Wie Once Again on PGA TOUR

By Associated PressSeptember 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- A large billboard inside the main entrance to the sumptuous Nemacolin Woodlands resort where this week's 84 Lumber Classic will be held pictures only two golfers: Michelle Wie and John Daly.
 
Even in a field featuring five Ryder Cup golfers and past major winners, Wie remains a subject of fascination and bewilderment for tournament sponsors, fans and fellow players alike -- and, of course, all in the latter group are fellows only.
 
Wie is a 16-year-old whose game seems on the verge of making her one of the world's top female players, yet she still wants to prove that she can play the full 72 holes in a PGA TOUR tournament.
 
Her recent results are not promising. She dropped out of this summer's John Deere Classic after being overcome by oppressive heat, then finished dead last in last week's European Masters in Switzerland by shooting a 78-79-157 in her only two rounds.
 
Up next for a teenager who needed a blue slip from her Hawaii high school to skip class this week is the big hitters' 84 Lumber, a tournament where it's not by coincidence that Daly is the unofficial host. The mountaintop course stretches 7,511 yards, seemingly half the distance between nearby Uniontown and big-city Pittsburgh, yet Wie is confident that this -- finally -- is the week it happens.
 
'I would love to make the cut,' she said Tuesday. 'I would love to make the top 20. But I'm not going to rush it.'
 
No female golfer has made the men's cut since multi-sport talent Babe Zaharias did so at the 1945 Tucson Open. However, that is only so much ancient history for Wie, who, curiously enough, found herself studying high school senior-level European History last weekend while trying to make some history of her own.
 
'It's going to happen,' Wie said. 'I know it's in me, but I've just got to play hole by hole and not really think about the cut. ... It's really hard to do, but I never get discouraged.'
 
However, Wie has shot 77 or higher in four of the last five rounds she has played against men, except for an Asian Tour event in May where she made the cut against a weak field.
 
Daly has played several rounds with Wie on the Mystic Rock course at Nemacolin, and isn't so sure if she has the game for this tournament, though he seems less opposed to her participation than others. Joe Hardy, 84 Lumber's founder, and daughter Maggie Hardy Magerko, who runs the lumber firm, wanted to invite her to previous tournaments, yet didn't because they were discouraged by some of the top PGA TOUR players.
 
'I think if she had won a few LPGA events, her chances of having more confidence playing against us might be better, but you never know,' Daly said. 'If you have the opportunity to do something in life like this, you've got to take advantage of it.'
 
Heavy rain expected Wednesday might make the course play even longer and probably won't benefit Wie, who missed the cut in nine of her first 10 men's pro tournaments on various tours.
 
'She's probably practicing going, `God, why does it have to rain?' ' Daly said. 'She hits a lot of fairways, and she's going to have a lot of long clubs into the greens, and her short game is going to have to be on.'
 
Wie agreed with Daly, saying, 'It's just going to be really interesting for me this week to see how I can handle a really long course. It's the first time for me.'
 
Wie is already a force among the women, though she has yet to win. She twice tied for third and tied for fifth in LPGA majors this year before a tie for 26th at the Women's British Open. Wie plans to play in two more tournaments this year after 84 Lumber, the Casio World Open for men in Japan and the LPGA's Samsung World Championship.
 
'People think I have to master the LPGA before I get to the PGA, but my feeling is a little different on that,' she said. 'I'm trying to win a lot of (LPGA) tournaments. But it's just so different out there that I feel I have to play in PGA TOUR events just to get better at PGA TOUR events. I just have to go through it, work on it and learn from it.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 84 Lumber Classic
  • Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.