All Signs Point Toward Wie Turning Pro
The tournament will be Wies final LPGA Tour event of the year. Still, her father remained guarded about his daughters future plans.
Everyone seems to know what Im doing, B.J. Wie said last week from his office at the University of Hawaii. Nothing is firmed up. I have not made any decisions. Were still working on a number of things.
Golf World magazine, citing a source involved in ongoing endorsement negotiations who requested anonymity, reported on its Web site Tuesday night that Wie will declare herself a pro before the end of the month to minimize distractions in her pro debut.
B.J. Wie did not immediately return a telephone call Tuesday seeking comment on the report.
His daughter turns 16 on Oct. 11, two days before the start of the tournament in Palm Desert, Calif.
She is not expected to petition LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens to waive the tours age requirement of 18, but will take six sponsors exemptions on the Tour, plus whatever she can get on the PGA Tour, and in Europe (men and women) and Asia (men and women).
Had she taken prize money this year, Wie would have earned $640,870, enough to be 12th on the LPGA money list in just seven tournaments.
The junior at Punahou School in Honolulu still holds to her dream of playing on the PGA Tour one day, but her father said her first priority is to become an LPGA Tour member.
Michelle will not bypass the LPGA, her father said. She will never use the LPGA as a training ground. She will play continuously on the LPGA. At some time, she will try to get her PGA card through the seven maximum exemptions, or if that doesnt work out, go through qualifying. But we dont know when that time will be.
He said he is still poring through offers from management agencies, potential endorsements and trying to figure out her best path, but appears to be moving cautiously.
Theres so many things to take care of, Wie said. Im just an ordinary professor. Im trying to be conservative. If I made a mistake, and she finds out I made a mistake, shell blame me forever.
Tiger Woods no longer has to share one record with Tom Watson.
With seven weeks left in the season, Woods has clinched PGA Player of the Year, a points-based award handed out by the PGA of America since 1948.
It was the seventh time in nine years Woods has won the award. Watson won it six times during an eight-year span.
The PGA Player of the Year award gives 30 points for majors, 20 points for The Players Championship and 10 points for all other PGA Tour victories. It also awards as many as 20 points depending on where a player finishing on the money list and in scoring average.
Woods cannot be caught because he won two majors, which carries a 50-point bonus.
The only other players to win the award since Woods' first full season in 1997 were Mark O'Meara, a double major winner in 1998; and Vijay Singh, who won the PGA Championship and eight other tournaments last year.
The PGA Tour's award is a vote of the players and will be decided after the Tour Championship.
Mike Donald missed a 10-foot par putt to win the 1990 U.S. Open. Bob May was on the cusp of winning the 2000 PGA Championship until Tiger Woods made a 6-foot birdie, then beat him in a playoff. No one will forget Jean Van de Velde's triple bogey on the last hole at Carnoustie in '99 British Open.
None of those players ever won again.
That's what makes the leaderboard at the U.S. Open this year so intriguing. Jason Gore was three shots out of the lead and playing in the final group, but stumbled to an 84. Olin Browne also was three shots behind, and he shot 80.
Instead of disappearing, both are headed to Kapalua for the winners-only Mercedes Championships -- Browne by winning the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks ago, Gore by winning the 84 Lumber Classic on Sunday.
The other guy at Pinehurst -- two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen -- shot 81 to blow a three-shot lead. He recovered, too, not only by winning the International, but winning twice more overseas.
MOORE CLOSING IN
Ryan Moore was running out exemptions. Now he's closing in on a PGA Tour card.
The former U.S. Amateur champion showed all it takes is a few good weeks to avoid Q-school. He tied for second in the Canadian Open, then tied for 17th at the 84 Lumber Classic. That pushed his earnings to $512,900, allowing him unlimited exemptions the rest of the year.
Moore is playing this week in the Texas Open, his seventh start since turning pro. His money is equivalent to No. 123 on the PGA Tour money list, and he only has to finish equal to 125th or better at the end of the year to earn exempt status next year. The last American to earn his PGA Tour card without ever going to Q-school was Tiger Woods.
International captain Gary Player had asked Ernie Els to come to Virginia for the Presidents Cup, but the Big Easy is staying home in London to continue physical therapy from knee surgery in August. ... Bob Panasik, for years the answer to the trivia question as the youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour, was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame over the weekend. Panasik was 15 when he made the cut in the 1957 Canadian Open. He won national title at all levels -- the Canadian Junior, two Canadian PGA Championships and three Canadian Senior PGAs. ... U.S. Women's Open runner-up Morgan Pressel takes her first step this week toward the LPGA Tour. She will be in the first stage of qualifying at Mission Hills, site of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The top 30 advance to the final stage of Q-school.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Of the 60 players who have competed in the Presidents Cup since its inception in 1994, Mark Brooks is the only player to have never earned a point.
``It was hard after Solheim. Everybody wants to go drink and I'm designated driver.'' -- Paula Creamer, on the limitations of being a 19-year-old rookie on the LPGA Tour.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18