Blueprint for Michelle Wie: Duramed Futures Tour
Today in Kentucky, three LPGA stars may have twinkled in a dynamic matchup. Kudos to Mindy Kim, who held off Vicky Hurst by one, the best player by a mile on the DFT this season, and Stacey Lewis by two. Lewis is the recent Arkansas graduate who led the US Open heading into Sunday. Kim and Hurst are assured of top ten finishes on the LPGA developmental tour and the 2009 tour cards that are bestowed on the lucky decagon. Lewis can avoid LPGA tour school by finishing in the top ten. Her seven grand payday on Sunday places her 55th after one event, only 20K from the top ten. Since most events pay $14000 to the winner, two wins in the next four events will send her to the big show. Given that Lewis is a hot commodity, she will also receive her share of LPGA exemptions. If she’s smart, she’ll use them during weeks that the DFT is off.
If Michelle, Bo, or Dad Wie are reading this blog, play the Futures Tour. If Nike says “No, it’s beneath us,” tell them to shove off to other waters. My guess is that Leadbetter, for all his bluster and bravado, would agree with me. In fact, most people in the stable world of sanity would board my boat on this one. We know that Wie cannot win on the PGA, Euro, Asian, Canadian or Nationwide tours. She cannot win on the Ladies American or European tours. Maybe she can win on the DFT and begin to build a portfolio that will lead her to grander things. In the meantime, the girl from Stanford can learn a lot from the Razorback from The Woodlands.
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In her one try on the LET in German May 29-June 1 she finished sixth 7 back of Amy Yang on an unfamilar course--which is exactly what Annika did in her own event this past weekend. One event with a sixth place finish hardly seems enough evidence to conclude a player cannot win. After the German Open Wie averaged 78.0 in 2 rounds of the US Women's Open. She is just off averaging 76.5 on the PGA. I think she is better now than when she finished sixth in Germany.
If you are right, and we know that Wie cannnot win on the LPGA or even the much weaker LET, what would be the point of Wie trying to qualify for the LPGA?
for her complete tournament record. The Futures tour will provide her with an opportunity to win and win some more, giving her the "respond to victory pressure" that she needs. What's one season when you're 19 years old?
If she sticks to her plan of attending Stanford and playing pro golf part-time, she should schedule the first three Duramed events in March of 2009.
No sensible person could possibly disagree with your assessment and proposal.
I made essentially the same proposal in the past. After all, many of the present LPGA stars, including Lorena, made their bones on the Futures' tour.
But you'll notice that Wie Warrior Jim C immediately took umbrage at your suggestion.
To these folks, and also, I fear, to Bubbles, her parents, and her handlers, entering tournaments on the Futures' tour would be tantamount to going to the minor leagues.
What these folks don't know is that many of the best in all sports sometimes need a return to the minors.
Even Yankee great Mickey Mantle was sent down to the minors when he missed a sign in his rookie season.
Your suggestion makes nothing but good sense, but don't expect it to become reality.
Alex USMC 1969-73
As long as Michelle is mentality on a different planet, there is no hope for her career. So, when is the PGA going to give her exemptions to the four majors? Evidently she thinks it is long overdue!
If you remember that Michelle NEVER reads "stuff" that is critical or suggestive about her or her associates. The term "phenom" has been burned into her brain and it will never go away. It is too bad that they do not take your advise and really create a champion. As long as Michelle's mindset is "I am going to do what I want to do when I want to do it" you can forget progress
I can't believe that someone (other than BJ) could think that Michelle Wie is on the right path for ANYTHING.
Seriously, what would be the HARM of playing on the Futures Tour? If she wins, she learns something about winning. If she loses, she learns something about herself.
MICHELLE WIE: I haven't really decided anything yet. I think I'm just going to right now I'm too involved with me playing in the summer to think about the future. I think planning what's going to happen next year or this fall is going to happen after this week.
Right now all I'm thinking about is how am I going to play good this week? How am I maybe going to, you know, possibly win this? I think the planning and whatnot will happen after this week in the offseason.
Q. Would you be willing to go to qualifying school if that's what it took?
MICHELLE WIE: I think, like I said, I'm not going to think about the future right now.
Politics is the only career Michelle should consider, she is a master of "flim flam."
There's no point in Michelle going on the Future's Tour. She'd only screw that up as well. She's a bit useless really, she can't do anything right at all.
Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel? Paula is doing vey well, but Morgan is struggling. Mogan's ranking of 19 is lower than the 17 she had just before her Kraft Nabisco win. She just missed the Ricoh cut. While I cannot realistically expect Michelle to outperform either Lorena or Paula this week--I do expect her to finish ahead of Morgan. And os course I do have hopes for a win.
> She hasn't "screwed" anything up. She has made mistakes and more importantly, the adults who were supposed to look out for her made mistakes.
Sorry Ron Mon, I take that back. I thought that she got disqualified from her last tournament. Silly me.
Oh wait, SHE DID. That's a screw up. She's learnt a lesson from this, HOPEFULLY. But fu**ng hell, why are the decisions made by "the adults" more important than the ones made by her? Are you on crack? I know she's young, I know she's probably used to people running around after her and taking care of everything, but she's an adult now, she has to learn to make decisions from now on.
> ..the adults who were supposed to look out for her made mistakes..her guidance has been shoddy.
Yes, maybe, but you do not know this for sure. For all you know, all the decisions that are made are made by HER. In reality, of course there are people in the background advising her and such, but at the end of the day, she is an adult who has the right to make decisions regarding her life and career. It would be unfair to blame "the adults" for even half the mistakes she has made - that's a remark I'd expect from Jim, but not from you. She's a big girl now, Ron, and Michelle, being an exceedingly big spoilt brat, is unlikely to do something she truly does not want to do.
> A bit useless, really? I'm convinced my game and yours would be more than a bit useless compared with hers.
Just a tongue-in-cheek remark, Ron; no need to take it seriously. Michelle is obviously a far better player than I'll ever be :-)
Joe Tepid, Wie had four birdies and an eagle in her first round at State Farm. The LPGA site does not record her second and third rounds, which is a shame, since they were played under tournament pressure. She had 67 or 68 in both of those, I believe, so it would certainly indicate 6 or so birdies (unless she was bogey-free.) She can make the birdies, no question. She has the game, as she showed during her lightning run a few years back. Is she a closer? Not yet. She's not even a signer. Goals for this week:
1...play all four rounds with a signed score card;
2...play all four rounds without a rules infraction;
3...play all four rounds without an etiquette infraction;
4...attend media room sessions without using quotes like "I'm playing well" and "I'm going to do what I want to do."
Michelle shot a 75 and is 9 strokes back of Ochoa and is being pressed to make the cut. I do not think she will make the cut and I believe that she really doesn't care if she makes the cut or not. Her decision to go or not to go to Q school in September has already been decided, in my opinion. She will skip Q school and use Stanford as an excuse like she did last year. I am surprised that Nike, Sony and Omega haven't put pressure on the Wie Team to put up or shut up. Maybe they have behind the scenes. The Wie saga continues.
Michelle will be 19 on October 11th, FYI. Now, since I bought $5,000 worth of Michelle memorabilia, is anyone going to buy it from me? Did I just say that?
Pro golf should try to market golfers as something other than automotons. Putting the scorecard responsibility on the player and mocking a player for a late signing does nothing to help promote the sport.
The scorecards should be checked, signed by a tournament rep--and then the player given a receipt. To anyone but a hardcore golfer it was the LPGA that looked ridiculous in this matter. It actually enhances the image of golf that a player could be so excited about a couple of good rounds that she would forget to sign her card.
Except for stealing Juli Inkster's caddy, it seems to me that all the ettiquette infractions have been the other way, directed at Wie not from her. All those nasty comments directed at Wie often disquised as supposedly helpful advice. You don't hear Wie making a lot of comments about what other golfers should do. That is my idea of ettiquette.
Her media appearances are fine. Most golfers don't have to face media questioning at 18 after a poor round. Nothing she has done in a media session is nearly as outrageous as your lying about her age so you can claim she should have the responsibility of a 19 year old when she is only 18. Or was that just an honest mistake on your part.
By the way, I like the five-step method you have set forth. It seems like a sound winning technique, if of course she can pull it off.
Joe, maybe Nike, Sony et. al. have been putting pressure on Wie to do well. But don't forget that:
1) She has contracts with them lasting a set amount of time; and
2) Even though she's doing crap and sometimes the thought of dropping her might cross the sponsors' minds, they daren't, since she does show promise as a player.
You're probably right, Joe. She doesn't give a sh*t about qualifying for next year. Her family probably want her to get her degree. She's an intelligent girl, so I understand this. But, in continuing at Stanford next year, Michelle continues to half-ass both her academic and golf career.
Joe and Dave, it occurs to me that I'm done writing about her for a while because her contracts and her agents will always get her spots in tournaments. The family is financially set, so they don't care if and when she gets her LPGA card. So unless she knocks over a bank or makes some amazing decisions in winning this week or some other week, I'm done with Wie for 2008. She'll be back when Tiger returns.
> The scorecards should be checked, signed by a tournament rep--and then the player given a receipt. To anyone but a hardcore golfer it was the LPGA that looked ridiculous in this matter. It actually enhances the image of golf that a player could be so excited about a couple of good rounds that she would forget to sign her card.
This is absolutely PRICELESS. I've heard it all now. After first reading this paragraph, I was doubled up in laughter. Players should be given a receipt? What, a piece of paper saying that their scorecard has been checked and signed by an LPGA official? It's as if you think the LPGA players are retards or something. Such a system is unnecessary at both my home course and at an LPGA event. Dear god. What have you been smoking, Jim?
In your defense, Jim, I must agree with you on one point. Michelle's image has indeed been enhanced by her not signing her scorecard. Oh, wait. No it hasn't. Stop talking sh*t, Jim.
> Except for stealing Juli Inkster's caddy, it seems to me that all the ettiquette infractions have been the other way, directed at Wie not from her. All those nasty comments directed at Wie often disquised as supposedly helpful advice. You don't hear Wie making a lot of comments about what other golfers should do. That is my idea of ettiquette.
What a player says to the media has nothing to do with "golf etiquette." It is in fact called "giving your opinion on a matter when asked for it."
> Her media appearances are fine. Most golfers don't have to face media questioning at 18 after a poor round. Nothing she has done in a media session is nearly as outrageous as your lying about her age so you can claim she should have the responsibility of a 19 year old when she is only 18. Or was that just an honest mistake on your part.
I HOPE this is a joke, Jim. But knowing you, you're probably being deadly serious.
Concerning your obvious reference to Earl Woods, he was not in fact a US Marine.
He was assigned in various capacities to the Special Forces of the US Army, commonly called the "Green Berets."
Alex USMC 1969-73
Yeah, you are correct that the Birdie did in fact win the U.S.Open with a miracle sand shot that even the Tiger couldn't have pulled off. Like they say...a win is a win.
Today, while following our girl play, I indeed got so excited that I peed myself a little. Quite embarrassing, obviously, but little did my coworkers know that it was for our Michelle, which makes it somewhat OK, I guess.
That double bogey on hole 6 was just bad luck. We will just have to shoot a lot of birdies tomorrow and everything will be just fine fine!!
You know, I am now even more confident that Michelle will have her first win this Sunday! For some of us, bad luck and unfair treatments in the memory bank can be great learning experiences, motivators, and confidence builders. That's why we all shout: Go Wiesy go!!
Wie will cherish and remember this historic moment forever!
Well, on to round two! Like I said, I can hardly contain myself! This is it, this is finally it! What was predicted many years ago, is finally happening! Michelle Wie is dominating women's professional golf.
Wiehoo! Michelle wins! Wiehoo! First win! Wiehoo! Michelle dominates!
Michelle after shooting a 70 in the CWO second round. She is only 11 shots back of Ochoa and is probably dreaming of shooting 62, 62 over the weekend. Australian unknown Hull shot a course record 65 with one bogey.
The Wie saga continues. I think she will finish around the 40 mark. Goodbye Stanford and hello Q School?
Michelle in Wonderland.
Go Wiesy, Go!
How can this be so? Heck, MICHELLE WIE hasn't even had time to grow up yet.
I'm not sure what you meant by "grow up"; this phrase could be used for various different meanings. But anyway, Michelle played her first LPGA event, Takefuji Classic, in 2002. She was 12 years old; she is now ALMOST 19 (happy now, Jim?).
Paula Creamer is now 22 (just over three years older than Michelle). She was finding success on the national junior and amateur circuits at about the time Michelle started fannying around on the PGA Tour, missing cuts left, right and centre. Paula did get a mention on The Golf Channel occasionally, but was definitely seen as an inferior player to Michelle.
So, although I agree with you that neither of these women have really "grown up" yet, they both have been around for a while now, and what I said isn't a particuarly strange thing to say.
I haven't been too impressed with Wie so far this week. Creamer is four shots ahead of her, but still quite a way behind Ochoa.
You'll have to cut our friend, Jim C, a little slack.
You see, he believed, and apparently still believes, that Bubbles could and would revolutionize the sport of golf.
According to Jim C and his band of merry men, Bubbles by this time would have won many LPGA events as well as competing and possibly even winning on the PGA tour. His predictions are all contained in the archives of these blogs. They make for some hilarious reading.
Now, most of those who formerly were staunch allies of Jim C in their worship of Bubbles have seen the light, albeit begrudgingly, and have abandoned the good ship Wie.
Not so Jim C. He is determined to remain at the helm of that foundering vessel until it sinks beneath the waves.
Alex USMC 1969-73
At one time, I too thought that nobody could possibly be as gullible as Jim C was pretending to be. But now, I think he is dead serious.
My theory is this: The mystique surrounding Bubbles was based almost wholely on her innate ability as a very young teenager to drive the golf ball a long way.
That ability was due to her unusually tall, willowy physique.
Guys like those on the the Golf Channel---Chamblee and Rolfing come readily to mind-- actively perpetuated the theory that her game couldn't help but improve exponentially, and would lead to her domination of the women's game by now.
But that hasn't happened.
In fact, since her formerly willowy frame has morphed into one more resembling a spreading chestnut tree, her golf game now is something like that of the village blacksmith of whom Longfellow wrote.
She is a choker.
She feels extreme anxiety in competition, and, the greater her chances, the more burdensome the weight becomes. Thus, her whole career has centered around avoidance of situations wherein she's the favorite, ones without built-in excuses. When she was a junior playing in women's events, well, she was only a kid playing with adults. In the PGA, she is only a girl. Now she is only a student, a part-time player who has to worry about studies and can't play numerous events "in a row." Thus, how can you expect her to do well?
The problem is that as she ages and matures, the excuses become less credible and effective.
I firmly believe that this, and not some high regard for academics, explains her devotion to the pursuit of higher education. I suspect that she is deathly afraid of complete commitment to the game. Were she to go that road, she might be too paralyzed to perform at all.
Don't be surprised if, in 20 years, Bubbles is working on her fourth Ph.D. It may be in sports psychology, and her thesis may focus on coping methods and self-delusion.
1. I feel fine. I just didn't play well today.
2. I actually hit a lot of good shots. I just never connected. Obviously I'm very disappointed.
In part 2, Annika sounded a lot like Michelle Wie after a round like her openning 75. She also sounded like she was telling people her comment in part 1 only referred to her score--she wasn't really playing badly. She just had bad luck.
Players need to look at poor rounds in ways that will not undermine their confidence.
There is also a gender issue here. Men are not allowed to whine or cry, while women are not allowed to use profanity. How should you respond to a bad round if you are not allowed to say "My play s**ked"? You let it out of your system by whining a litle since you aren't allowed to swear.
Give it up. You're like the proverbial Japanese soldier who has been stranded on a deserted island for decades and still thinks WWII is being waged in 1977. There is no equivalence between what Bubbles disgorges and Sorenstam said. The latter ceded that she didn't play well, an admission that I have yet to hear pass Bubbles' lips. Moreover, even if Sorenstam were in the same boat, it would simply mean she was in error, too.
As for characterizing play, how about "My play stank"? Or you could say that you played terribly, awfully or horribly, couldn't you? There are more than one million words in the English language, so it is possible to express the given sentiment without descending into un-ladylike speech.
As for Bubbles, her problem is one of modern times. She has been so instilled with the positive-thinking myth that she is conditioned to deny unpleasant realities. Her cup isn't just half full, it's overflowing even when it's bone dry.
Judge...wow, do you have her pegged to the tee!
The recently-completed Canadian Women's Open was a microcosm of exactly what you described as Bubbles' not being able to stand pressure.
She did score fairly well, three under for four rounds. What exactly did this get her? Not a win, nor a top five, nor even a top ten. It got her something like a tie for twelfth or thirteenth.
And bear in mind, this was her very BEST showing on the LPGA tour this year.
She started the tournament nine strokes out of first, and therefore she was never in contention and also had any pressure relieved.
If Bubbles were to enter the upcoming "Q" school tournament, I believe she would have an excellent chance to advance, and an even better chance of earning her card.
If she doesn't take this course of action, that would pretty well indicate that she is not interested in serious competition.
Do you agree, Jim C?
Alex USMC 1969-73
Wie is T12 her best finish since the 2006 Evian Masters.
It will be interesting to see if Bubbles goes the tour-school route. I can't make any hard and fast predictions, but I wouldn't be surprised if she did not. After all, I think she likes her current status, which is attended by relatively low expectations and a built-in excuse. Moreover, while I do think she'd get her card, what if -- just what if -- she failed to do so? I suspect that just such a fear may lie in her heart. For she is the great Bubbles, and such inconsequential accomplishments are a lock for her.
Or are they?
Remember, it's a situation wherein the pressure would probably be the greatest she has ever faced. She would be the ultimate favorite, and anything less than complete domination would be a strike against her. And what if she failed? It would be the ultimate humiliation and would greatly tarnish her brand. I mean, is a girl who can't even capture a tour card worthy of any kind of contract?
Actually, the more I write, the more unlikely it seems that she would take such a chance. We'll see.
After her +3 in the 1st round, Wie was in a 20 way tie for 87th. She needed to pass quite a naumber of players in order to make the cut, and a missed cut would have been embarassing.
Put it this way. It would have been much worse for Wie to do a Yani Tseng type collapse in the final round than it would have been for her to miss the cut. But it would have been worse for Wie to miss the cut than it was for Tseng to blow the final round. After all Tseng already has won a Major this year so big deal if she blows the Canadian. Pak started the day ahead of the winner. Ochoa started tied with Hull. But they have won plenty of times before so again this is no big deal. If it is no big deal there is no great pressure.
Q School. There is no rule that says you have to become an LPGA member before you are 20. If she can't fit Q School into her college schedule she may just be stuck playing on sponsor's exemptions next year. We could hardly ask her put golf ahead of her education, culd we?
“I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in myself again this year,” Wie said.
“Being pain-free in the later part of the year, I started feeling confident. From May on, it's getting better and better and now in the offseason, I know what to work on for next year.”
I have been hearing this song and dance for too many years!
"I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in myself again this year," Wie said.
"Being pain-free in in the later part of the year, I started feeling confident. From May on, it's getting better and better and now in the off season, I know what to work on for 2029.
Michelle WILL NOT attend Q-school in September!
I specifically stated that the mystique surrounding Bubbles was based practically entirely on her driving ability, you know the 300 yard thing.
Sure, she has a fair all-around game, but that's about it, fair.
I can't remember any of the announcers on the Golf Channel gushing over Bubbles' amazing putting, pitching, or sand play.
One thing I do remember is Kelly Tilghman wondering aloud to an interviewee when he thought that Bubbles would win the Women's grand slam.
And Chamblee saying with a straight face that Bubbles might soon be winning seven, eight, or ten times a year on the LPGA tour.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Ochoa and Pettersen were each =4 on the 5s at the Canadian.
Wie shot a double on the first 5 which seems to have really soured her round. I suspect Wie will be more agressive on the 5s in the future when she is not limited to 6 exemptions per year and doesn't feel the same pressure to do well every time out.
I'm sure Wie doesn't particularly want to help Bivens out of a tight spot and give her a kind of victory by going to Q School--but I suspect that she will go. But it is her call.
But not finishing in the top ten and not earning enough money for LPGA membership is no too bad either.
Two years -- no win, no top-five finish, no top-ten finish in any LPGA tournament...
...quite a 'phenom' we have here.
Put another way, Judge: does a player whose best finish in two years is T-12 deserve all the adulation, press coverage, and obscene amounts of money that Bubbles does indeed receive?
I think we all know the answer (except Jim C, of course).
"The Dreamland Kid"
How do you expect to beat seasoned players by hitting 3 irons off the tee on par 4 holes??
You really shouldn't refer to Bubbles as a Stanford student.
She hasn't attended a class at that college for six months, and she only completed two quarters of her freshman year, so she is not a second year student in any case.
At most prestigious universities, if a student fails to enroll for the following quarter, he effectively has dropped out, and will need to re-enroll and be evaluated as to his standing.
There are no sponsor's exemptions at schools like Stanford.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Why has she just pis*ed her first year up the wall? Why isn't she taking anything seriously anymore?
No one should be at all surprised at Bubbles' reluctance to take either her golf game or her education seriously.
To strive to excel at golf or in college requires WORK, and that is one thing that is anathema to Bubbles.
And who can really blame her?
I believe that the Greek philosper Plato offered that "Necessity is the mother of invention," the meaning is obvious. If one NEEDS to accomplish something, he will try as mightily as he can to accomplish it.
In Bubbles' case, there is no necessity. If the numbers are anywhere near correct, she has been given in endorsement money probably twenty times that which she will ever earn on the golf course.
Any ardor to excel has been dampened, and if she ever had any "fire in her belly," it has all but been extinguished.
She has often said that her goal on the LPGA tour is to "have fun." Nothing about the hard work it might take to succeed.
She has been imbued with the myth that she is something very special since before her teen years began. She believes this myth. Getting a person so enamored of their own imagined supremity to labor diligently is practically impossible. Why do you suppose that she so dislikes practice?
Bubbles is in the same mode of thought as the thousands of "trust fund babies" who firmly believe that any sort of work is beneath them.
Alex USMC 1969-73
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