Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Michelle Wie Actually Signs Her Scorecard!

I've had a lot of my friends asking me about Michelle Wie after her recent scorecard debacle on the LPGA Tour. I decided to hold off until now, as I was actually sitting in the scoring trailer with Michelle last week at the PGA TOUR's Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

Michelle was playing in her eighth PGA TOUR event, and after an opening 1-over par 73, everyone was abuzz about her making the cut. She came into my scoring area after the round, and after checking her hole-by-hole numbers and handing me the card, she proclaimed with a big smile, "Look, I actually signed my scorecard!"

She obviously was poking fun at herself, so I played along. "Good for you, Michelle! That's awesome!" I responded, and she laughed along with the other players in her group.

That moment told me a lot about Michelle, that despite all of the controversy and criticism surrounding her lately, she keeps a sense of humility and playfulness. There's a ton of pressure on that girl, and she does a great job maintaining her composure. I've dealt with Michelle at all of her PGA TOUR appearances, and each time she has been nothing but soft-spoken and kind.

That being said, I seriously doubted she was going to make the cut, even after her respectable score on Thursday. I didn't watch her round, but I spoke with her playing partners later and both agreed she was scrambling like crazy. Granted, she was playing in a stiff afternoon wind during round one, but she only had 24 total putts and yet still shot over par. That meant she needed to play MUCH better on Friday morning and post a number in the red just to make the cut. She hung in there for a little while the next day, but eventually crashed through the thin ice and made some big numbers on her way to an 80.

I know that Michelle's presence at a men's event is big time news for most, but I feel it tarnishes her reputation as a legitimate pro golfer and probably erodes her confidence, as well. She needs to play with the women, and start winning tournaments...period. I mean, if the appeal of women playing in PGA TOUR events is just to see if they can sneak under the cut line, then let's put some proven champions out there. Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen or Brittany Lincicome all come to mind as big-hitting ladies who actually have professional victories. Let's give them a shot. Michelle's had her chances, and she's 0 for 8.

I'm rooting for Michelle to do great things on the LPGA, mainly because she's too nice of a person to go down in history as a mismanaged underachiever. She's a great golfer, and as long as she keeps playing against the ladies, she'll start writing a new chapter for herself soon enough.

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9 Comments:

Blogger The Constructivist said...

I've argued this was actually a tune-up for the pressure of a make-or-break Canadian Women's Open next week (she needs to make over. She needs to either win or place second or third to get and stay among the top 80 of the LPGA money list. My junior golf friend Moira Dunn is sitting at #80 right now, with just under $110K. With 6 full-field events to go, and several players likely to make the Asian swing who are in that under-$150K danger zone right now, we could see the highest total for a #80 in LPGA history.

If she doesn't do well enough at the CWO, she's run out of exemptions and missed her chance to get into the required 6 Futures Tour events, so the other reason it wasn't a terrible decision to play Reno-Tahoe is that the pressure-cooker of Q-School will seem a lot easier to handle after what she went through the last couple of weeks.

I agree completely with yu that we should be seeing other women golfers playing against the men. Lincicome can't play her way out of a paper bag this season, for some reason. So I'd suggest Jee Young Lee and Ya Ni Tseng in her stead. Oh, and Se Ri Pak got a top-5 finish against the men in an Asian tournament awhile back, but her game isn't there right now, either.

After all the criticism Wie has taken, though, do you really see anyone but Ochoa willing to give it a shot?

August 5, 2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger The Constructivist said...

Tseng, btw, beat Wie in the 2004 WAPL, and Annika just mentioned she wouldn't be surprised to see her at #1 in the world within 4 years. I profile her and other top young women's golfers who deserve a lot more attention than Wie over at Mostly Harmless.

August 5, 2008 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Case...would Michele Wie beat Philly Dog?

August 6, 2008 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Zane said...

MW would lose her cool in a match after she witnessed Philly Dog's first donky kick.

Personaly, I had respect for Wie, up until the point she signed a $10mm contract with Nike, and then decided she wanted to go to school and only play a few tournaments. If you are going to sign for the big bucks, you better be ready to committ to a high stress life.

August 6, 2008 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Zane, I'm ready to committ to a high stress life....

August 6, 2008 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Zane said...

Bob,

I'm ready to committ as well...But Nike apparently isn't willing to offer $10mm just for winning the 2005 Elmo.

August 6, 2008 1:22 PM  
Blogger phillydog said...

i cant blame michelle for taking the money and i really cant blame the sponsors for giving her the exemptions given how much money it brings in for them, so i guess i have to blame us the general public for fueling this out of control train wreck. dont be surprised if you see paris hilton teeing it up in the buick in the not so distant future

August 11, 2008 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philly Dog...who would you take in an addemup...Michele or casey?

August 13, 2008 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in an add em up or lplt, i would have to go with michelle. however, i would take the case worker no questions asked in a four ball scenario. he is known to be clutch when you need him most-
phillydog

August 13, 2008 4:12 PM  

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