LPGA Stifles Michelle- Mania
Commissioner Ty Votaw said Tuesday the 6-foot Hawaiian has some growing to do before she reaches Sorenstam's elite status.
'She hasn't won 48 times, she's not in the LPGA Hall of Fame and she hasn't won six Vare trophies,' Votaw said. 'She hasn't had a career Grand Slam, she hasn't been Player of the Year multiple times in a 10-year period. But, if she continues to develop as a person and a player, she has a vast amount of potential to match those accomplishments.'
The 14-year-old Wie and 33-year-old Sorenstam will compete in the same field for the third time when the Safeway International takes place next month at Superstition Mountain, a new venue east of downtown. Sorenstam shot a LPGA-record 59 on her way to the 2001 Phoenix title at Moon Valley Country Club.
The first time they met, Wie nearly upstaged the Swedish star by making the cut and reaching the final threesome at last year's Kraft Nabisco. But she faded to a 76, and Patricia Meunier-Lebouc outdueled Sorenstam down the stretch to win the major.
Six months later, Wie tied for 28th in Portland while Sorenstam won.
Wie has gained popularity with forays into men's golf this year, missing the cut by a stroke in the Sony Open last month and tying for 38th at the Hawaii Pearl Open on Sunday.
Votaw, who made his comments during the Phoenix tournament kickoff, said he was not knocking the ninth-grader and acknowledged she is good for the game.
'Certainly having more people at our events is one of the things that our five-year business plan is geared around,' he said.
Judy Rankin, introduced as the Wie of the 1960s for feats like winning the 1959 Missouri Amateur at 14 and finishing as the low amateur in the U.S. Women's Open the next year, attended the kickoff to accept the Linda Vollstedt Award for service and leadership in women's sports.
Rankin learned from playing alongside men, but never entertained a thought about competing against them and never tried to play from men's tournament tees. But she said Wie's power has her attention.
'There are these very few people who come along every era or period of time that are not just standouts but are so exceptional that everybody wants to get a glimpse,' said Rankin, a 26-time winner who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. 'Certainly Tiger (Woods) was that way, although everybody thought when Tiger was 14 that this was a long, strong, savvy, smart kid who didn't quite have the game under control.
'(Wie) seems to be in a little different place at a little different age.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.