Questions About Michelle Wie

By Brian HewittOctober 3, 2005, 4:00 pm
In the coming days and weeks you will be hearing opinions on Michelle Wie. Everybody, in golf, will have one.
 
Here are mine in the form of 11 questions and 11 answers regarding the best 15-year-old female golfer on the planet who, unless something very strange happens between now and Wednesday, will announce Oct. 5 in Hawaii that she is turning professional.
 
1: IS MICHELLE WIE DOING THE RIGHT THING?
 
A: Yes. The white heat from the bonfire of questions that were only going to increase in volume was going to get hotter still. By turning professional, Wie and her family can get back to focusing on what brought her to our attention in the first place: Her golf game. Plus, the estimated $10 million she will sign for in endorsement monies, many experts believe, will never be higher than it is right now.
 
2: HOW GOOD IS MICHELLE WIE?
 
A: Not as good right now as she will be in five years. But good enough, right now, to win majors on the LPGA and good enough, right now, to make occasional cuts on the PGA Tour.
 
3: HOW GOOD CAN SHE BE?
 
A: Before all is said, and done I believe Michelle Wie will win at least 10 LPGA majors and probably closer to 20 (a lot depends on how much womens golf she plays.) I also think she can become good enough to earn her card on the PGA Tour.
 
4. WILL MICHELLE WIE EVER PLAY IN THE MASTERS?
 
A: Not, it is now obvious, as an amateur. Nothing she does in womens golf will get her an invite to Augustas rite of spring, either. That leaves the PGA Tour. It will be exceedingly difficult. But she is exceedingly extraordinary. Right now I will leave it at never-say-never. But its a long shot.
 
5. WILL MICHELLE WIE EVER WIN A PGA TOUR EVENT?
 
A: I believe she will finish in the top 10 more than once in a PGA Tour event before she is finished playing. If, on any of those occasions, she makes every putt she looks at on the back nine Sunday, yes, she can win a PGA Tour event.
 
6. BUT WILL SHE?
 
A: I cant bring myself to say yes. But that doesnt mean I wont be rooting for the story. And a Wie win on the PGA Tour would be a cover-of-Newsweek-and-Time Magazine type story.
 
7. WILL MICHELLE WIE ATTEND STANFORD?
 
A: We will find out more about this at the Wednesday press conference. But I believe the answer is, yes. My hope is, the answer is yes. This is something she says she wants and she ought to be able have the chance.
 
8. WILL SIGNING WITH THE WILLIAM MORRIS AGENCY TURN OUT TO BE A GOOD MOVE?
 
A: Much will depend on how good the sports marketing people recently hired by Morris turn out to be. It would have been less risky for Wie to sign up with powerful and experienced golf uber agency, IMG. But the Wie family has been thinking outside the norm for years now.
 
9. WILL MICHELLE WIE BURN OUT?
 
A: You hope she doesnt. And you find it easy to say you wont be surprised if she does. But I think Wie, even at the tender age of 15, is intelligent, assertive, perceptive and grounded enough to take a few years off if the competitive thing makes her toasty. She may marry. She may bear children one day. But I dont think she will ever divorce golf and I dont think golf will ever turn out to be a chore for her.
 
10. WHAT WILL MICHELLE WIES SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE IN 2006?
 
A: It will be a boutique schedule of LPGA and PGA Tour events into which she will gain entry through sponsors exemptions. She can play in up to eight LPGA events without being a member and seven PGA Tour events without having her card in that association. Not being a member, by the way, means she doesnt have to get releases to play internationally whenever the offer or opportunity is too good to refuse.
 
11. WHAT KIND OF APPEARANCE FEE MONEY CAN MICHELLE WIE COMMAND IN ASIA RIGHT NOW?
 
A: I am told by a veteran LPGA player who knows, that Wie is worth a million dollars per tournament at the moment in Asia. Thats a staggering amount of money. But the fact is, Wie, with her Asian extraction, is more of curiosity right now in places like Seoul and Tokyo than she is in New York or Chicago.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.