She Gives Opinions - Forcefully
Pressel, for the record, is only 18, Wie 16. Pressel hasnt yet learned to filter her remarks through the professional athletes do-nothing, say-nothing web. At this tender age, when she is asked for an opinion, she delivers it. And, I might add, she has quite a few opinions, learned opinions, much more than the average teenager who has just graduated from high school in the past month.
She has been asked several times about her opinions of Wie, Wies accomplishments, and Wies penchant for playing events regardless of gender. And each time she is asked, she responds forthrightly ' she feels Wie should not be given an exemption into various womens majors. For all we know, its possible Wie feels the same. However, the various organizations have done so ' each time with a convincing reason why, by the way.
Her remarks have been spindled, folded and mutilated to make it appear as a personal grudge against Wie. A reporter reads where Pressel said so-and-so about Wie and he has to ask Morgan for him/herself. Then another reporter reads the remarks, and at times the writers negative opinions, and he asks the same question. Before long, it becomes a self-fulfilling exercise.
I have only sat in on two or three of Morgans press conference, but in each one, the questions were almost always first and foremost about Wie. And the answer is nearly always the same ' Pressel is awed, as is everyone, by Wies ability. She personally thinks Wie is nice, sweet ' whatever the word of the day is. But no, she isnt overwhelmed by Wies ability, nor is she cowed by the fact that she ' Pressel - will be going into competition with her.
I didnt attend Tuesdays media session with Pressel, but the transcript shows that the questions were along the same lines as the few I have personally attended. And undoubtedly, today you will see several stories written about Pressels dislike of Wie. I will let you decide.
Pressel, it develops, was quite impressed with Wies play in the mens U.S. Open qualifier Monday. She played great! said Pressel. You cant take anything away from the way that she played. Her putting cost her a little bit down the stretch probably all day, but I think that obviously when she plays on the LPGA Tour in events like this (the McDonalds), it helps these events.
But she also said that Wies appearance in the Open qualifier negatively affects the LPGA events that Wie doesnt play.
People say, Oh, well, if Michelle's not playing, it's a second class event, said Pressel.
Its just - she can only play seven events or however many she can play, and those events aren't really going to benefit from it.
Pressel understands one reason why Wie plays mens events ' Wie can make much more money just by showing up. And Wies sponsors certainly can benefit greatly from the exposure.
She can go over to Japan and play for a guaranteed, you know - for just as much money as some of our purses, said Pressel. So why would she want to come play in LPGA events when - I mean, she's making lots of money?
Morgan took a little backhand swipe at the media. And rightly or wrongly, the media has helped fuel this tremendous surge in public opinion over whether a female should compete alongside males in traditionally male events.
The media, Pressel says, has created this huge persona that the public is absolutely fascinated with, with this idea of a woman competing in a men's event. And she's a great player; you can't take that away from her. And I'm sure when she comes on the LPGA Tour, you know, she brings all that hype with her.
I wish that she would play more obviously on the LPGA Tour, but she's got it made.
The public fascination of Wie, Pressel says, is derived totally because she wants to play against men. Obviously, I'm sure she wants to win on the (PGA) Tour and on the LPGA Tour, but she wants to compete with the men, and that's her main focus, said Morgan.
Pressel readily agrees that Wie has not taken the easy way out. Her path will be extremely difficult, considering that she is breaking all sorts of ground in approaching her golf career in a totally different way.
She has a lot of pressure on her, Pressel says. And for Paula (Creamer) and myself, the other young players, there's always pressure, but it's not the tremendous media circus. That doesn't follow us around every day. And that does allow us to really concentrate on our game more and focus.
It's really made her this huge icon, really, but it's not always the best to come out center stage, I guess. I remember when I was 12 and when I was playing in the U.S. Open and for awhile thereafter I wasn't really focused on my game because there was so much going on around me. And it took awhile for me to really settle down and once the media hype settled down, then I was able to focus.
Sounds to me like a young woman forcefully stating her opinions. Some people have decided its personal, that one girl is jumping on another girls dreams of playing against the men. I dont think so. But, you be the judge.
Email your thoughts to George White
If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it
NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.
She says she always gets nervous starting a round.
You don’t believe it, though.
She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .
Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .
Or disarming ticking bombs . . .
“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.
Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.
Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.
Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.
At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.
She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.
She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.
And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.
There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.
Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.
It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.
Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.
Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.
“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”
About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.
Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.
“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”
David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.
“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”
Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.
Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . .
“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.
Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.
“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”
Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.
“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.
Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.
National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.
The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.
Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.
These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:
Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.
This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.
“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”
Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.
In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.
If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.
“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”
Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.
Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.
''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''
The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.
The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.
''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''
Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.
''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''
First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).
Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.
''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.
''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''