Michelle Wie goes pro, women's golf gets shot in the arm
It?s like I tell my kids: it?s no fun getting shots, but in the long run you?re better off. They tend not to believe me about that second part.
This morning, Michelle Wie made the long-awaited announcement that she?s turning pro. Her first tourney will be the Samsung World Championship, Oct. 13-16. After that, the Casio World Open in Japan, Nov. 24-27. She?ll be Miss Global Golfer, following exemptions wherever they might lead, playing against men and women alike with a constant eye on her long-term goal of competing in the Masters.
So how does the mouthpiece of women?s golf feel about Wie?s chosen path? Let?s listen in.
Nancy Lopez: ?It’s a little insulting. I feel she should beat Annika Sorenstam before she even tries to play against the men.?
Um, you mean like at the Evian Masters, when Annika finished 12th, and Michelle tied for second? Or at the Women?s British Open, when Annika ended up T5, and Michelle finished T3?
Basically, Nancy is saying that even though Michelle?s not eligible to join the LPGA for another two years, she should only play with the women. I wonder which women Nancy is referring to.
I wish someone would explain to Nancy and the rest of the Wie-Naysayers that what Michelle is doing is GOOD for women?s golf, and golf in general. Men who’ve never noticed women?s golf might actually tune in to an event now and then. Women who swear golf is a waste of time might find her story intriguing enough to give it a chance. And last but certainly not least, little girls everywhere will see what she?s doing and realize that male or female, they should always aim to be the best.
Michelle Wie is the shot in the arm that women?s golf has needed for years. But no one likes to get a shot, do they?
I?ll leave you with a quote from reader Jim Coulthard: “PGA and LPGA on at the same time. What would I watch? In most cases neither–but if Michelle Wie is playing I’ll watch the tournament Michelle Wie is playing. And there are a lot of people like me.”
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I like Paula Creamer and if I switch on the channel and she is on, I will watch, but Michelle is more compulsive viewing.
I think this applies even moreso to the Wie-Naysayers, they always watch Michelle too. Look at Chris Baldwin, he was tuning in to her press conferance, wondering, "oh what will she wear".
Great topic Jennifer, everything correct, pity some of the sense can't rub off on Baldwin.
And Michelle has nothing to "show" Annika. Annika has been very complimentary towards Michelle whenever I have heard her talk about her.
As regards Nancy Lopez, yes indeed her comments are completely stupid.
Imagine thinking that playing against men is an insultment to women. Where did she get that from?
To play against the men, shows that she, as a woman, does not think that she is inferior to men. Go Michelle is what I say.
Also Michelle has already done more for the womens game (through publicity and tv ratings), than Nancy Lopez has ever done in her golf career.
If you have to quote Kool Aid-drinking Coulthard to bolster your points, you really must be scraping the bottom of the brain barrel.
Instead try to put together an argument on your own, for a change.
** Ammaccapane's day of woe has arrived.**
** Michelle has now made more money than that mongrel faced Ammaccapane **
** pudge pot has beens like Nancy Lopez, **
** 40-somethings with acne (Sorenstam)**
** chain smoking tree climbers (Jennifer Rosales) **
Ahkmed, you're a real credit to the Wie Warriors. Really!
Your comments are among the most intelligent yet to surface from that gang. I'm sure Michelle will be happy to have knowledgeable fans such as you living in the sewers.
And what do you think, Jenny?
You spend so much time talking about Michelle Wie, you make it seem as if the rest of the LPGA doesn't exist. Looks to me like you encourage Akmed's brand of brain-dead drivel.
I'm sure you won't bother to discuss your buddy Akmed's comments regarding other LPGA players.
You're probably too busy playing and re-playing your Golf Channel tape of Michelle from today.
Maybe you'll have time when you wear out your recorder.
He thinks she should win 32 times in 53 LPGA starts in a period of four years. Then that will show she is ready for the men.
Do you not think it would be better that if she was on that kind of form, to bring that form to the PGA, instead of waiting?
He's mad because Jennifer talks to much about Michelle Wie. imagine that, golf writers talking about Michelle Wie. If your tired of reading about Michelle wie, why go to golf blogs that have "Michelle Wie goes pro" in the title?
** NorCal Golfer is just as intelligent as Nancy Lopez.**
I guess I'd be a winning Solheim Cup captain too, then!
** He thinks [Wie] should win 32 times in 53 LPGA starts in a period of four years. **
Hey Jeff. Can you do any better than use a strawman argument?
Show me where I said Wie has to win 32/53 tournaments to be at an acceptable level of success.
You're either lying or can't read.
Jeff, let's presume you're illiterate, the lesser of the two evils.
To review, I posted two things on this thread:
1. Jenny is a true sad sack if she has to depend on Coulthard for her backup
2. I responded to Ahkmed's ad hominen insults about the physical appearance of several LPGA-ers. Do you agree with his post, specifically his personal attacks?
Try to reply soon, Jeff. Maybe you can get somebody to read you what I wrote. The special blogs on tape audio version won't be ready for you right away.
As usual, a thoughtful, spot-on and well-written commentary. I love to watch Michelle Wie play, unlike any other female golfer ever before. I figure if I do, a whole heck of other people do as well.
The whole "Wie hasn't won" argument is so overblown. When I play in a golf tournament, I consider everyone who placed behind me as someone who I "beat". The winning will come soon enough.
Bottom line: Michelle Wie will motivate others, male and female, to play the game.
But let's not have the mindless meanderings (looking at YOU NorCal - talk about straw men!) in the replies detract from the main point you make: Michelle Wie draws viewership. No matter the venue or tour or country, people want to watch her play. And that is good for the game of golf. The PGA has larger purses than the LPGA because more people watch, so more money is pumped into the tour by sponsors and ticket purchasers. Viewership drives the whole show.
As for Baldwin and the other Wie detractors, they either don't like golf or are shooting themselves in the foot as they pull for Wie to fail. If she doesn't win or place high in the money list now that she is a pro, the viewership will go away, and so will the benefit to golf. So they have two outcomes: be right and have the game of golf suffer for it, or be wrong and have golf grow stronger.
It's nice to be on the positive side of things. Thanks for your work on Wie, Jen! Looking forward to many more discussions of her dominance in the years to come!
So Wie has to win 32 times in the next several years, and then Lopez may give her the thumbs-up to play with the men?
Annika tried to play against the men, and got her butt handed to her. She played her best, yet still could not break par. After 36 holes she ended up way over par, made next to no birdies, was never close to making the cut, and only beat five men.
Wie finished under par. She made a ton of birdies -- 25% of all holes played. She was on the cut line and beat nearly half the PGA field. What's more she did this twice, not once.
On PGA style courses, there already is no comparison. Wie outplays Annika, and every other woman, by far.
Any 15 year old who misses the cut by a stroke at a regular PGA event is not overhyped. She obviously has the potential to play the PGA tour. Maybe that potential will be realized, maybe not. But she is the first and only woman who could even dream of such a thing.
For the record, Annika won 32 of 72 tournaments, not 32 of 54. Still mind-boggling.
Here's what Morgan and Nancy had to say about Michele's big jump. Talk about sour grapes!!
"Wie transcends the women's game"
By Tom Callahan
Fellow amateur Morgan Pressel, an old hag of 17, expressed doubt that Wie would ever join the LPGA Tour. "Never," she said. "OK, maybe not never, but not as long as she wants to do her 'woo-woo' thing against the men."
Lopez said, "I'm kind of old-fashioned. I think women should play with women and men should play with men. If she wants to win -- if her goal on the PGA Tour is to win -- I don't think it will ever happen."
It really shows how "young" (Morgan) and "old" (Lopez) can be as bad as each other.
In Nancy's case, at least she is just old fashioned. She sees a female playing with males and her brain overloads "hey what is this, I haven't seen this before", and she automatically thinks it is wrong. She needs to look at what Michelle is doing for the game.
As for Morgan, it is worse in her case. It is simple jealousy. She wants the attention that Michelle is getting and she is devastated that not many people outside big LPGA fans, even know who she is. The one thing in Morgan's defense is that she is very young. You can understand a young person being envious of others to that degree to get so bitchy.
I think Morgan is also bitter because she knows that she will never have the length to do what Michelle is doing and that fuels her distain even more.
The type of disgraceful language used above is more like WWF wrestling fans not golf fans.
I think all the players mentioned would be saddened to see the type of fans that are represented here.
By the way many of you are the same as the fans of TIger. YOu are not golf fans but celebrity crazed fans that require the players to have increased security.
Congratulations on your display of stupidity.
I think she is being catty not bitchy, and I, for one, consider the cat to be a noble beast. I thought her SI comments were outrageous, but these seem merely ill-advised and if she wants to see Michelle's forays against the men as a sideshow that is what someone as competitive as Morgan Pressel virtually has to do if she is denied by nature the opportunity to try to do the same herself. I'm sure she will adapt if Michelle is successful, and I, for one, am pleased to see the steps she has already taken in that direction.
Joe- why don't you go through all the anti-Wie comments and see if you also find comments that lack "civility, courtesy and good sportsmanship".
I think you will find more distasteful comments coming from the anti-Wie camp than the pro-Wie camp starting with a certain blogger here that will remain unnamed.
Certainly there are some of you Wie folks that appear civil. However others like Ahkmed Abdul among others are representative of what I meant about many of the Wie mania.
Thanks for the injection of the topic of common decency into this arena. No doubt you will receive some raspberries from a few of the offenders, but you are not alone in your thoughts on the matter.
However as Mike pointed out, the vast majority of these come from the anti-wie camp.
I don't support Ahkmed Abdul's comments but I think he is probably the only one who has insulted other players in this way.
Does anyone remember Ty Tryon?
She has also won many local events in hawaii.
Anyone, unless they are completely devoid of any common sense, knows that she could win tonnes of silly little junior titles all the way up along, but really what is the point?
Lots of people win tonnes of junior titles. Does this teach them how to win? Answer is it teaches them how to win junior titles. However it does little or nothing to teach them how to win bigger events with tougher fields.
Michelle has simple always tried to qualify for the highest possible events she can. This is the best way to improve the most, in the fastest manner. Look at all she can learn from Tiger and then what she can learn from the men on the PGA.
Also, Michelle has won some gold medals for top amatuer at some events.
For instance in this years British Open she won a gold medal for top amatuer finishing 3rd overall.
There is one more issue involved here. It is the standard of conduct for the sport of golf. In many sports it is considered acceptable for fans to behave in an unsportsmanlike manner: waving balloons to disturb opposing players shooting free throws, making noise to disturb the signal calling of an opposing football team, etc. In golf this behavior is not acceptable. The constant harping on Wie's failure to win strikes me as an unsportsmanlike attempt to rattle Wie--a behavior that is common in many sports, but seems out of place in golf.
With a bit of luck the Wie detractors will stop commenting and the blogs will be left to us Wie supporters to pat each other on the back saying "I told you so"
With a bit of luck this day will come sooner rather than later.
I found a great article. I think all the B.J. wie's critics should read it.
I thought the link to Wie-naysayers was hilarious and spot-on.
Sorry Norman Michelle Wie NEVER won the US Ladies Amateur.
Norman is right he might have just mis-typed the name of the tournament.
Michelle Wie is the youngest winner of a USGA women's tournament at 13 years old.
It just goes to show how "catty" the Wie-naysayers are getting that they are pulling up typos despite knowing exactly what it is intended to mean.
There will always be naysayers to every phenom that shows up on the scene. But you know what? Every fresh and exciting new talent that comes along is doing our sport a major service, a rejuvenation, of sorts. New talent is the tonic that keeps all sports interesting.
Michele is doing all the right things, and I totally applaud what she is accomplishing. Well done Ms Wie, and more power to you.
As for the "unsportmanlike conduct" of some of the respondents to your blog-it's a free country, and anyone can write and respond however they see fit, regardless who it offends. Such is the beauty of being American. But I do agree, golf is a sport meant for fair and proper personal conduct. But consider this-the reason you fans at the major events whooping and shouting "USA!, USA!" is because GOLF is now a fun sport to watch and participate in. Isn't that the purpose of any sport-to be entertaining and draw fans?
I leave to the golf masses to decide.
The issue of Wie winning or not needs to be put into perspective.
First of all she is only 15 and that is real young for anyone to win a Pro tournament.
Secondly she can only compete in a third of the tournaments because she is not a member of the LPGA, therefore the odds of her winning are reduced by 66%
Thirdly, half the tournaments she can play in are Majors, which are presumably more difficult to win.
So I don?t think it is surprising that she hasn?t won, but she is still a phenom.
Her record in the tournaments she actually played in was second to none.
I am sure this seasons results would have exceeded anyone?s expectations even Michelle?s.
Don't lie, Norman. You were trying to say Wie won the same tournament but at 4 years younger than Pressel. Be a man for once and admit when you're wrong. The field at the Publinks, while pretty good, isn't in the same league as the Amateur.
First the publinx is an "Amatuer" too, since your so caught up on words.
I didn't lie, I thought it was the same tournament. I only found out from your other post that I was acutally wrong. I have no problem admitting. I SAID THE WRONG TOURNAMENT.
However I think that Shanks should admit that: Getting to the mens quarter finals in US amatuer publinx is a GREATER achievement than winning the womens amatuer.
It is nice for you to admit that you were wrong about which tournament MW won. It is also sort of amazing, shocking, not sure what word to use, that you and I think other MW fans do not even know the difference between various tournaments. It is absurd to say that finishing at some level in a mens tournament is better than winning a particular Women's tournament. It is interesting how you Wie fans try and create a new standard to measure success.
MW has great potential and I will be so happy when she competes and either wins or not so you Wie crazies stop with your insane methods of evaluating success. Of course I guess you will always be able to say she is younger than.......
All i'm saying is she is a great talent but how can you compete with the men when you cant even beat the ladies? Or should i say win an lpga tournament!What makes her or ANYONE think she can hang with the BIG 5 ? I'm not a WIE-HATER but we all know she brings in the chedder.
Who ever said she is able to hang with the big 5? I certainly didn't and I most definetely think she is nowhere near their level.
In fact I don't think I have ever seen any Wie fan comment that she was anywhere near the big 5.
The same can be said for most the PGA tour.
What I think is that she is one of the best women. NOT THE BEST. I think her and Paula Creamer are both great players, but Michelle has undoubtably had the better season.
Enough stats have been posted but the most important one is that Paula was only able to finish ahead of Michelle on 28% of the time this year.
Your other question, "How can she compete with the men?"
Well the answer is, SHE HAS done so, so the proof is in the doing. She has finished ahead of many top male pros in the tournaments she has entered, and got within a whisker of a cut. Ask any male professional and they will all tell you, that when they were 15, they wouldn't have gotton within a mile of a cut? Ask Phil. Ask Tiger. Tiger didn't make a cut until either his 9th or 10th attempt.
Also most of the top players say that Michelle deserves to get the exemptions.
It is absurd to say that finishing at some level in a mens tournament is better than winning a particular Women's tournament. It is interesting how you Wie fans try and create a new standard to measure success.
Why is it absurd?
She was the first woman ever to qualify for this tournament. That in itself was outstanding. I and most other didn't give her a chance of getting out of the stroke play stage. She did and then went on to shock all reasonable people by getting to the quarter finals.
Before that tournament and before the John Deere, I would have shared some serious concerns about whether she was able to cut it with the men. It was those very performances that convinced me that Michelle deserved to be out there with the men and deserves all the encouragement she can get. I think it is a real shame that the anti-Wie brigade, try to knock her on every occasion, despite the fact that her progress this year has been phenomenal.
It is absurd because you think that simply advancing in a mens Tournament is better than winning the highest level women's Tournament. Not winning against men is not better than winning a Major Tournament but it attracts attention. Not winning against women would have hurt the marketing machine. If winning many Amateur tournaments was good enough for Bobby Jones, Jack and Tiger among others it is strange that she chose not to risk her reputation doing the same thing. So far this is all about money nothing else.
I happen to like Michelle Wie and have been happy to see her in person several times. She is a nice young girl. She has great potential. The problem is that unlike Tiger who was raised to win golf tournaments and have a place in golf history, Michelle seems to have been raised to make money. I would have preferred her to compete against women and show she can win before she takes on the men. I fear because she has been pushed at such a young age her career will be shortened by burnout. It will make no difference if she is the youngest whatever if she does not win and have a long career. There would be plenty of time to make a lot of money in any event after building a strong foundation. As with anything if the foundation is not strong enough a building or a person will not reach the highest level possible.
I wish her well and it will be fun to watch her compete against whoever.
All I am saying is, suppose she entered and won the ladies amauter, what good would it have done her. People would have said that the competition wasn't strong as Morgan Pressel showed.
The other reason she entered the mens was because it was a possible route to the masters. Before the event begun I would have given her no chance, but as we saw, a bit of luck and she could have gotton there. By the way everyone needs a few brakes to win 6 matches in a row because you can't be on top form all the time. It is that factor that could also have got her knocked out early in a womens amatuer. Some girl could have had the round of her life and Michelle would have been slated for losing to some nobody!!!!
Your final words expose the way you really think. Afraid of someone having a career day and MW loses. I had no idea she would be so fragile. That is what competition is all about and it happens to the best including Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus and Tiger. It happens to the best at times and knowledgeable people understand this. It builds character and earns experience. You don't get to the top by being afraid of someone having a career day.
Your lack of respect of Morgan Pressel is sad. Other than the Wie nuts, normal golf people think she had a terrific year. It will be interesting to see who has the better 2006. Of course by your standards when Pressel wins and MW is not winning against men you will think it is a bigger success. So absurd!!!
-Tom Pernice, Jr.
-Notah Begay III
-ADAM SCOTT!!! (fyi, he's the current #7 player in the world)
AND THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF THEM THAT I HAVEN'T MENTIONED...
From the 2005 Sony open...where she didn't play as well:
She tied with Paul Casey, finished ahead of:
Just naming some others...and do you want me to name the pga pro's from where she beat them at the john deere???? maybe i should:
2. She's rich
3. She's sexy
4. She's young
5. She's already made more money than 99% of the readers of this blog will make in a lifetime
6. She's a better golfer than 99% of the readers of this blog ever will be
7. She's famous
8. She shrugs off criticism from pudge pot has beens like Lopez and never were's like Ammaccapane
9. Unlike 99% of the readders of this blog will golf for a living
10. None of you men, or lesbos, will ever sleep with her.
although Michelle is the teenager, and Sorenstam is the 30++++ something, it's Annika who has the pizza face.
But in a way Annika does have another teen quality beside acne: she has a heavy peach fuzz beard that rivals a pubescent teenage boy.
Lopez needs to shave too. It's gross.
She has explained on more than one occasion that competing as an amateur in the States and living in Hawaii doesn't work.
So let's move on. She won everything as an amateur in Hawaii and ran out of competition.
Surely if she has to fork out tens of thousands for travel and golf tuition
she might as well earn millions.
I wonder how many people in the same position have turned down the opportunity to turn pro?
Silly me, no one has ever been in that position before.
Your final words expose the way you really think. Afraid of someone having a career day and MW loses. I had no idea she would be so fragile.
She wasn't afraid of not losing. The fact is that it is possible she could have lost. It was also possible (moreso) that she would lose in the mens. But SHE IS BRAVE, that is why she goes up against the best competition possible. By entering this tournament, she seriously risked being knocked out early, but she went and tried her best, played brilliantly and advanced to the later stages. Well done.
Your lack of respect of Morgan Pressel is sad. Other than the Wie nuts, normal golf people think she had a terrific year.
I thought Pressel had a very good year. The fact is though, she didn't have a good year in COMPARISON to Michelle. Who did though?
Hey Norm, Why does Wie deserve exemption and no other LPGA tour player who has WON not?( Besides Annika) Is it because she can hit a drive 300 yards(and believe me i'm jealous)because she's young,tall,cute
She deserves exemptions because she is the only woman who can really compete. It is just plain interesting to see a female try to compete in a traditional male event.
With your 300 yard comment, you hit part of the nail on the head.
Length is so important, because the vast majority of the lpga would struggle so much due to the length factor alone, on the PGA tour.
There is a few other girls who can hit it long but "most" of them are not top golfers.
Also, she isn't the only girl who can get exemptions. I don't think Paula Creamer would have any trouble getting an invite, but she has stated that she doesn't want any at this time.
As regards Pressel, she just can't hit it far enough, she would even reach some of the fairways.
Patrick has answered it in much detail above. Many thanks Patrick.
lol well said. Maybe number 11 is a bit too harsh.
As for Nancy comments she recognizes the old guard getting squeezed out of the limelight, and not very happy with the young teenagers making a mockery of their tour. Maybe it's old age, and the bitterness some superstars experience without the spotlight on them, and the desire to get into the heat of competition, without their "A" game to complete. They tend to make a final rounds of farewell appearances and all of us offer our congratulations and shake our head to acknowledge our approval of this their final farewell. So move-over Grandma it's time to let the new "it girls" to hit it long and cash-in, on that new money.
People expected her to shoot in the 80's in these tournaments, but she acquited herself very well and beat tonnes of guys.
And what other woman could then make it to match play, and finish in the top 8? Again answer is about zero. Remember that Annika played her absolute best golf when she ventured into the Big Leagues. She flopped. And she stands head and shoulders above every other woman on the women's tour.
So I agree that making it to the quarters of an adult men's national USGA event is more impressive than winning the women's am. It is an absolute first. No woman has ever done it before. Until Wie, I would guess 99.99% of all people thought it never would be done.
BTW, Wie chose a far more difficult, prestigious tournament than the women's am. The Women's British Open. She came in third. To me that is far more impressive than a win at any amateur event.
I agree totally that Pressel had a spectacular year. She will never revolutionize golf though. Wie already has -- and it can only get a lot better.
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