What Are Wies Chances
Which is why I have been surprised this week at how many people in our hallowed halls want to know if I think Michelle Wie can win the LPGAs Samsung World Championship that begins Thursday in California.
This tournament, in case you have been kayaking in New Caledonia, will mark Wies professional debut. It also happens to start two days after her 16th birthday.
Hardened Golf Channel veterans who can recite chapter and verse about all things Tiger are unusually curious about how Wie will do.
I have also been hearing a lot lately from the usual E-mail cynics who have started begging me to stop paying so much attention to Wie. These are the same cynics who insist The Golf Channel pays too much attention to Tiger Woods.
Heres a news flash: Were The Golf Channel. This is what we do. Woods is the biggest story in golf month in and month out. This week Michelle Wie is the biggest story in golf.
Just as CNN cant devote too much coverage to President Bush, we cant give too much airtime to Woods and, right now, Wie.
Meanwhile back to the question: Will Wie win in this elite field event?
My answer is threefold: 1. She can. 2. I wont be surprised if she does. 3. I am not picking her because she hasnt played in a tournament in weeks.
My colleague Mark Lye calls this ring rust.
Obviously a Wie victory at Samsung would be the biggest story of the week in golf. It might even be the story of the year. And, yes, we root for the story in the news business without trying to root against anybody in particular.
For me, the best part about a Wie victory would be the silencing effect it would have on all those critics who have bashed her for not learning how to win at lower levels the way Woods did when he was a junior. My take on that is this: Where is it written that the Woods blueprint is the only path?
I like the fact that Wie always has aimed high, entering tournaments against the best competition she can find even if it means her chances for victory---like against a PGA Tour field---are slim.
By now I know many of you are shaking your heads and thinking there he goes. Hewitt has been sipping Wie Kool-Aid again. You might be interested in knowing that B.J. Wie, Michelles father, was not happy with me recently when I posited the notion that Morgan Pressel has had a better year in womens golf in 2005 than Michelle Wie.
That assessment, by the way, changes if Wie wins this week in Palm Desert.
Meanwhile I like the fact that'win or lose'Wie will go with enthusiasm back to Hawaii to take her drivers license test. I like the fact that her father has told me she will not be getting her own car just because she is 16.
I like the fact that she has no immediate plans to drop out of school. And I like the fact that she doesnt plan on playing more than two or three PGA Tour events in 2006 when, if she wanted, she could accept up to seven sponsors exemptions.
Thanks to Nike and Sony, Michelle Wie is now earning 10 million dollars a year. I like the fact that, at the moment, it hasnt changed her or her parents.
Now if youll excuse me, I have to get back to the water cooler. I think a hot topic has just broken out. I think I heard the name Sean OHair..Or was it David Duval?.Or was it
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
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. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.