable ... but how did they set the stage for there to be "only golf"? Or Wie for that matter?

With the examples you gave, there is not "only baseball" in the sense that women and men play in the same leagues.

Or are you saying that you've discovered some sort of physical magic that enables women to be the equal of men in the sports you mentioned, including golf?

** Technology and bigger, stronger bodies have done the rest. The LPGA will be relegated to a satellitie type venture and young women will take the final hurdle in life and not only beat men up in marriage but also on the golf course. I have come to accept it all. **

Again the problem is you seem to believe that the males would be unable to get stronger and maintain the gap between them. They all have access to technology. So the difference would have to be physical strength, agility, coordination, etc. I really haven't seen any studies to suggest males and females are equal physically, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

-George
08/20/05 @ 13:38
Comment from: Marc [Visitor]
If there is a sport where men and women CAN compete in the same top level competition it is GOLF!

Men and women don't compete against each other in the sense that they aren't allowed to check each other as in hockey or don't have to try to return each other's shots as in tennis. In the standard tournament they have to see how few shots it takes them to play a series of holes and then at the end of the round they see where they stand with regards to the other golfer's scores. This reduces the impact of the physical characteristics that may limit women competing against men in other sports.

It isn't just about hitting the ball the furthest since course management, short game, accuracy etc. are also factors and therefore there is no reason why women can't compete(that's why the winners aren't always amongst the longest hitters although being a good ball striker is certanly a big advantage).

Women, as yet, have not been able to achieve much success on the PGA but then again they haven't been given too much of a chance. It is nice to see that things are changing in that regard!

Anika helped pave the way when she tried to make the cut and now Wie, who has skills (and the ambition) which are more suited to the men's game,is giving it a shot. It is important to have ambition to be able to succeed insports where others have not and it seems that Wie has more drive to play in the PGA than Anika does. Why do I say that her game is more suited to go up against the men? Because it is an important factor to be a good ball striker on the PGA tournament set-ups and to be able to

Does this mean that she can be competitive? Who knows, the first thing she has to do is make a cut. Eventually it seems logical that a women golfer will make a PGA cut seeing as how Wie has barely missed in the past.

As far as factors such as course management during tournament go, I think that women going against men are at a disadvantage because they are used to mangaing courses for their tournaments which set up differently and also on the PGA tour men seem to take more chances because that is what is required to beat out any of the other golfers since the competition is so tight. It only makes sense that it takes some time before adapting to that not just one or two tournaments.

As far as the LPGA keeping its SECONDARY CITIZEN status is concerned... I don't think so! Women's tennis went through a similar phase a few years ago. Purses were less than the men's circuit, television audiances were smaller etc... but the players got more prepared through academies and newer developmental tournaments and training methods, competition got tighter so that more players had a chance to win and not only a few players won all tournaments, marketing got more aggressive and sexier... now look at where women's tennis stands in comparrison to men,s tennis. Does the approach seem familiar?? Creamer, Wie, Gulbis, Pressel, all the marketing of Nike, Adidas, the LPGA, etc. are all part of this change and I don't think it is going to stop. Just watch as the prize money discrepancy between the 2 circuits continues to dwindle, as will the difference in sponsorship contracts.

Wie and others competing against the men will only help make this happen faster (women will play with more daring and imaginative shots and so on which will make the women's game progress).

Thats the way I see it.
08/20/05 @ 19:41
Comment from: Marc [Visitor]
Ooops, lost the tail end of a phrase in my post.

...Because it is an important factor to be a good ball striker on the PGA tournament set-ups and to be able to hit out of tall grass it seems that Wie has an advantage compared to some of the other women who might go up against the men.

Is this hype? Of course it is all based on potential and what people project in her abilities but I think the things she has shown so far warant at least some of this. Wie isn't the first person to generate hype in sport's, fans love to imagine some young prodigy pushing the limits of his or her sport... that's part of why we follow sports.

08/20/05 @ 19:55
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
There is one more factor involved with Michelle Wie playing against the men. Endorsement money. Without endorsement money, it would be more profitable for Michelle to be a top money winner on the LPGA rather than struggle against men on the PGA.
08/20/05 @ 22:32

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