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125 comments

Comment from: Jud [Visitor]
Give me Ochoa and Wie, I'll give you the field this week.

Annika is going to have to be on her game to get it done. It must be really hard for her to get up for events any longer.
06/08/06 @ 01:21
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
You're right again Shanks, if Michelle brings her putter to the course this week she has a good chance of winning. If she forgets it at home again she will still finish in the top five but no better.
06/08/06 @ 03:25
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
i agree with jud, it's either ochoa or wie
06/08/06 @ 04:26
Comment from: Canny [Visitor]
Its surely not a matter of "EITHER" or "OR". No doubts its going to be Wie and who else.
06/08/06 @ 06:59
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
I pick Wie to win--but I will go with Annika for second. In 3 rounds last week Annika finished T2 at -13 while Ochoa struggled with a T42 at -3. Add to that the fact that Annika is 3 time defending champion--and I make Annika my second pick. (Karrie Webb was a T13 at -7).
06/08/06 @ 07:19
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Thanks Shanks for those interesting observations from playing the course.

It certainly sounds like it will suit Wie or an in form Sorenstam.

I will make one prediction. If Sorenstam doesn't win it, Wie will.
If Sorenstam comes back to her best, it will be very difficult for Wie, but I don't think anyone else including Ochoa, can stay with these 2 players.
06/08/06 @ 07:49
Comment from: Ford [Visitor]
I'm really going to go out on a limb here and predict that Michelle Wie will finish in the top 5, but not win. Why such confidence? Because that's what she always does, high finishes, but no wins. You guys make it sound like Michelle is a lock for this championship---haven't you been watching her career, she's a lock for 3rd.
06/08/06 @ 08:52
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
3 out of 4 LPGA Majors last year were pretty much over before the final round. I predict that Michelle Wie will win in a similar fashion. But if Michelle Wie needs a birdie on the final hole just to make a playoff, then I would not expect her to win.
06/08/06 @ 10:08
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
Can't argue with Ford, aghast at anyone who picks Sorenstam (who must have personal issues going on to be so far off her game) and likely to place Ochoa in the same category as Wie...does not have it yet under pressure in a major.
06/08/06 @ 10:27
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Boy, it doesn't take much for you Wie Warriors to re-kindle your hopes for Bubbles. She putts at Canoe Brook like a spastic Stevie Wonder and gets thoroughly out-classed by a mediocre field, and you jokers think those are reasons enough to think that the Lanky One will be a runaway winner in an LPGA major. With you Wie-wee's hope truly does spring eternal.
06/08/06 @ 11:08
Comment from: sue [Visitor]
alex, you need to have a perspective on the whole michelle wie situation and not just see things in black and white (winning vs not winning). you don't give her any credit for accomplishing what she did at the sectional. beating out over half of the men there is nothing to sneeze at. no, she didn't make the cut this time, but if you just want to talk about her making the cut, then what are your excuses for not giving her credit for making the cut againt men in south korea a month ago? what are tim mcdonald's excuses? i would be ok with your criticisms of michelle if you also gave her credit where it is due....all this indiscriminate bashing from you , tim mcdonald, and cris baldwin(who criticisized her for wearing dangling earrings, sparkly watches, not listening to rush limbaugh - basically for being a normal teenager) is getting tiring. if you guys don't want to loose anymore credibility, why don't you try writing something positive about her along with all your negative comments? do you at least acknowledge that she is a talented player for her age?
06/08/06 @ 13:25
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Sue, When you learn the proper use of capitals, I might be inclined to pay some attention to your posts. Please notice, I said I might. Just for my edification, don't they teach the use of capital letters in British schools?
06/08/06 @ 14:13
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Sue, When you learn the proper use of capitals, I might be inclined to pay some attention to your posts. Please notice, I said I might. Just for my edification, don't they teach the use of capital letters in British schools?
06/08/06 @ 14:19
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
"Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://Alex
Sue, When you learn the proper use of capitals, I might be inclined to pay some attention to your posts. Please notice, I said I might. Just for my edification, don't they teach the use of capital letters in British schools?"

Alex what an a-hole you can be..it is obvious her ShIfT key is not working.

For everybody else let it be known that BJ will not allow Greg to read greens with Michelle so she can grow as a player. Papasan Mecha Soooo.
06/08/06 @ 14:23
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Alex,
Was it really necessary to post that comment twice. Was it really that important.
06/08/06 @ 14:50
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Johnny N, I wanted to delete the second one, but I guess the monitor hasn't noticed. O-P, if you are correct that her shift key is inoperable, I stand corrected and I apologize. The use of small case letters only, ala e.e. cummings is an affectation quite common in Great Britain. What irony that sue asks us Wie skeptics about our excuses! sue, it's the Wie Warriors who have the endless string of excuses.
06/08/06 @ 15:10
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
MW is 2 over after 7 holes; umm. Maybe we'll have to hold the coronation folks.
06/08/06 @ 15:35
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Breaking News! Bubbles double bogey on five! Heads explode in Wie Hive! Wie Warriors put on suicide watch as Bubbles falls NINE shots behind leader!
06/08/06 @ 15:49
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
I saw this coming a mile ago. There is no way that her putting deficiencies will be solved overnight. And I say this again, the putting problems have nothing to do with misreading greens.
06/08/06 @ 16:19
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
More breaking news! Bubbles rallies! Three late birdies on pitty-pat course put her ONLY seven shots out after first round! Wie Warriors euphoric!
06/08/06 @ 18:46
Comment from: putt4par [Visitor]
Nope, I don't think she'll win this one either. Not gonna be Ochoa either. Look for a surprise winner, maybe even a surprise american winner. But until Michelle fixes her putting, she is only going to fluke a win.
Just look out though when it all comes together.

The korean team also make a habit of doing late runs to the top and winning.
06/08/06 @ 19:55
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
I'd say she is 5 shots off the lead, because Nicole Castrale isn't going to win.

By the way, Michelle is tied with Creamer and Sorenstam at -1, and both of those players playing in the morning session when the scoring was generally much better.

Morgan Pressel, the one with the Amateur experience, you know her, the one who knows how to close the deal.
Yah that's her. She 35 putted her way to a +2.
By the way Morgan 3 putted the last 3 holes.
Michelle had no 3 putts.

So maybe people should start to worry about Morgan's putter too.

For Alex, when 1 round is played, that means there are 3 rounds to be played.
06/08/06 @ 20:00
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
I used to have a grudge against Morgan, but lately she is being more polite and mature. She is learning to give her opinions frankly and objectively, without getting herself too emotionally involved. I think that's what threw many folks off: pouting and complaining hey why don't you give me some recognition? She's now coming to realize that MW attracts folks beyond golf.

In regards to her performance, Morgan is way much better putter than Michelle. She'll rebound nicely I am sure.
06/09/06 @ 01:28
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
"LPGA Major Championship Trophy will likely be presented to Michelle Wie in 2006"????????


Don't you have to "WIN" something in the LPGA to be awarded a Championship?
06/09/06 @ 05:06
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Originally, I said hole No. 12 was one of the toughest on the back nine. Typo. No. 12 is a testy little par 3 with water on the right side of the green and mounds & bunkers on the left. It should have been No. 13, a very difficult par 4 with a blind tee shot into a dogleg sloping to the right where a cavernous dropoff awaits. Most will be hitting a mid to long iron into a very undulating green.

I made the correction to my blog above. Sorry about that.

They did have some rain early in the week there which took a bit of fire out of the greens. Combined with a nearly windless day, that is why scoring was so good Thursday.
06/09/06 @ 07:56
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
John D, For the Wie-wee's, it is not necessary for Bubbles to actually win anything for her to retain their adulation. Oh, it would be nice, but not mandatory at all. On another thread, I predicted that Bubbles would shoot a 68 today on that putt-putt course and be three strokes out of tne lead after two rounds. What I'd really enjoy seeing would be a spectacular comeback by the Lanky One and have her win the tournament. Watching the Wie Warriors go bananas would be a hoot.
06/09/06 @ 08:44
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Alex, just to set the record straight about Bulle Rock, that "putt-putt course" .... the men's rating from the white tees is 71.5 with a slope of 136. And it is set up 200 yards longer than that for this Major tournament.

I can only presume that you have not played there. Otherwise, you would not make such a ridiculous statement.
06/09/06 @ 08:53
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, That was just a little hyperbole to rattle the cages of the Wie Warriors. Last week I was in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial. Compared to Muirfield, Bulle Rock is a putt-putt course. Muirfield is 900+ tards longer than the layout that the ladies are playing at Havre de Grace. Muirfield didn't have any 490 yard par fives.
06/09/06 @ 09:05
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
edit: yards
06/09/06 @ 09:07
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Since the LPGA Championship is a women's tournament, there is no need for the comparison.

PS - Bulle Rock from the tips is as long as Muirfield.
06/09/06 @ 09:37
Comment from: Ford [Visitor]
Shanks, I made a special trip to play Bulle Rock in April while I was visiting friends outside of Baltimore. The course is indeed beautiful and from the tips(nearly 7400 yards, 147 Slope) I must admit it was more than this 6 handicapper could handle. We did however, go back later in the week and play from the Blue tees(6800 yards) and the course became much more manageable. In fact it was relatively tame, I shot 76 and made no putts outside of 8 feet(sounds like someone we know). From where the women are playing it this week, modified white tees(less then 6600 yards) the course should indeed play like a pitch and putt for the likes of Michelle Wie.
06/09/06 @ 10:42
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
I've got a hypothetical question: if MW wins this week, would she get as much press as he got Monday at the qualifiers? I believe there were about 150 media credentials issued there. It looks much less at the McDonalds LPGA.
So far Delasin and MW are -4 after 12. Alex is on target.
06/09/06 @ 11:00
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Ford, you are underestimating how well you played that day. Your 6 handicap will plummet after you post that round. Since the rating is 74.0 & slope is 139 from the blues, that equates to a 1.6 you'll be posting!

If this nearly 6,600 yard course plays like a pitch-n-putt for Wie, then the tour is in trouble when her putting improves because it is as long as any course they play.
06/09/06 @ 11:07
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
No question that Wie would get less press for winning the LPGA Championship than for playing in the U.S. Open. The world just gobbles up this male/female thing.
06/09/06 @ 11:14
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
By the way Alex, one of the par 5's is 596 yards.
That is not pitch and putt for Michelle.
06/09/06 @ 11:57
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
I would have to agree with Alex & Ford on hole No. 8 at Bulle Rock. There is no reason to have that particular hole playing so short. It is not a risk/reward type set up. Since it could play as long as 545 yards, I personally hate to see it shorter.
06/09/06 @ 12:16
Comment from: SM [Visitor]
Alex, including Tiger.
06/09/06 @ 12:44
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Can I pick 'em or what!? Second round score for Michelle Wie: 68!
06/09/06 @ 13:06
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Putting together four good rounds at a Major tournament is a tough challenge for any golfer, on any course, of any length.

By the third round the pressure will really mount for those who have not breathed the rarified air surrounding the top of a leaderboard at a Major.

In 2005 Michelle shot rounds of 69, 71, 71 and 69 to come up from behind and finish second, just three shots from Annika. Annika shot 68, 67, 69 and 73 to finish off the win.

Michelle has already bettered her 05 performance by a stroke in the first two rounds. If she can continue to put together sub-par rounds she will place herself in a position to win again.

The Wolfman came up with his prediction today:

McDonald's LPGA Championship: Mi Hyun Kim. Or Hee-Won Han. Actually, if you can find a McSouthKorean field bet for this one, jump on it.

As much as I hate to admit it I agree with him on this one. The Koreans have proved they can handle the pressure of big tournaments. A Korean woman is the most stubborn creature on the face of our Planet, which is a quality needed to finish out a Major tournament.

Wolfman forgot to add one McSouthKorean to his list who is scoring ahead of last year in the same Major tournament.


06/09/06 @ 13:37
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
This rain delay could really benefit the afternoon players by softening up the golf course even more. The wind is forecast to pick up throughout the morning to 15-25 mph by noon tomorrow. Once the course dries out, it will get very difficult out there.
06/09/06 @ 14:45
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Thunderstorms are predicted for this evening and tomorrow afternoon Shanks. This could goof up the entire weekend.

The players out on the course may have a long day ahead of them on Saturday. Sort of like a U.S. Open sectional I would say.
06/09/06 @ 15:00
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Shanks,
Are you saying that they could go out after a rain delay and shoot really good scores.

Should it not make it tougher instead of easier?

If it's softer, won't it play longer. How about the rough. It's pretty difficult rough. How will that be affected?

I think you are saying it would be easier to hold the greens when it is softer, but maybe you can tell me, what it'll do to the rough stuff.
06/09/06 @ 15:02
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Michelle's stats for the first two rounds:

Driving Distance Average: 270.25 (Averaged from a high of over 296 yesterday.)

Fairways Hit: 64 percent

Greens in Regulation: 81 percent

Putts per round: 30

The course will play much longer when wet so players will be driving to their carry distance. Fortunately for Michelle she places it well down the fairway on the fly.

I don't know about you all, but when I have to take constant relief during a round it really messes with my tempo.

06/09/06 @ 15:15
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Johnny N.,

Although a course will play longer when wet, the fairways effectively become wider because there isn't much bounce & roll, and the ball will stop on the greens where they hit it. So unless they are spraying it all over the golf course, it actually becomes easier for professionals - especially for those players who hit it longer in the air. Annika is probably on her knees right now, praying to get back out there today.
06/09/06 @ 15:27
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Rhe course the ladies are playing measures 6486 yards. To my way of thinking, that's pitch and putt for anyone who calls himself/herself a professional. With soft conditions and holding greens, the afternoon players should take it apart if play continues.
06/09/06 @ 16:11
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Alex, perhaps you should be informed as to what a pitch and putt course is.

It is where you take a pitching wedge, and hit it at the hole, and then if you land on the reachable green, you putt the ball.

Are you able to reach the par 5, 596 yarded with your pitching wedge. Or how about some of the holes which are even 400 yards, can you reach those with your wedge?

By the way, that course is one of the longer ladies courses.

Annika is absolutely a professional and would be very insulted to hear you calling one of the longer courses she plays, pitch and putt course.

Actually on 2nd thoughts Annika wouldn't care what you would think in any way.
06/09/06 @ 16:35
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Alex the "foot" wedge Master.
06/09/06 @ 19:35
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Johnny N, Thanks for the tutorial on what constitutes a "pitch and putt" course. I would never have thought that's what it meant. Last week I was a spectator at a professional tournament where the course measured 7337 yards. I just figured that these ladies, who are consummate pros, should be able to easily carve up a layout 850 yards less in length. But since they can't, that probably explains why Annika herself said that she wanted no more of the PGA tour after her one and only try in 2003. Now, as far as Bubbles goes, she is not discouraged by her failure to make a cut on any if her exemptions. Nosiree! She'll be trying when BJ and BO are grandparents.
06/09/06 @ 19:35
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Guys and gals,
Something is rotten in the State of the LPGA. Three more board members resigned recently bringing that to a total of seven who have fled after Bivens came over; and today several players 'withdrew' from their second round at the McDonald's: Jimin Kang, Jennifer Rosales, Danielle Ammacapanes, Kim Williams, Becky Morgan, etc. What's going on?
06/09/06 @ 20:23
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Guys and gals,
Something is rotten in the State of the LPGA. Three more board members resigned recently bringing that to a total of seven who have fled after Bivens came over; and today several players 'withdrew' from their second round at the McDonald's: Jimin Kang, Jennifer Rosales, Danielle Ammacapanes, Kim Williams, Becky Morgan, etc. What's going on?

They sucked maybe and wanted to save some agony from missing the cut?

They are fair weather professional golfers?

Rosales quits consistently so that is nothing new. She is PMS personified.

Danielle had to get back to her real job and tend bar in Tucson.

Becky broke a nail or something.

Kang is the only questionable, maybe she is sick or injured. She carded a respectable 69 (the number for lovers) yesterday.

Don't worry too much about the LPGA board members who left. They are getting pretty long in the tooth and wanted to avoid dying in the office. Time for some new blood to decide what to do about the Wie Factor.

06/09/06 @ 21:20
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
I am sure it had to do with something about the Wie factor. So far they haven't figured out how to deal with it. If I were the head honcho of the LPGA, I would say to Team Wie; 'ok, you can play whatever tournaments you want in the LPGA without being constrained about the number of events, or exemptions. etc. However, we need you to support the LPGA by doing the following: wear the LPGA logo in your shirt, bag; do promotional videos as a spokesperson supporting the LPGA; and do a couple of charity events representing the LPGA.' I think that's a win-win situation. LPGA wins, players win and Team Wie wins.
Ok, am I hired now?
06/09/06 @ 21:32
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
The only logo authorized on a team Wie shirt is a Nike slash. Sony has rights to the golf bag logo. BMW, Mercedes and Porche are bidding for the umbrella so that is not an option.

The only thing left is possibly a pair of LPGA long, dangly and spakling earrings I imagine? Unless Cartier is bidding on her lobes.

Hey congrats hc2 you're hired with a one rider; you're now fired as Bivens consolidates her power and eliminates the LPGA board (one member at a time).

An example of corporate sepuka, done with honor and style.
06/10/06 @ 00:27
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
err: apakling = sparkling. Submitted for review of the spelling policeman Alex. Once a cop...always a cop.
06/10/06 @ 00:30
Comment from: Military_Golfer [Visitor]
Is the "6 Handicaper" and spelling bee champion bold enough to post his "official" USGA handicap card??? I will go out on a limb and say that with a 6 handicap, he will be hard pressed to beat Wie on any course given pitch and putt or not. ;-))
06/10/06 @ 05:49
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Military_Golfer, I will assume that your post was an attempt at some sort of humor. If that is the case, my advice is "Don't quit your day job." If you are just another Wie-wee adept in the misuse of non sequiturs, you should probably quit trying since the other Wie Warriors have you out-classed. If you are serious, by all means continue. You may be in the running for the Alan Cup.
06/10/06 @ 06:29
Comment from: Mak [Visitor]
So all the best Wie!
.........lets wait and watch now.
06/10/06 @ 07:27
Comment from: BILLY [Visitor]
I can only presume that Alex was treated poorly by his mother as a child. What else would explain his tragic feelings about women?
06/10/06 @ 08:37
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Allright! Morgan is coming up, 3 under total. I can't believe I'm cheering for her now. Last year, I thought she was a brat.
06/10/06 @ 10:12
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Hey Shanks,

3rd Round Grouping:

Start Time : 2:39 PM
Annika Sorenstam
Se Ri Pak
Karrie Webb

Now that is what I call a group of golfers.
06/10/06 @ 12:56
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
I have been a bit busy to watch too much of the lpga championship, but just looking at the leaderboard.
Yes Wie has a chance.
But there are many other top knotch pros who are in a similar situation.

Just look at the group I mentioned of Pak, Webb and Sorenstam. Then there is Ochoa, Pressel, Miyazato, Kerr.

Most of the big names are -4 or better.
06/10/06 @ 13:00
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Winds will be 20 to 25 mph this afternoon at the Derby. Advantage long hitters who can keep the ball down. Things should get very interesting around 5 pm local when the winds are due to drop back down. Michelle will get to speak Korean with her partners this afternoon to keep her relaxed.

Maybe Wolfman was onto something with his McSouthKorean post and prediction.
06/10/06 @ 13:32
Comment from: BILLY [Visitor]
Nice call, Shanks. The cream (including Wie) is rising to the top.
06/10/06 @ 14:11
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Alex, was earlier discussing the lack of length on the lpga championship course, and in particular the par 5 lengths.

Here are the lengths at the par 5s:
596 yards, 555, 493, 481.

Here are the lengths over at the pga's Barclay classic, par 5s:
575 yards, 526, 505.

Average lpga: 531.25 yards
Average pga: 535.33 yards.

So Alex, how about that. The lpga championship par 5's are on average just 4 yards short of the coinciding pga tournament.

The longest par 5 on the lpga course is 21 yards longer than the longest at the Barclay Classic.

Shanks, you sort of half-sided with Alex, or did you, on the length issue?
06/10/06 @ 14:17
Comment from: Wayne [Visitor]
The oddsmakers had Annika at -174 on her head-to-head match against Michelle. But, Annika seems to be wilting whenever Michelle is in the same event she's in. I think she senses that a new alpha female is about to be coronated.

As for Morgan -- "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing."
06/10/06 @ 15:38
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Norman,
have you been keeping track of the world cup?
06/11/06 @ 00:11
Comment from: Military_Golfer [Visitor]
Alex, please respond or otherwise defend your position which is seriously threatened by Johnny N's comment regarding par 5 lengths. Sleep on it if you have to. I am worried people will start talking!

On another note, there you go again Wie, as "average" a golfer as you are, you keep positioning yourself for a sunday run at majors playing just a handful of tourneys a year.

Wie, I bet you can't carry Alex's jock strap on a golf course. He bombs 300 yard drives and has a 6 handicap er, er, I mean he plays 6 under, er, er . Wie, let me get back to you on that one. He is supposed to be posting his card, er, soon, I think. See he knows so much about golf, and swings and putts! He's our best!
06/11/06 @ 05:59
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
There is only so much length you can squeeze out of an old course. Even so, the par 71 Barclay's course is 243 yards longer than the 6596 yard par 72 course for the LPGA.
06/11/06 @ 11:54
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
The top of the leaderboard is where the air is the thinnest and it is difficult to catch a breath.

Just ask Dorothy Delasin (the first and second round leader) who just finished her fourth round in a tie with Morgan Pressel at plus nine. Golf is a cruel and unforgiving game.
06/11/06 @ 14:23
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Military_Golfer I think you have Alex confused with Ford. I recall Alex plays around 14 rounds a year and is a 22 handicapper (maybe I have that reversed). Ford is the one who carries a 6 handicap while using unlimited Mulligans and his foot wedge during a round.

The only time I show my card to anyone is when entering a USGA sanctioned tournament if asked to present it. The official has a right to see the card at entry. I've never been asked.

Golf is a game of honor and self policing. If Ford says he is a six it should be good enough for you.
06/11/06 @ 14:35
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Awesome final round for the old ladies: Karrie, Annika and Se ri.
I'm so happy for Se Ri; I've never seen her smiling so much, and her English has improved a lot. She is starting to sound like a laid back Southern Californian girl. Cool!

As for Michelle, it's the same old story: 35 putts on the final round is not gonna do it. She relies too heavily on her shotmaking; that any mishits here and there exposes her weakness in putting. Sorry kid, but you'll need to wait a few more years before you can grab one of those big shiny trophies.
06/11/06 @ 19:51
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
hc2,

Poor analysis.
Michelle's putting was pretty good through the last round.

Her mistakes were more with her wedges and short irons.

If you want to call anyone for putting, howwabout Pat Hurst. There's someone who needs putting practice.
06/11/06 @ 20:14
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Every tournament this year Michelle has been a missed putt on the last hole away from a playoff. You can ask why she fell short of a victory 3 times and try to find out what is wrong--or you can ask why she was able to do so well in every tournament, and ask what is right. I expected her to win, and was wrong--but I was not far off. I believe her first win may be in a tournament where things are not so close at the end. She is certsinly capable of winning by more than a whisker.

06/11/06 @ 22:08
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]
Dottie Pepper has a good cystal ball. At the start of Sunday, she said watch out for Seri Pak and Karrie Webb. She knows what she is talkin about. Not like others' wild predictions...
06/11/06 @ 22:21
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Was my prediction so wild? Michelle finished 2 strokes back, and Annika 3 shots back. I was off the mark--but not that far.
06/11/06 @ 22:58
Comment from: george [Visitor]
** Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Was my prediction so wild? Michelle finished 2 strokes back, and Annika 3 shots back. I was off the mark--but not that far. **

Close, meet horseshoes.

How about your prediction of 2005? Coulthard: Michelle Wie would win "at least two" majors in 2006.

Sounds like Wie needs to go 2-for-2 here pretty soon to make your increasingly outlandish fan-boy prediction come true.

In the real world, it would be a historic accomplishment for Wie to win even one women's major. Hell, even win one LPGA tournament. Or a tournament.

I guess by comparison, your latest prediction for this week was tame.

-George
06/12/06 @ 00:01
Comment from: george [Visitor]
Norman:
*Michelle's putting was pretty good through the last round.*

Huh? Wie had 126 putts, which works out to 31.5 putts per round, right? I read on this site today that the LPGA average is 29.5/round. Somebody wrote that Wie had 35 putts on Sunday, although I couldn't verify if that was correct.

Sounds like you would have been accurate, for a change, had you stated "Wie's putting was mediocre." Unless you think worse than average is "pretty good."

-George
06/12/06 @ 00:31
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Ok kids,
here are the raw statistics in putting totals for the contenders in the four rounds of the McDonald's LPGA:

Se Ri Pak: 114
Karrie Webb: 115
Lorena Ochoa: 116
Christie Kerr: 116
Annika Sorenstam: 116
Mi Hyun Kim:116
Ai Miyazato: 117
Shi Hyun Ahn:117
Pat Hurst: 118
Morgan Pressel: 122
Paula Creamer: 124
Reilley Rankin:124
Michelle Wie: 126

Any questions?
06/12/06 @ 01:54
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
I have just three words for Michelle: HIRE DAVE PELZ.
06/12/06 @ 02:34
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
The problem is MW and her gang are delusional and in self denial: 'I putted solidly' she said.
06/12/06 @ 03:06
Comment from: Wayne [Visitor]
Is there a doctor in the house?
06/12/06 @ 03:08
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
It is pretty apparent where the problem is as I have stated here before, if Michelle can get her putts down to 28 per round she will win and win consistently. No one else can measure up to her tee to green performance.

Putts per round average: 31.5

Fairways hit percentage: 87.5

Greens in regulation percent: 81

Putting average per green in regulation: 1.75

06/12/06 @ 03:48
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
To put it another way, Michelle spotted the field 14 strokes with her putting performance.

She could have been in a playoff in this event by cutting the .5 off her average.

Se Ri and Karrie simply putted their way into the final playoff.

Putting is a mysterious thing, just ask Vijay or Sergio.
06/12/06 @ 03:54
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Nostradamus of the golf blogs wrote:

Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
You're right again Shanks, if Michelle brings her putter to the course this week she has a good chance of winning. If she forgets it at home again she will still finish in the top five but no better.

A prophecy fulfilled. Bring the putter to the Women's U.S. Open Michelle, don't forget it back in the room.
06/12/06 @ 03:57
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
One Putt
MW averaged even higher putts per round at this year's Kraft Nabisco. I heard the golf commentarist say she averaged 32 on that one; and he commented : "It's hard to win any tournament when you are giving away 2.5-3 shots per round to the field."

So, it's not the first time this has been pointed out. The interesting thing is Team Wie thinks it's a shotmaking problem which should be adressed with Leadbetter rather than someone like Pelz.
06/12/06 @ 04:08
Comment from: JR [Visitor]
Johnny N... the ultra long par 5 for the Ladies this week is very misleading... yes, it is 596 yard. However, it was downhill all the way. Whereas when the men have holes of the same or greater length, they're usually flat or uphill. This not taking anything away from MW... 2 great shots (Driver, 5wood) to reach it in 2 on Sunday. I just think you're trying to compare based soley on distance and that would not do many courses justice.
06/12/06 @ 05:37
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
That total putts statistic is slightly misleading. Anyone who hits more greens in regulation will typically have more putts per round because they are putting from farther away than those who miss the green, chip the ball close to the hole and one-putt for par from short distance.

Also, Wie typically hits the green on at least half of the par 5s in two shots and 2-putts for birdie from the 30-50' range. Those who hit wedge into the green will be putting from close range more times than not.

And you can forget that 3-putt on 18 since she had to make sure the ball was going at least fast enough to get to the hole.

I am not saying Wie is the next Ben Crenshaw but her putting looked pretty solid throughout the final round. She hit some really good putts that just didn't go in. That's golf.

I'm still comfortable with my prediction for a Major win for Wie this year.
06/12/06 @ 08:25
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
GEORGE

As I recall from last year, you described yourself as a Creamer fan first, a Pressel fan second--but also a Wie fan since she is an American. Why does it seem like you are happy that the American Wie lost to golfers who were not American?
06/12/06 @ 08:26
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
Shanks has said it already.

When you hit a high number of greens in regulation, you are likely to face longer putts.
When someone just misses a green and chips they are more likely to have a short chip, and then a tap in.

Also, putting stats that just give a total number of putts are often misleading.
It gives absolutely no indication of where the putts are from.

Surely people agree that a two putt from 70 feet is a good result.
Michelle had many lag putts throughout the tournament.
06/12/06 @ 09:55
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
My barometer for putts per round is to compare long hitters with other long hitters. Vijay averaged 27.5 putts per round at this week's Barclays. Phil had 29.3. Yes,they also reached the par 5 in two and therefore had long lag putts; yet MW averaged 31.5 per round.

MW if she is to do anything needs to lower the putts per round to 29.9 in the LPGA; and 28.5 to play in the PGA.

If any of you taped all four rounds, perhaps you could track how many putts from 6-14 feet MW made. Assuming anything under six is a give me. I don't recall she made many.
06/12/06 @ 10:47
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
hc2--Michelle Wie is already doing a great deal on the LPGA. But if you meaa winning on the LPGA, a one putt on the final hole would have put her in a playoff with an average of 31.0 putts per round. An average of 30 putts per round would have given her a 4 shot win in a Major--and you say that is not good enough, she has to be under 30 putts per round.
06/12/06 @ 11:08
Comment from: george [Visitor]

Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]

**Putting is a mysterious thing, just ask Vijay or Sergio.**

You probably don't want to create a parallel between Michelle and Sergio, right? Ouch!

(or maybe you do)

-George
06/12/06 @ 11:42
Comment from: Ford [Visitor]
It's always nice to come back to this blog after a wonderful weekend with the family to discuss, yet again why Michelle didn't win this week.

Just as the Sun will always rise, it is a certainty that Michelle will be in position to win and do just enough to lose. I don't have the time or energy to debate the reasons behind this today, but let's just say it's becoming a safe bet that Michelle will finish top 5 and never win. A testiment to her consistency, but also a comment on her lack of a killer instinct.

Thanks to OnePutt for defending my handicapp and the game of golf in general. Oneputt and I agree on precious little, but we do agree on the importance of honor in the game of golf. Military Golfer, if I wanted to lie and impress everybody on this site, surely I would go a little lower than a 6 handicap. Sorry to dissapoint you, but I do currently carry a 5.1 index(home course 6), in the past calender year I have been as high as a 9 and as low as a 4 and no I do not use a foot wedge or roll the ball in the fairway, or do any other trick to try to lower my score. As far as challenging Michelle Wie, you must have me confused with a crazy person, It was never my intention to compare my game with Michelle's, simply to give some insight on the course that she was going to be playing last week. There is no course in the world on which I would give myself a chance to compete against Michelle Wie on...actually strike that I would feel pretty good at the local putt-putt minature golf course against her, but I think most people would these days.
06/12/06 @ 11:44
Comment from: george [Visitor]
Comment from: Shanks [Member] ·

**I'm still comfortable with my prediction for a Major win for Wie this year. **

At least, Shanks, you're in far better shape than Coulthard, who needs Michelle to go 2 for 2 in the final two majors this season for his prediction to come true.

-George
06/12/06 @ 11:46
Comment from: george [Visitor]
Comment from: Ford [Visitor]

** Just as the Sun will always rise, it is a certainty that Michelle will be in position to win and do just enough to lose. **

I disagree. The Wie Fanatics and folks such as Chris Baldwin always make this fundamental mistake about Wie:

Baldwin believes (as proved by his blog that started all of this, when he said Paula Creamer is now and would always be better than Michelle Wie) that Wie is going to be a complete LPGA flop. There's no evidence of that. Just like there was no evidence that Phil Mickelson would never win a major tourney. Just as there is no evidence that...

... Michelle Wie is far superior to all LPGA players, as the Wie Fanatics state or imply with their drooling devotion and fawning posts. There is no evidence that she will always dominate that tour. Just like people have gone back and forth at different times about Tiger.

Golf is like baseball. It is cruel, unforgiving, exhiliarting, thrilling, and unpredictable, all in one game, one season, one day, one hour, one minute. We've seen it over and over again. Jack Nicklaus is waiting confidently while Lee Trevino or Tom Watson are sweating over a devlish shot off the green in the British Open. Until suddenly, the ball goes in the cup from downtown. Or Morgan Pressel is waiting on the fairway with quiet anticipation, until Birdie Kim makes one from nowhere.

The fact is, like baseball, you really do see something different every game, every round.

Anybody who arrogantly predicts what Michelle Wie is going to accomplish or fail to do is a fool.

-George
06/12/06 @ 11:58
Comment from: george [Visitor]
Coulthard:
**As I recall from last year, you described yourself as a Creamer fan first, a Pressel fan second--but also a Wie fan since she is an American. Why does it seem like you are happy that the American Wie lost to golfers who were not American? **

Jim, don't you get it after a year? I hope Michelle wins. It would be a shock if Wie never won an LPGA tournament.

But when Wie doesn't win, it's entertaining to watch you Wie Fanatics melt down and make excuses for her and then follow that up with unsupported predictions of historic success.

Haven't you figured out that tracking these and other blogs is not about Michelle Wie. It's about you and the other Michelle Moonbats, Wie Warriors, or other appropriate moniker.

-George
06/12/06 @ 12:04
Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]

Don't worry about George--he's just a little unhinged since his girl Pressel finished in 68th place!

The amateur champ rocked it to a +9 finish!!


06/12/06 @ 12:30
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Shanks, Norman, Jim and even George are right about what I stated and the stats support it all the way.

Michelle has a good stroke on the putter, but she is definately lacking feel and speed control.

06/12/06 @ 13:21
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
For people who are obsessed with putting stats and number of putts per round.

At the Fields Open, Michelle averaged 28.67 putts per round, and did not win.

Did someone not say she needed to get it under 30?
That is well under 30.

The thing is that Seon_Hwa_Lee averaged 24 putts per round, and Meena Lee averaged 26.33 putts per round.

Different courses have different greens so hc2 I think that shows that you shouldn't be comparing her stats against an individual pga tournament.

By the way, if you are wondering why Seon_Hwa_Lee had so little putts, compared to Michelle, perhaps it is because Michelle hit 14 more green in regulation that she did.
06/12/06 @ 14:21
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
FORD

I would feel pretty good betting on Michelle Wie against almost anyone at the local putt putt minature golf course. Compared to the average person Michelle Wie is an absolutely superb putter. Her 1.75 putts per greens in regulation for the McDonald's LPGA is outstanding--but it is possible that you are an even better putter with serious weaknesses in other parts of your game.
06/12/06 @ 14:28
Comment from: George [Visitor]
One-Putt

**Michelle has a good stroke on the putter, but she is definately lacking feel and speed control.**

So Michelle has a "good stroke" but isn't sure how hard to hit her putts? Yet she has a "good stroke?"

{shakes head)

That's kind of like Norman deluding himself that Michelle putted very well through the four rounds -- yet averaged 31.5 putts per round, compared with the LPGA average of 29.5.

-George
06/12/06 @ 14:51
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
George,
You are obsessed with the 31.5 putts per round figure.

Perhaps, you can answer how she putted when averaging 28.67 putts per round at the Fields Open?

Well?
06/12/06 @ 14:59
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
**Michelle has a good stroke on the putter, but she is definately lacking feel and speed control.**

You are daydreaming.
Putters with good strokes in the LPGA are Miyazato, Rosie Jones, Christie Kerr and now Se Ri Pak. They all have a flowing,smooth back and through motion.
MW so called stroke is technically a 'shove' with little follow through which explains why the putts have too much pace and lip out/horse shoe. It took me five years to fix a similar flaw; and now I've never putted better in my life. My putts die at the hole rather than breeze past.

06/12/06 @ 15:11
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
I did a little research to put this putts-per-round argument in perspective. I even did it using current PGA Tour stats so that Michelle Wie praise or bias is eliminated from the discussion.

There is a direct correlation of missing greens and fewer putts. The 6 players with the lowest putts-per-round average on the PGA Tour also rank 72nd (Verplank), 119th, 145th, 150th, 183rd & 185th in Greens in Regulation.

Conversely, there is also a direct correlation of hitting greens in regulation and taking more putts. The 6 players with the highest GIR % also rank 32nd (Mickelson), 121st, 128th, 148th, 157th & 164th in putts-per-round.

So let's do away with the putts per round argument as it has little bearing on the merits of one's stroke. In fact, even the method of the stroke has little bearing on how good a putter is. Take a look at Nicklaus, Palmer and Player if you want to see ugly but incredibly effective putting stokes.
06/12/06 @ 15:52
Comment from: George [Visitor]
** Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
George, You are obsessed with the 31.5 putts per round figure.**

Norman, you seem to believe that 31.5 is "putting well." Yet in the real world, that's worse than the LPGA average. Can you explain now Michelle putted well under those circumstances?

Plus, over time, Norman, you have posted a gazillion stats in feeble attempts to rationalize Michelle's winless ways, and you call *me* obsessed with stats?

I brought it up because if, as you and others say, Michelle allegedly drives great, reportedly hits great approach shots, then the only thing that's left is the short game, and perhaps specifically putting, to explain her lack of wins.

-George
06/12/06 @ 16:34
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
George,
I said you were obsessed with that particular stat.

Since you asked the question:
****Norman, you seem to believe that 31.5 is "putting well." Yet in the real world, that's worse than the LPGA average. Can you explain now Michelle putted well under those circumstances?
******************************

George,
Just read Shanks post above your own. That answers your question.
Putts per round is a virtually worthless stat.

There is another stat that is better, it is called putts per green in regulation, but the lpga hasn't provided those for Michelle's rounds.

Putts per green in regulation, means that those who miss the green, arn't given an unfair advantage for missing the green.

If you can find Michelle's putts per green in regulation, and compare that to other players, that would be a good measure of putting quality.
06/12/06 @ 16:46
Comment from: Military_Golfer [Visitor]
Putts, putts, putts!

Don't forget that Karrie Web could have won in regulation, but missed a short birdie putt in reg at 17. Se Ri Pak aslo missed a putt which dropped her to 8 under at the 18th forcing a playoff. Wie missed that (gasp!) 3 footer on 16. Annika or Tiger would have slammed that door shut right there!

I will say this though, putting comes with experience. Notice when it comes to averages for the tournament the yung'uns are at the bottom of the heap! The list almost duplicates how they finished (Thx 4 the list hc2)

Se Ri Pak: 114
Karrie Webb: 115
Lorena Ochoa: 116
Christie Kerr: 116
Annika Sorenstam: 116
Mi Hyun Kim:116
Ai Miyazato: 117
Shi Hyun Ahn:117
Pat Hurst: 118
Morgan Pressel: 122
Paula Creamer: 124
Reilley Rankin:124
Michelle Wie: 126

As much as I am a fanatic fan of MW, girl IT'S YOUR PUTTING!!! If you did not miss that 30" putt on 16 or the 18" putt at the 17th on saturday, you would have been in the playoff at the least. You had many putts inside 10 feet all week and they did not drop.

Wie fans, lets not kid ourselves. MW has got to improve her putting. No more missing 3 ft putts!

CASE CLOSED !!!!
06/12/06 @ 18:56
Comment from: George [Visitor]
Norman, you seem to be ducking the question -- yet again.

As I asked you...

***
I brought it up because if, as you and others say, Michelle allegedly drives great, reportedly hits great approach shots, then the only thing that's left is the short game, and perhaps specifically putting, to explain her lack of wins.
***

If you're right -- for once -- are not the short game and the putting the only mechanical deficiences left? (Let's set aside Michelle's possible mental freezing up in crunch time, aka choking.)

BTW, Norman, your comments in Travel Golf regarding the recently concluded LPGA tournament and Michelle's putting in it are only the latest reminder of how you're full of horse manure.

You claim Michelle Wie putted "well" "through four rounds." So skeptics point out that her putts per round, based on total putts, were 31.5, which is worse than the average LPGA-er who does it at 29.5 putts per round.

Then you say, putts per round are meaningless.

But then you admit you don't actually have any other stats to back up your own claims about Wie's putting !!!!

I at least have some comparable measure to judge Wie's putting. It appears to be worse-than-average. Her inferior putting this weekend would appear to be one reasonable explanation for her ongoing lack of wins. Also recall the U.S. Open meltdown.

Is it not so that many close tournaments, including majors, are often won with a great chip or a great putt? Wie has yet to make the one great chip, that one great putt, to give her a victory.

Go ahead and use some other putting metric if that's a better security blanket for you.

But at least have the integrity to actually have something concrete before you dump on a differing approach.

-George
06/12/06 @ 19:13
Comment from: Norman [Visitor]
George,

I think Shanks explained the putting statistics very well above.
If you aren't capable of understanding them, then that is just your problem.

I'll try to explain it as simply as possible:
- those players who hit a high number of greens in regulation have higher total numbers of putts per round.

Shanks gave you the pga stats to prove it.
Those with low greens in regulation hit much fewer putts on average.

It should be easy to understand that if miss a green, you likely have a chip, and you should get that close.

If you make a green in regulation, you will have hit your approach shot from quite a distance and will be likely to have a much longer putt.

As regards not having other stats, the lpga don't provide the putts per greens in regulation stats for non-lpga members.

*********
Okay George, this is taking real pity on you, by explaining it at it's most simple.

Suppose a player missed every green in regulation just. Then that player on each green chips the ball to about 2 feet from the cup, and knocks each 2 foot putt into the hole.

That player will have a total of 18 putts for the round. Is that player a great player, because they have such a great putts per round stat?

Hopefully that is easy enough for you to get it.
06/12/06 @ 20:41
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
**Putts per round is a virtually worthless stat.*****

Baloney!
The list of total putts per round is not irrelevant at all. The list happens to show someone who had 114 putts (the lowest of all contenders); and guess what? That player (Se Ri Pak) ended up going home with some silverware and a big check.Also, the second best total putts (115) Kerrie Webb happens to have made it to the playoffs. A coincidence? I think not.
06/12/06 @ 21:14
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
NORMAN

I think you are going to have to admit defeat on the issue of putts per round. I looked at the putts per round for Pak and Wie and was able to come up with a formula for predicting a player's overall score.

Letting P be the total putts, we get a final score of 261 + (P/6). This is exact for Pak and Wie. Rounding to nearest whole number this is also exact for Webb. The results are nearly as impressive for Morgan Pressel. The formula predicted that Pressel would be 2/3 of a stroke ahead of Michelle Wie which has to be considered quite close to the 16 strokes behind Wie that Pressel actually finished. In every one of these cases the error is less than one stroke for each of the 18 holes on the golf course.
06/12/06 @ 22:19
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
CORRECTION The formula was even better than I thought. When Wie dropped to -6 it mean that Morgan Pressel was only 15 strokes behind, and so our formula was only off by 15 and 2/3 strokes.
06/12/06 @ 22:23
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Michelle's putting mechanics are just fine and should allow her to make many more putts than she does. Her only putting issue is with choosing her speed. The greens at Canoe Brook were running at 12 or a little under and at the McDonald's they were far slower. Go figure she might have a speed adjustment problem.

This may be the best argument for her to stick to one tour or the other and stop jumping back and forth.
06/13/06 @ 07:27
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
One Putt

Michelle may not need to stick to one tour completely--but right now it is probably too much for her to do a 36 hole qualifier for the men on Monday, and then win a Major Championship for the women starting Thursday. Her biggest putting problem seemed to have been on the first day.

Even so she was in the hunt on Sunday. But until she posts an LPGA win, the pressure to score her first victory can make things more difficult in the final round--unless she has a Sunday cushion. I expect her first win to be in a tournament where she goes Sunday with a lead.
06/13/06 @ 08:08
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
What I believe I saw on Sunday is that Wie putted well all day, which is the first time I can say that for a final round when she has really been in the hunt. This is a major step forward for her. She burned a lot of lips on her misses but the stroke looked solid. Even on that 5-footer for par on No. 16, she lipped out on the high side. However, she did not putt well in every round.

Wie's problem - if you want to call it that - is that her putting is not at the level of her swing, which is off the charts. But I do see improvement and that is not good news for the rest of the LPGA.
06/13/06 @ 08:26
Comment from: george [Visitor]
Norm, Shanks.

Do either one of you have any evidence to back up your comment that Wie "putted well"?

Wie "burned a lot of lips" with the tournament on the line.
Is that putting well? Did Mickelson "putt well" in majors prior to the first Masters he won? Did Greg Norman "putt well" in that major he blew?

And Norm ... when you try to do that condescending tone routine (which is a staple for virtually every post you make) at least try to get your grammar right, kind of how when you proved your ignorance by not even knowing the definition of "bested."
*Okay George, this is taking real pity on you, by explaining it at it's most simple.*

It's "its", not "it's", Norm.

So back to substance, Norm.

Don't forget that YOU claimed that Michelle Wie putted "well" "through the four rounds."

However, YOU have failed to come up with any metric to back up yet another dumb statement from you.

YOU are the one who made the statement. YOU are the one who says others are using an "irrelevant" metric.

If you want to ditch putts per round, then do so to your heart's content. If you have something else that's better, then use it to prove that Michelle "putted well" as you claim.

-George

06/13/06 @ 10:15
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
MW mechanics are not good at all, even on Sunday. As I said, hers is a shove not a stroke. This means that the ball goes in only if the hole happens to get in the way. Shoved putts lead to too much pace and thus cause lip outs, horse shoes.

Good putts die at the cup which allows putts that burn the edge to have a chance to go in. Crenshaw talked about it extensively in his instructional video. Bobby Jones also talked of a flowing pendulum stroke on that same video. MW's putting doesn't have those characteristics.

You folks are either wishful thinkers or blind.
06/13/06 @ 10:23
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Goerge, you're going way off line, talking about Norman blowing a 6 shot lead one day. That has no relevance here. As a good player, are you telling me that you have never been putting well but not making very many? I find that hard to believe.

hc2, there are many ways to make a putt. Crenshaw is a fabulous die-at-the-hole putter. Tom Watson was a fabulous bang-it-in putter. Whose career would you rather have?
06/13/06 @ 10:34
Comment from: george [Visitor]
And for the record, I do hope Michelle Wie wins that first LPGA event.

Wie has all the talent she needs, at least off the tee and in the fairway. I still say there is an open question about how well Wie can putt. And others see weakness in the pitching game.

Either way, Wie must prove she has the brains and mental toughness to win. And the only way she can prove that is to win. She has to find some way to step on the back of everybody else's neck, including the golf course. The killer instinct is cruel yet crucial.

My guess is the odds are stacked against a Wie LPGA win unless she plays regularly on the LPGA. It's not impossible, the odds are just agaisnt her.

And regular play probably won't be allowed until after she's 18, as I understand the current rules.

Until Wie wins, the skepticism will remain.

(And the sanity of the Wie Warriors will continue to totter on the brink. Some have clearly gone over the edge already with their hyper sensitive name calling and bitterness.)

Bottom line: Wie may actually be playing better in 2006 than 2005 -- may be -- but does not seem to be playing well enough to really have a shot at winning.

In 2005, the pattern for Wie seemed to be to play herself out of contention in the earlier rounds and then have a very good 4th round, once the pressure was off.

The one time (U.S. Open) that Wie was in contention, she blew up in round 4.

This year, Wie generally does not seem out of contention going into the final round, then seems to stumble at one or more key points in the latter stages of the 4th round.

Wie is Mickelson-like, prior to that first Masters win.

The results are the same. No wins.

The pattern for Wie's losses this year seems different.

-George
06/13/06 @ 10:37
Comment from: george [Visitor]
** Comment from: Shanks [Member] · http://www.travelgolf.com/blogs/shanks
Goerge, you're going way off line, talking about Norman blowing a 6 shot lead one day. That has no relevance here. As a good player, are you telling me that you have never been putting well but not making very many? I find that hard to believe. **

Then stick to the subject, Shanks. I expect incoherence from Norman, but I expect better from you.

You say Wie putted well. Back it up, other than your "feelings" that Wie "burned a lot of lips."

Some of us have some evidence that backs us up. Putts per round. If you don't like that one, fine. Come up with one that works.

It's on you, because you made the statement. We skeptics did our part.

-George
06/13/06 @ 10:44
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
GEORGE NORMAN SHANKS

Shortly after the tournament ended I remember seeing more complete stats than what are now listed on the LPGA site.

I remember seeing 1.75 putts per hole in regulation--and One Putt gives this number earlier in the post, along with 87.5% fairways hit and 81% greens in regulation.

1.75 putts per gren in regulation--three players tied for the LPGA lead last year with 1.75, and this year that would tie a player for fourth behind Seon Hwa Lee's 1.71.

That sounds like evidence to me that Michelle Wie putted well.
06/13/06 @ 10:53
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
The problem with using stats on Michelle Wie is that the LPGA does not list her in their statistics since she is a non-member. So I am reduced to talking about what I saw. I'm no fanatic and didn't keep a diary of every little thing. But I did watch most of the tournament coverage, even the bonus coverage early Sunday since the Seniors got washed out.

As some of the others who post here will tell you, I have been critical of Wie coming down the stretch. So I watch for little things like weak putts and poor decision-making, anything that might betray the nerves. I saw none of that this past Sunday. I saw a handful of solid birdie putts that just missed, I saw solid strokes on the 2 par misses at 10 and 16, I saw 2 good long range 2-putts for birdie on 8 and 11, I saw her make a difficult downhill 30-footer for birdie on 13 (toughest hole on the course) and I saw her make a nice 6-footer for an up & in birdie on 15. I also saw good decisions on club selection on the back nine, not trying to force it too much. Oddly enough, it was her swing that gave her the most trouble Sunday, missing 3 greens with 9 iron or wedge.

As my previous posts clearly lay it out, putts per round is not a good indicator. Putts per green in regulation is better, but even that can be misleading. Players who hit it closer clearly have an advantage but players who hit par 5s in 2 have a disadvantage as they are typically putting from very long distance on such a hole.

Here is the statistic you should look at when deciding if a player is a good putter or not - scoring average. In my experience, bad putters don't score well, on average.

06/13/06 @ 12:03
Comment from: hc2 [Visitor]
Here is a columnist who followed Wie around on Sunday, and who is not too enthused about Wie's putting:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-sp.steele12jun12,0,7234269.column?coll=bal-home-columnists
06/13/06 @ 12:38
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
David Steele is a mainstream sportswriter, not a golf specialist, who covered a local event. I think the title of the article fits. "No putts about it, Wie has a hole in her game." The article seems to be just as incisive as the title.

06/13/06 @ 16:22
Comment from: George [Visitor]
***Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
David Steele is a mainstream sportswriter, not a golf specialist, who covered a local event. I think the title of the article fits. "No putts about it, Wie has a hole in her game." The article seems to be just as incisive as the title.
***

Hey, Jim, so if it's NOT the putting, why don't you set us straight. Sounds like any time somebody points to a weakness in Michelle's game, people rush to say that's not really a weakness.

So since it looks as if Norm realizes he dumb he was to say Michelle "putted well" without anything to back up that statement, maybe you can set us all straight.

What happened? Why did Michelle lose?

But at least Steele followed Wie around. So he knows how many putts she took, how far they were, how she drove, approached, how her short game was going, how many fairways she found, greens in regulation, etc.

That's more than what apparently others have as they blather on about how we shouldn't use this or that metric -- yet have zilch to back up their blatherings about how Wie "putted well."

At least Shanks gave a summary of his recollections.

Heck, it doesn't really matter. There was one winner and a bunch of also-rans. In the real world, that's probably the stat that matters most.

Those who lost simply didn't play well enough often enough, whether it was driving, approaches, short game, chips, putts, mental game, or some combination thereof.

-George
06/14/06 @ 17:02
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
GEORGE

In case you didn't notice, the title was a horrible play on words, with putt in place of but.

Steele seemed to think that Michelle Wie's lip out par putt on 16 was her second worst shot of the tournament. It was probably her most costly mistake--but no one can get through 72 holes with only one shot worst than a short lip out putt.

Steele also described this as Michelle Wie's best shot at winning a chanpionship--but it is fairly clear that it waas the Kraft Nabisco where she had an even better shot.

06/14/06 @ 20:00

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