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84 comments

Comment from: RRR [Visitor]
I predict she will also play the weekend in a PGA event in 2006 Ron. What do you think about her chances?
12/30/05 @ 23:37
Comment from: jon [Visitor]
You raise couple of interesting issues, Ron.

The first issue of women being competitive at earlier age than men.
Most people believe that women mature faster than men. Girls mature faster both physically and mentally( I am not sure about emotionally, since I am no expert on this matter. Perhaps Ms. Mario would enlighten us) I am not sure as to why, but my guess would be it has something to do with child bearing burden and evolutionary selective process. (For instance, a female lion takes up many of the adult responsibilities including reproducation, while male siblings casually loiter around.)

As for learining to win, I think it is a double edged sword. For Michelle to have play junior golf especially 12 and under ones, it may well would have been a waste of time and traveling expenses from Hawaii. She would have won tons of meaningless amatures but her game would not have developed this far by beating bunch of middle school and high school kids. To excel, one always wants to play aginst someone slightly better.

Learning to win perhaps has another more subtle message: that of killer instinct. I don't think it is necessary to have a killer instinct in sports to win but I think it helps. Tiger certainely has plenty of that. though I think he is getting slightly softer. One can have a very high standard of play and that itself can carry to success. Also, I think she is growing and learning as 16 year olds do that life can be tough (recent DQ). The thing that impressed me is that she handles herself remarkably well.

PS I opened my big mouth and proclaimed Ron Mon to be my favorite blog columnist. I felt obliged to follow up. Next time i would be more careful even in jest. Lol
12/31/05 @ 06:50
Comment from: Sheryl [Visitor]

Thanks for the insightful stuff Ron- please keep it up to balance out Baldwin's crazed commentaries.

Have a great New Year :)
12/31/05 @ 08:33
Comment from: Kevin [Visitor]

Good stuff Ron !

I do think it all balances out at the end---

If Michelle is missing out on some lessons in golf competition by skipping amateur play, it can also be said that she is learning things much earlier in professional play than Pressel and Creamer .

When I saw the TV coverage of the Women's British Open, Dottie Pepper, and her partner doing the commentary kept on repeating that "Michelle Wie has some shots that the other women simply do not have"--they were saying that about someone who was only 15 years old at the time.

And I do think that's directly related to playing against male and female pros so early in her training. That's an advantage she has over the Pressels, and the Creamers, while at the same time I'm sure she missed something by not playing as much junior events.

There's nothing inherently wrong with either path, they're just different, that's all.
12/31/05 @ 08:43
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Ron Mon,
When you predict that she will win two minor events, what type of events are you talking about?
lpga or others?

If Michelle was given a choice, of an lpga win or a pga cut, I wonder which she would choose. She has stated that both of these are her goals for 2006.

My hopes are:
- that she continues to aquit herself well on the pga. Whether a cut comes or not, she has plenty of time, how many 16 year olds have made pga cuts?
- that she does challenge on the back nine of a major. Win or lose, it would give her valuable experience.
- a win would be nice, but unlike the anti-Wie brigade, I don't think it crucial for her to win any mickey-mouse tournament, just to say she won.
12/31/05 @ 11:40
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Paula Creamer was rookie of the year. Brittany Lincicome was the second highest American on the list. She also proved herself as an amateur, winning 60 per cent of the time in over 100 tournaments. Her first year on the LPGA she won $127,452 for 72nd on the money list which allowed her to keep her card, but she did not come close to what Michelle Wie did in 2005. And I think we should note that Brittany Lincicome has a long game that is similar to what Michelle Wie has. She will undoubtedly become an outstanding golfer--but on the LPGA all her amateur wins count for nothing, which is exactly what all Michelle Wie's amateur wins would count for if Michelle had followed the same path as Brittany.

Michelle Wie certainly does have a killer spirit. Sometimes she tries to do too much, but that is certainly not a lack of killer spirit. Here is where more amateur experience might help her slightly. She would have experience on the amateur level that fairly conservative play can net her victories. By itself this would lead to overly conservative play at a higher level--but her agressiveness would balance this so her play should come closer to the right balance.



12/31/05 @ 12:19
Comment from: alan [Visitor]
Well Ron
A half decent post for a change. Good to see. You have at least one fact wrong. Michelle is not full time, she is still a school child. She can play a limited number of events and because of that even though I am a huge Wie fan I think she will find it difficult to win this year.
Alan M
12/31/05 @ 12:27
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Ron,

The reason why girls do better in same-sex events than boys isn't hard to figure out. Girls mature physically earlier and the men's tour is far more competitive.

If you need help with anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.
12/31/05 @ 12:35
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Jon,

I have to comment on the thesis you promulgated. I really find it amusing -- in a very specific way -- when guys like you put forth your pseudo-intellectual analyses. The bit about lions and the "evolutionary selective process" was particularly smirk-inducing. It ranks right up there with when a high school history teacher of mine said that to this day French men are unusually short because all the specimens were killed in the Napoleonic Wars.

Keep reading "Psychology Today." Such is the stuff that built civilization, let there be no doubt.
12/31/05 @ 12:44
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
A)RRR--she now has two courses on tour that she plays well-Hawaii and John Deere. Again, horses for courses.

B)Jon, Sheryl and Kevin--She is impressive for her age. No thing is a sure thing, but she has the trappings.

C)Norman--By minor events, I mean non-majors. Not Futures or other mini-tour events. Wegman's and Corning are two in my region. I also believe that Carolyn Bivens will make some sort of exception to allow her to compete more on the LPGA tour.

D)Jim--Nothing to say other than support. Well written and researched.

E)Alan--You are correct. She is still in school. Bravo to mom and dad for insisting. I would pick two non-Annika events on the LPGA tour, to give myself a better shot at victory. I stick to my prediction of two minor (non-major) LPGA tour wins this year.

F)UnderPar--I need help dealing with comments from superior and condescending know-it-alls. How would you handle such oafs? I couldn't find anything in Psychology Today.
12/31/05 @ 13:36
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Ron,

I would try to educate and enlighten myself in the hope (vain perhaps?) that I would be able to ascend to their level of erudition, thus eliminating any desire on their part to condescend.
12/31/05 @ 13:51
Comment from: jon [Visitor]
Dearest under par

Thank you for your comment.

But in all fairness and in cosideration of your other comments, I really do not care what you think.

Good day to you mr. Under Par or is it Mr. Par

12/31/05 @ 13:57
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Under Par said:
The reason why girls do better in same-sex events than boys isn't hard to figure out. Girls mature physically earlier and the men's tour is far more competitive.
*****************************

You are partly right. The pga is more competitive, that makes it harder to break through.
As regards the physical maturing earlier, that is only part of the issue. In women's tennis a few years ago, the same thing happened that is happening in golf now, with young players getting near the top. However, this was more to do with the relative weakness of the womens tennis tour at the time.
Now the balance has been redressed, and these same girls are still dominant at an older age, and that makes it more difficult for younger girls to break through.
For an example, just look to this years end of season tennis championships, which included the 8 best players of the season. Maria Sharapova at 18 years old was the youngest. The 2nd youngest was 23 years old. Now that the womens tennis tour is of a higher quality, you don't have many 15-20 year olds anywhere near the top.
The same will probably happen in womens golf as the strength in depth of the tour increases.
I predict that Creamer will still be a major force in womens golf in 15 years time, and so will many of the other young crop of talent.
12/31/05 @ 14:27
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Like it or not, Wie critics have Morgan Pressel as their poster child for 2006. They will have great ammunition if they can reasonably say that Morgan Pressel outperformed Wie on the LPGA in 2006--but if not, they will have very little.

Paula Creamer was only able to surpass Michelle Wie after several months on the LPGA circuit. The fact that Michelle Wie had been better when they were both amateurs makes some people forget that Paula has a 3 year 2 month age advantage. As a pro Creamer had other advantages, and was able to pass Wie on the LPGA, although it is doubtful she could come close to Wie in a men's event. In addition, the fact that Creamer is the number 2 LPGA player does a lot to weaken the put down effect for those who want to put down Wie by saying Creamer is better. Wie critics would very much like to say both Creamer and Pressel are better than Wie--nut for that they need Pressel to win an LPGA event.

Obviously Wie's best shots on the LPGA in 2006 will be the Hawaii events. Unfortunatley, they come just a couple of weeks after the Sony and for now I am sure she is entirely focussed on the PGA game. Having two this year should benefit her. I suspect she will do better on the second one.
12/31/05 @ 14:34
Comment from: TT [Visitor]
Let's not forget that many great golfers didn't "learn to win" until their 30s. Tom Watson comes to mind.
12/31/05 @ 15:10
Comment from: dave [Visitor]
I enjoyed the post and I like to hear positive things instead of all negative. I can only say I hope she does well because I enjoy watching her play.
12/31/05 @ 16:44
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
I can only speak for myself, but I never implied that Creamer or Pressel had more potential than Wie. Moreover, in terms of playing level the three are presently very close. However, no sane person could deny that Wie possesses more natural physical ability than any woman on the horizon.

My problem with Wie is that she has often acted like a conceited, spoiled brat and, consequently, has been over-hyped to the nth degree by the media.
12/31/05 @ 18:20
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]
"My problem with Wie is that she has often acted like a conceited, spoiled brat and, consequently, has been over-hyped to the nth degree by the media."

Underpar--can you give specifics and examples of Michelle acting in such a manner because I haven't seen it. Most people who have come across her have said what a good kid she is.

The only conceit and bratty behavior I have seen has come from Morgan Pressel, and the media have it well-documented.
12/31/05 @ 18:34
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Well said Mike.
I was just thinking exactly the same thing.

So perhaps Under Par, could give us these examples.
I could give a few Pressel examples.
12/31/05 @ 18:43
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Under Par.

Forget about Wie. How can you describe Cramer and Pressel as very close in terms of playing level at present? Creamer was number two on the LPGA earnings list for 2005, while Pressel was only number 6 at Q-School. Pressel may well be better than Creamer was at her age, and she might turn out to be better than Creamer--but right now Creamer is much better.

Conceited spoiled brat? My vote goes to Morgan Pressel. But let's consider why Michelle Wie might be considered a brat. Michelle is very polite. She doesn't stick her nose in other people's business. But she follows her own path, and will not simply do what other people tell her to do.

When Michelle Wie was asked if she felt she had a responsibility to promote the women's game, at a time when she was doing more to promote the women's game than anyone else, instead of explaining this rather obvious fact to the interviewer--she interpreted the question as a coded way of asking if she felt she had a responsibility to not compete against men. She politely answered, no, she did not feel she had such a responsibility. That appears to be the basis for the charge that Michelle Wie is a brat. If competing against men is being a brat, then yes, much of the interest surrounding Michelle Wie is due to the fact that she is a brat. There are many people around the world who have nothing but admiration for that sort of brat, myself included.

12/31/05 @ 19:13
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Well, Jim, then you lose my respect, not that I think you care any more about that than I care about losing yours.

But on to the other issues. I would never deny that Pressel is a brat, for, while I'm not that well acquainted with her, my impression that that such a characterization isn't that far off base.

As for Wie-wie, right before she missed another cut in a mini-tour event she quite arrogantly said something to the effect of, " . . . when I beat them (the men)." She said it like a wise-guy, and it was a very unladylike and unsportsmanlike remark. Obviously, I don't remember the whole quotation, but if you want to find it I'm sure you will. Of course, Jim probably gets off on such things, since he sounds like a member of the rubber suit crowd.
12/31/05 @ 19:34
Comment from: Johnny [Visitor]
me too Jim.
12/31/05 @ 19:35
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Under Par,
Jim has my respect. Michelle is certainly not acting like a brat.

She has a goal. It is to be the best player in the world, male or female.
Whether that is obtainable or not, is not the issue.
It is her right to have any goal she wishes, and she could have far worse goals in life.

As regards the Japan tournaments, she simply said that she was "there to try to win the tournament".
Although I didn't give her much hope of winning, what is wrong with setting your goals high. I am pretty sure that every player in that tournament had the goal of winning it, even though very few of them were likely to do so.

Under Par, I am trying to understand where you are coming from, so can you answer, do you think Michelle competing with the men is disrespectful to other women players?
12/31/05 @ 19:43
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Norman,

No, I couldn't care less about the other women players. My point extends from a much larger and more significant social problem, a problem of which this is just a part. However, while I'm not completely averse to elaboration, I think it would probably be akin to trying to describe colors to a blind man.
12/31/05 @ 19:54
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Under Par, you haven't actually won a single argument yet, but if you like, you could make an attempt at explaining this "significant social problem".
12/31/05 @ 20:00
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Actually, I've "won" every argument, although I wasn't aware that we were having a competition.
12/31/05 @ 20:18
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Under Par

I'd like to give Under Par a challenge. The next time Chris Baldwin has a blog about Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel, and/or Paula Creamer I would like to see Under Par check him out. If Under Par posts on Baldwin's site I think the results could be quite interesting.
12/31/05 @ 20:30
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Jim,
Under Par has replied on Baldwin's blog of "Michelle Wie back in Sports Illustrated, happy as can be".
12/31/05 @ 20:33
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
Let's split hairs and examine a few adjectives. Better versus accomplished versus talented. If player A is better than player B, does it mean that she is more talented, more accomplished, or more immune to pressure? We have seen Michelle Wie toss up a few final-round Retiefs, while we have not seen that from Paula, although she has not been in the final pairing in a major. The jury is still out on Pressel, although the shot she hit into the 72nd green at the Open in 2005 betrayed a bit of nerves. She knew what she had to do, but could not pull it off. Rule number one, as always, is "get the ball on the dance floor to have a putt at it."
01/01/06 @ 19:50
Comment from: jay [Visitor]
Ron. Paula was just one stroke off the lead at women's open and shot 79 in final round, so it also happened to paula.
Also I don't know why media is so generous to paula's melt down at lochester. She was 5 strokes ahead ochoa with only 7 holes to go but ended up losing by 4 strokes.
Maybe media doesn't want to break myth that paula is great closer because she is media darling, or just maybe race thing?
01/01/06 @ 20:59
Comment from: Jeremy [Visitor]
Good point Ron-

How about a basketball analogy--for the Creamer-Wie comparison--- I'm not going to include Pressel because I don't think she will be as successful as the other two.

Right now Dwayne Wade is more accomplished than Lebron James, but as far as talent and skill -he is nowhere near Lebron's level.

01/01/06 @ 21:37
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Creamer also had a 4 stroke lead with 20 holes left at Wendy's and 2 strokes entering the final round. But Creamer also has a pair of LPGA wins. And if her failings receive less attention, it may be that she generates a lot less interest than Wie.

I hate to have to defend Pressel but on 18 she had ben trying for a par until Birdie Kim's shot made it necessary for her to get a birdie. Switching strategies she tried for a miracle shot to tie Kim instead of more conservative play that might have allowed her to finish alone in 2nd. She purposely made a shot that risked a bogey on the long shot that she might be able to tie Kim for the lead. Getting a good putt at that point would have meant losing.

Who is best?

Talent. Wie.

Accomplishments by the current age of the youngest. Wie.

Accomplishments including the men's game. I still say Wie.

LPGA accomplishments not age adjusted or pro rated. Creamer.

Player who was playing best on the LPGA near the end of the year. Creamer.

Handling pressure. As the next Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie faces pressure no one else in golf has to face. At the John Deere she was trying to show up another golfer(the defending champ Mark Hensby). Generally she has had problems being too agressive--which shouldn't be too much to worry about at her age. Let us see what she does as a pro with her super first class team supporting her.







01/01/06 @ 22:22
Comment from: jay [Visitor]
Jim. The situation wie is facing right now reminds me of What tiger faced after his first masters win. After his first masters win, expectation level rose to unbelievable level and Tiger went almost 3 years without major victory before he finally came through at Medinah and that victory was probably his shakiest win ever. Tiger built 6 strokes lead entering back 9 but barely hang on to one storke victory. sice then it has been smooth sailing for tiger and I think simillar thing will happen once wie gets her first victory.
01/01/06 @ 22:41
Comment from: RRR [Visitor]
Jim here are some interesting stats from 2005:

Top 10 percentage based on LPGA events entered:

Michelle Wie: 63% Paula Creamer: 48%

Average paycheck per events entered:

Michelle Wie: $98,611 (8 Events) Paula Creamer: $61,271 (25 events)

NOTE: Miss Creamer would have her total average earnings reduced if Miss Wie had taken the paycheck in five out of the eight events she finished ahead of Miss Creamer in the field.

Cuts made percentage:

Michelle Wie: 100% Paula Creamer: 96% (Only missed 1 cut.)

Driving, average distance:

Michelle Wie: 268.3 Paula Creamer: 248.6

GIR average per round:

Michelle Wie: 10,85 per round Paula Creamer: 10.78 per round.

If Miss Wie had played 25 events, she might have been the second leading money leader on the LPGA tour without even a win.

This was not a bad year for a fifteen year old.



01/01/06 @ 23:49
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Jay, first of all, the media are biased AGAINST whites, not in favor of them. I really don't know what decade you're living in.

And, Jim, there's no reason under the sun for Wie to put an inordinate amount of pressure on herself. She is now filthy rich and will reamin so for the rest of her life; she will want for nothing material, and the world is her oyster.

As Lee Trevino said, "Pressure is playing for $10 when you only have $5 in your pocket."
01/02/06 @ 00:14
Comment from: Mason [Visitor]
Ron Mon wrote:


Let's split hairs and examine a few adjectives. Better versus accomplished versus talented. If player A is better than player B, does it mean that she is more talented, more accomplished, or more immune to pressure? We have seen Michelle Wie toss up a few final-round Retiefs, while we have not seen that from Paula, although she has not been in the final pairing in a major. The jury is still out on Pressel, although the shot she hit into the 72nd green at the Open in 2005 betrayed a bit of nerves. She knew what she had to do, but could not pull it off. Rule number one, as always, is "get the ball on the dance floor to have a putt at it."


This is an inaccurate description of what happened at the US Open. Pressel knew she had to get it close to have a reasonable putt, so she tried to bounce it onto the front of the green. And she came within a few feet of actually doing it.

All these comments about Wie and a few
(mostly negative) about Pressel. This is the most exciting BUNCH of young LPGA golfers to arrive all at once. Julieta Granada is a great talent. Nirapathpongporn won the US Amateur.
Louise Stahle, Brittany Lang were top college players, and Lang was tied for 2nd at the Open. And not a single mention of Miyazato, who has won repeatedly in Japan and dominated Q school.

Look around and you'll see reasons to cheer for many individuals on the LPGA tour, not only for Wie. And if Wie were to come out and win half of her tournaments, that would be spectacular and impressive.

And that's what Annika Sorenstam does without much fanfare.
01/02/06 @ 04:31
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
It is not quite inaccurate. Pressel, like many before her, simply did not complete her swing on the approach to the 18th. Many players, Kim included, left the ball out to the right and in the sand. Pressel did likewise, although I don't recall if she made the bunker. I recollect a chip shot of some sort. That was pressure's influence.
01/02/06 @ 06:43
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
The reality is that Pressel came 2nd at the US Open. People can analyse all they like, but the result is still Tied-2nd.

Many people can say, what if Birdie Kim hadn't holed that bunker shot, but we don't know anything for sure.

It can easily be said "what if Rosales fell apart at the opening event of last season, and handed the victory to Michelle Wie". Would the confidence have lifted her, and would she have gone on to win more? This is all just speculation.

Results:
Pressel - 2nd at US Open.
Wie - 2nd at SBS.
- 2nd at LPGA.
- 2nd at Evian Masters.

2nd place is a very good result for Pressel and Wie, especially given, that both of them played in a limited number of events, 7 for Pressel, 8 for Wie.

It could be said that Colin Montgomerie only won his two recent victories, because in both cases, someone ahead of him fell apart.
That is a fact, but they are still victories for Monty, despite him being in 2nd place until his opponent handed him the title, Monty still had to be there.
Pressel and Wie are not lesser players mentally than Monty, because they both got themselves in position, but the leading player didn't falter in their case.
01/02/06 @ 09:40
Comment from: jon [Visitor]
I wish Pressel would have followed your advice, Norman: taking the results as is. The issue is that Pressel started to second guess everybody else but herself.

Pressel simply did not get the job done, and the first thing out of her mouth was to criticize others' shots. This opens door for others to criticize her awful shots: her horrendous approach shot and choked chip shot ( more like a mini line drive to me) You didn't hear Lang complaining about others' plays. Lang is far more accomplished than Pressel and she in all fairness deserves far more recognition.
01/02/06 @ 10:37
Comment from: RRR [Visitor]
Miss Wie's most impressive reults for me was her play in the Majors of 2005 Norman.

McDonalds LPGA Championship 2nd out of a field of 80 of the finest female golfers in the world playing on the weekend.

U.S. Women's Open third round leader ggoing into the final day and although she had a final round from hell, she still tied for 23rd out of a field of 63 of the finest female golfers in the world playing on the weekend.

Weetabix Women's British Open tied for third out of a field of 70 of the finest female golfers in the world playing on the weekend.

Many Women's Professional golf legends were behind her in the field for all these "Major" events.

Why Miss Wie failed to make the cut at the Casio?

She went conservative on her second round.

During the first round she averaged 267.5 meters off the tee and hit 57.14 percent of her fairways to tie for 67th in the field for distance and also tie for 43rd in accuracy.

In the second round she became more conservative with her driving averaging 255.5 meters off the tee and hit 85.71 percent of her fairways to end up 88th in the field for distance and tie for 3rd in accuracy.

With the longer drives her GIR was 66.67 percent, tied for 41st on the first round and when she hit shorter drives on the second day she ended up at 61.11 percent, tied for 76th.

While controlling her swing she created the situation of having to hit longer irons into the greens.

I don't know how you feel Norman, but I would rather hit a nine iron out of the rough anyday than strike a four iron from the middle of the fairway into a fast green.

I wonder if her new caddie asked her to take it down a notch in the second round of the Casio?



01/02/06 @ 14:01
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
I certainly have the most educated and resourceful bunch of posters out there. Nice job on this thread, ladies and gentlemen!
01/02/06 @ 14:11
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
RRR, I very much agree with you that Michelle's performance in the majors of 2005 were her most impressive. I'd add in the Publinx performance too.

She won titles when she was younger, but as soon as she get into these top tier events, that is where her focus has gone, and I think she is right in her approach.

As regards the Casio, RRR you raise a very good point. Longer driving helps alot. We need look no further than Tiger. His driving accuracy is nothing short of dreadful, but he knows that if he can get good length, he doesn't particularly mind hitting out of short rough with a shorter club, and it's better than having a long iron to the green from the fairway. I personally think courses should be set up to penalise wayward driving more, but that is another issue.
01/02/06 @ 14:23
Comment from: stone [Visitor]
Courses are set up to penalize wayward driving. Only problem is the hazzards are 280-290 out, a distance you well know Tiger and many others can fly with ease. The majors typically grow the rough out, but Tiger is too strong, especially when hitting a wedge out of the thick stuff. I don't know Michelle's game well enough to comment about her strength from the rough, but with her distance it would seem a no-brainer that she should join the course "floggers"(driving the ball over all the trouble) or bombers who care little about accuracy and more about length. I would be interested to get some thoughts on this approach and how it might help Michelle especially on LPGA tour.
01/02/06 @ 14:46
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Folks,

If the difference between Wie's first and second round driving distance was only 12 meters, it didn't make the difference between hitting a nine iron and a four iron! Sheesh! Moreover, if she was in the fairway more often, it probably placed her at an advantage despite the minimal difference in distance. In the least it had to be a wash.

Face it, the reason why she didn't make the cut was that she wasn't good enough in that event, period.
01/02/06 @ 16:21
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Michelle Wie is trying to improve her strength and distance. She is still quite short by PGA standards, so those 280 to 290 hazzards would pose a problem. She gets her distance through excellent form. Hitting the ball in thick rough like at last year's US Women's Open can be costly for her. My advice for Michelle Wie on the LPGA or anywhere else, would be to get a top caddy, and leave the decisions on strategy up to the caddy. She could then concentrate completely on making the shots. For the LPGA more conservative play would probably help more often than not--and LPGA grens are not that fast.
01/02/06 @ 16:35
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Under Par, the difference you refer to of 12 yards is only calculated based on 2 designated holes.

I don't know if she was taking much off her drives, but the high accuracy suggests that she was probably taking off a bit more than that.
01/02/06 @ 17:07
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Stone,
I think as Michelle adds more consistant long driving to her game it will leave the lpga with a big dilemna, about lengthing couses to Michelle-proof them, like the pga ATTEMPTED to Tiger-proof courses. I think that action will have little success, but only make it more difficult for short hitters like Pressel, unless she can add some length to her game.
01/02/06 @ 17:12
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Norman,

Her greater accuracy indicates nothing of the sort. It could just be that she was more accurate that day. For that matter, since the stat is based on just two holes, maybe she mishit a drive egregiously on one of them or hit it into the rough. This, of course, means that her distance overall might not have been any less that day -- we just don't know.

What we do know is that she wasn't good enough to make the cut.
01/02/06 @ 17:24
Comment from: jay [Visitor]
At casio, Lough wasn't that penal. So I am not sure whether wie was trying to improve accuracy at 2nd round. In lpga, I believe wie should adopt grip and rip it mentality as she did at age 13. 3 inch rough won't pose any problem for wie especially when she has wedge in her hand and my feeling is she will go back to grip and rip it mentality at nabisco because she now has more reliable power fade.
01/02/06 @ 17:36
Comment from: Paul W [Visitor]
Norman,

There's already been talk about lengthing holes at this years US Open in Newport. I believe there's a par 4 there around 300 yards. I assume the LPGA courses will be gradually lengthened, not so much for Wie, but because everyone is hitting the ball longer due to equipment changes. I'm sure the longer hitter's like Wie would like to see that happen sooner rather than later.
01/02/06 @ 17:50
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Paul W,
Thank you for raising a very interesting point.

When you mentioned the US Open, which was very long last year.
It was 6,749 yards on last years course which is very long for a par 71. I don't have any details on this years.

You just got me thinking though. Look at these course lengths:

US Open 6,749 yards (par 71)
Sybase Classic 6161 yards (par 71)
Evian Masters 6192 yards (par 72)

I listed the bottom two tournaments above, because they are the two tournaments that Paula Creamer won last year.

Could that be part of the reason that Creamer hasn't done as well in majors as she might have liked. Major courses are usually longer.

The two tournaments that Paula won are well below the average course length on the tour!
01/02/06 @ 18:15
Comment from: Paul W [Visitor]
As Shanks pointed out on another posting, the US Open was at a high altitude so it probably played around 6400 yards.

Alos, if you look at Creamer's 2nd place finishes the picture gets cloudier:

Hammond's 6551 (par 71)
Wendy's 6221 (par 72)
Samsung 6462 (par 72)
Wegman's 6221 (par 72)

Still, Creamer's strength seems to be on shorter courses. I think that is also Pressel and Miyazato's strength so she'll have a lot of competition.

I hope they lengthen the LPGA courses, the par 4s are pretty dull when everyone plays driver/wedge/putter.
01/02/06 @ 19:20
Comment from: jon [Visitor]
Stone's inquiry of Michelle's distance on LPGA courses.

Interesting question but I suspect stone already knows the answer.

Instead of expounding my own theories which will bore others to no ends, allow me ask few questions.

1) Is it the driving distance or the carry that is more relevant?

2)Are Wie supporters saying that she is a sure bet as of now to succeed in a)PGA b) LPGA c)European tour or d) Hawaiian tropical beauty pageant?

3) Which tournament is her game best suited? a) PGA Major b) PGA non-Major c)LPGA d)LPGA Major or e) Asian Pga?

and an open question: What benefit does Michelle Wie derive from competing in a PGA tournaments that she can't win?

01/02/06 @ 21:17
Comment from: jon [Visitor]
bpnus points:

Identify typos and grammatical errors found in the previous post.

Happy New Year
01/02/06 @ 21:23
Comment from: jay [Visitor]
Creamer played 8 rounds at nabisco and she failed to post single under par round there. I don't think creamer will ever be a factor at nabisco because bombers practically owned mission hills course. There is reason why Grace park and Ochoa always play well while players like Hee Won Han always struggled.
BTW, I noticed nabisco course was stretched to 6569 yards this year. Now if nabisco is really played at this length, this year's championship will be two horse race betwen Annik and wie.
01/02/06 @ 21:36
Comment from: stone [Visitor]
Jon you give me too much credit. I am not going to write a short story citing statistics from events played in 2003. I only write about what I see and what I see is a young girl with all the talent and ability in the world, who will probably win a bunch of tournaments(LPGA) and may even make a few cuts(PGA), but ultimately won't change the face of golf like some other posters think. I am a the rare individual who believes that Michelle Wie is both supremely gifted and yet over-hyped. I believe her results to date are spectacular, yet somehow unrewarding. It would seem that I am the rarest of people, a fan of Michelle Wie and also a bit of a skeptic. I have read some great arguments on both sides of the Michelle Wie debate and have decided to wait it out before I choose sides. My answers to your questions are: 1) carry; 2) b, logical fans, a,b,c wie warriors, d perverted fans; 3 c,d ; bonus question: fame
01/02/06 @ 23:24
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Nothing that Finchem -- or virtually any other prominent individual with a lot to lose -- has to say about this is interesting because, regardless of what they believe, they will never say anything politically-incorrect. As the PGA Tour Commissioner, Finchem has been charged with the task of promoting the tour and safeguarding its image. Thus, he will avoid controversy like the plague. Hey, remember what happened to Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, Al Campanis and Marge Schott? Get my drift? Is a light bulb going off in your cranium yet?

Stone, just so you know, I have also made clear that I believe Wie is supremely gifted and over-hyped. I think the problem with her acolytes is that they can't fathom how one can be both.
01/03/06 @ 00:11
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Paul W said:
As Shanks pointed out on another posting, the US Open was at a high altitude so it probably played around 6400 yards.
****************************

I looked up Wie's driving stats and found that they were well down on her usual length.
Then I checked the other players stats and indeed it is correct that they were above average, especially Brittany who was averaging over 280 yards.

Anyway Michelle's driving was at 250 yards. This is way below normal for her. Add to that the altitude factor, and it was extremely short.
If anyone thinks it might be why she did bad, that isn't the case, because she drove consistantly short through each of the 4 days.
For the record, she was 36th in driving length, and she is usually in the top 3 at lpga tournaments.
01/03/06 @ 10:23
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Jon said:
1) Is it the driving distance or the carry that is more relevant?

2)Are Wie supporters saying that she is a sure bet as of now to succeed in a)PGA b) LPGA c)European tour or d) Hawaiian tropical beauty pageant?

3) Which tournament is her game best suited? a) PGA Major b) PGA non-Major c)LPGA d)LPGA Major or e) Asian Pga?

and an open question: What benefit does Michelle Wie derive from competing in a PGA tournaments that she can't win?

***********************
ANSWERS
1. carry.
2. Nobody is a sure bet to do anything, but she is as close to a sure bet as anything, to do well on the lpga. pga is not sure at all, as it isn't for any young pro, even if they have qualified out of q-school or the nationwide tour. The one sure thing is that she has the physical attributes, but her game needs to continue to develop.
3. Her game, as it stands is probably best suited to lpga majors, because she has an advantage over shorter driving girls.
Open Question: The benefit Michelle Wie derives from competing in a PGA tournaments that she can't win is experience. When Tiger Woods first started getting sponsors on the pga tour, he couldn't expect to win either. In fact he got nowhere near the cut, in his first 7 attempts (not to mind winning), but he did gain valuable experience.
01/03/06 @ 10:32
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Jay said:
Creamer played 8 rounds at nabisco and she failed to post single under par round there. I don't think creamer will ever be a factor at nabisco because bombers practically owned mission hills course.
************************

Thanks for some useful information.
It's nice when people provide facts.
It is very surprising information too.In the same time period, Wie had 5 under par rounds in her 8 rounds.
01/03/06 @ 10:39
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Paul W said:
Interesting comments from PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem:
"Most people recognize Michelle as having the physical skills to compete at this level," he said, "if her game matures as she matures."

**************************
Thanks Paul.
Finchem is merely stating facts. He doesn't need to try to say the right thing as Under Par suggests.
Everyone with golfing knowledge knows that she displayed the physical skills to compete. Finchem was merely stating the obvious.
01/03/06 @ 10:43
Comment from: Paul W [Visitor]
Norman said:
Anyway Michelle's driving was at 250 yards. This is way below normal for her. Add to that the altitude factor, and it was extremely short.
*****************
Maybe she has trouble dealing with high altitude. Lots of people do. Could help explain the bad round she had Sunday.
01/03/06 @ 10:53
Comment from: Paul F [Visitor]
To Norman & Paul W

I believe Wie did not use her driver much at the US Open. Giving the fact that the rough was high, the fairways narrow and the ball traveled farther at altitude, I believe she used a 3 or 5-wood and long irons on most of the holes requiring accuracy not distance off the tee. When she played with Laura Davies, Laura used her driver with little success. While Wie hit I believe 3 or 5 wood. By the way on one of the par fives I think Wie hit a 4-iron off the tee, a 6 or 7-iron second shot, and a wedge to the green.
01/03/06 @ 11:50
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Thanks Paul F, that explains it so.
01/03/06 @ 12:45
Comment from: Paul W [Visitor]
Thanks Paul F, makes me wonder how much MW's distance helps on LPGA courses if she can't use her driver. That said, her distance allows her to use irons on approach shots where others use fairway woods, which has to be a big help.
01/03/06 @ 13:11
Comment from: Asia_Guy [Visitor]
Well Paul her driving average distance using a mixture of irons, 3/5 woods along with her driver, would have been good enough to place her third in that category on the LPGA tour in 2005. If her statistics counted.

Michelle is one of the few top level women golfers to use a tour forged bladed iron of any brand. Most have converted to cavity back irons.

I remember when I played with blades the sweet spot was the size of a dime. Yet when you strike the sweet spot accurately, you gain more distance then a cavity back of the same loft.

The manufacturers have cheated slightly to let the consumer feel they still have the same distance by adjusting the loft of cavity back irons.

From The Golf Channel

This is what Michelle carried in her bag for the 2003 Kraft:

Driver TaylorMade 580 7.5°
4+ wood Callaway Golf Big Bertha
Irons (3-9) Titleist Forged 690 MB
Wedges Titleist Vokey Design 48°, 52°, 56° & 60°
Putter Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Stainless
Ball Titleist Pro V1x

This is what Michelle carried in her bag at the 2005 Samsung after signing the Nike contract:

Driver Nike SQ Tour
3 Wood Nike SQ 15 degree
Irons (2-PW) Nike Forged Blades
SW Nike Forged 56 degree
LW Nike Forged 60 degree
Putter Nike Oz Prototype
Ball Nike One Platinum




01/03/06 @ 13:52
Comment from: Asia_Guy [Visitor]
From The Golf Channel

This is what Annika carried for irons in her bag at the 2005 Samsung:

Irons (4-PW) Callaway Steelhead X-18

This is what Paula carried for irons in her bag at the 2005 Evian:

Irons (4-PW) TaylorMade rac LT

Both are cavity back irons and neither of them put a two or three iron in their bag.
01/03/06 @ 14:07
Comment from: Paul W [Visitor]
Thanks Asia_Guy. I was wondering if Wie used blades. I still play with blades, mostly because I'm too cheap to replace my 40 year old irons though I do avoid the 2 iron.

I've heard even may men have stopped using 2 and sometimes 3 irons, e.g. Singh, Furyk...
01/03/06 @ 14:40
Comment from: Asia_Guy [Visitor]
Paul W toss away those old blades and upgrade. When I hit fifty I started playing cavity back irons and what a difference.

Last year I picked up a set of TaylorMade rac OS2 irons (3-PW) steel stiff shafts and 52, 56, and 58 degree rac wedges. I already owned the R5 "D" 9.5 driver composite stiff shaft and R580 3 and 5 woods with steel stiff shafts and adding the irons completed the package nicely.

When it is windy I'll drop a rescue mid #2 in the bag.

You will earn the investment back when you start collecting your winnings after the round.

So Paul it is time to upgrade and discover the ultimate in shot shapers and BTW drop the handicap at least eight ticks.
01/04/06 @ 01:44
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Creamer at the Kraft Nabisco. She was a new pro when she played in 2005. She has improved greatly since then. I expect her to do better this year.

As far as Fincham is concerned, if he thought about Wie the way UNDER PAR does, he would not say so--but he also would not say what he did. If he did not believe what he said, could he not have just said nothing.
01/04/06 @ 15:40
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
No, Jim, Finchem was asked, and he had to make a comment because that's his JOB. An integral part of his role is to represent golf to the media and safeguard its image.
01/04/06 @ 17:58
Comment from: Ronnie [Visitor]
Creamer will probably win the Kraft Nabisco this year. Last year it was one of her first tournaments as a pro.
This year she has experience. Paula will win a major and probably 2. Annika will probably win the other 2.

Creamer will do the women's grand slam within the next 4 years. She has the talent and she is a winner.
01/04/06 @ 18:44
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
Ronnie,

Do you realize how precarious your predictions are? It's HIGHLY unlikely that Creamer will win two majors this year.
01/04/06 @ 18:58
Comment from: Boola Boss [Visitor]
Why don't anybody mention Michelle as a Major winner this year? TPP and Annika?

FYI, the professional oddsmakers have made Michelle 9 to 5 to win a Major this year and only 6-1 to win TWO Majors!

With those odds, it looks like she should be mentioned in any discussion about winning Majors!
01/05/06 @ 04:30
Comment from: birdie in every whole [Visitor]
My colleague, extremely under par, beseeched me to inject some sense into meandering world of golf blogs unlimited. It seems that poor fellow had imbibed one too may cream spiked Wild Turkey, a concoction wildly popular in better trailer parks everywhere. Enough of Creamer dominating PGA and LPGA, i will now avail myself to my predictions for Miss Wie. The Golden Child will handily win Sony Hawaiian Open by 9 shots, playing with left handed set of clubs. Upon winning the next tournament at Turtle Bay by 19 shots, birding the last 9 holes with tab ins, she will refocuse her energy into more challenging task, bringing the World Peace. She will succeessfully complete her task in three years, thereby becomming a Saint.
01/05/06 @ 07:26
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
6 to 1 that Wie will win TWO majors this year? That's a sucker bet if I've ever heard one.
01/05/06 @ 11:52
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Wie to win 1 major, is not a bad bet. I think she is more likely than Creamer, because Creamer hadn't really put in a very good performance at a major yet, except for the 3rd in the McDonald's LPGA Championship last year where she finished behind Annika Sorenstam, and Michelle Wie.

01/05/06 @ 15:02
Comment from: Under Par [Visitor]
I actually agree there Norman -- I think that it is highly likely, but I don't know about those odds.
01/05/06 @ 20:13
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
A 9 to 5 for Wie to win a Major(5 chances in 14) would just about correspond to 4 independent chances of 1 in 10 for each Major. That would yield about a 1 in 19 chance of multiple majors or an 18 to 1 bet. The 1 Major bet appears better.

The US Open would appear to be more difficult for Wie's game--that would make multiple majors harder. What would make multiple majors a more likely bet are two things. (1) We don't know how good she will be this year, and (2) Winning begets winning. If everything falls into place for Wie this year multiple majors are possible and that would makes the odds not too bad. I still like the 1 major bet better.
01/05/06 @ 21:23
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Wie's best shots on the LPGA are obviously the two Hawaii tournaments next month, which Annika will probably skip. Otherwise she will be going up against Annika, particularly in the Majors, and the two have pretty much the same strengths. If Annika repeats her performance in last year's Kraft she will win again, but a repeat of last year's LPGA Championship could leave her vulnerable to both an improved Wie and an improved Creamer.
01/05/06 @ 22:18
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Making the cut at the Sony could be just the boost in confidence that she would need for the Hawaii lpga tournaments.

Perhaps she could have her year end goals complete in February.

Then again, maybe that is a bit optimistic.
01/06/06 @ 10:01
Comment from: Greg Pinelli [Visitor]
Ron Mon......Excellent and thought provoking stuff...except for Under Par, who apparently had his last credible thought sometime in the nineties. Whether Wie or some other female up and comer wins a major (and Jim C. has some very realistic odds on this) in the future is open for debate...THAT future event, however, will take place and turns the worm as they say.
What a great professional golfing future we face......
01/08/06 @ 21:00
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
I think women will compete on the pga and that is difficult for some people to accept.
Change is difficult to accept.
01/09/06 @ 16:23
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
Check out my latest blog--it's a tribute to you all--http://www.travelgolf.com/blogs/ron.mon/2006/01/11/the_people_have_spoken_travelgolf_s_fan_
01/11/06 @ 16:51

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