Wie Continues to Stir Up Emotions

By George WhiteJuly 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
Everyone, it seems, has a word or a thousand to say about Michelle Wie. Below is a sample of the flood of e-mails commenting on my Thursday column (Read - The Only Criterion - They Will Watch). I have withheld the authors names to protect the innocent.
Incidentally, there were 156 players in the John Deere field, and among them were eight sponsors exemptions. Four were restricted to PGA Tour members who werent otherwise exempt for the tournament. The other four are unrestricted ' they go to whomever the sponsor wishes to invite (in this case, Michelle.)
Those who dont agree with the Wie invite had better get used to it ' John Deere tournament director Clair Peterson says seven more events have invited the 15-year-old. Of course, she cant accept them all. There is no indication that she will accept any except the Sony Open in Hawaii. With that ' happy reading!
  • Right on! When are professional athletes going to get it? They want to play a game for a ridiculous amount of money, all the while being provided with extravagant perks at the sponsor's expense. Then they have the audacity to complain when the sponsor tries to maximize its return by inviting Michelle Wie instead of some unknown 'Professional Golfer'.
  • Its too bad that it's all about money. I don't think that a 15 year old, no matter how good she is, should be treated as a god. Golf was something to be admired, but now with all the gimmicks (i.e. Michelle Wie) it's now only a sport to see who can get the most people there so they can make the almighty dollar.
  • Michelle's appearance will no doubt increase attendance at the event, which translates into more dollars for the charitable organizations the PGA Tour so strongly supports. As for the so-called golf fans who criticize her inclusion, I would suggest to them that there are more pressing issues in our world over which they should be concerned.
  • I never gave a hoot about this tournament, but this week my 13-year-old daughter and three of her golf buddies are watching and recording the event. These girls never cared about the PGA, LPGA or even Annika, but they follow Wie - something about the way she does not care about what others say or write that appeals to kids. Now they are wearing the same earrings and dreaming of hitting the ball 300 yards. I hope she does not make the cut, or my weekend will be ruined as I would have to stay at home caring for four young girls.
  • Miss Wie in her innocence might just be having fun competing against the guys, but you can bet that every chauvinist group - male or female - has a stake in this each time she tees it up. I would love to see her take control of the ladies tour and when she gains the top status over there, bring her out and really let her show here stuff against the guys. Let her grow into the fabulous player that she's destined to be. She is special.
  • To add a just a little bit of credence to the thesis of your article, the only reason I set up my ReplayTV unit to record Round 1 and Round 2 of the John Deere classic is because Michelle Wie is in the field.
  • No one has the right to make a living playing golf. The public is willing to pay and watch a golf tournament because it is entertaining. Just like a movie, a successful golf tournament requires stars and/or a good story. The supporting cast members (or non-star pro golfers) can complain all they want, no one buys a ticket to watch them act (or play golf) because they have a right to make a living. Michelle first showed up as a good story, now we are hooked on her as a star.
  • I was of the opinion that Michelle should learn how to win against her peers before taking on the LPGA or PGA tour members. That is, until I saw her at the U.S. Women's Open in Denver. She definitely plays a game altogether different from everyone else, and I'm not talking just length. Her swing is obviously modeled after a male (Tiger?) and her drive and acceleration through the hitting area is something to see in person.
  • Talking about sour grapes! I'm referring to those who say Michelle is taking other professionals places. You hit the nail on the head. The PGA is all about the size of the 'gate' and TV audiences....It's a no-brainer that the tour will benefit hugely by her participation.
  • The bottom line is, Michelle Wie does not belong in this or any other PGA tournament. Of course tour players dont mind if she plays - it means more money for them and one less player in the field that can beat them. Yes it is the tournament sponsors right to have anyone play, but they should meet some qualifications. If not you could have the potential to have some very unusual situations happening on tour.

  • Your thoughts about Wie in the PGA are right on. When I was a little boy, I thought professional baseball was played just for fun. I didn't realize it was for pay because it was just a game in my mind. How could you get paid for that? Well, only if you were good enough that people wanted to pay to watch you.
  • How Wie could draw bigger galleries than John Rollins shows that even the PGA is invaded by the mass mainstream that watches The real fans that are the lifeblood of the PGA are watching the real players, not the carnival act, and will not fade away.
  • I am a 56-year-old male who took up golf a few years ago. I am fascinated by the ability of a 15-year-old girl to be able to compete at this level. I may be overstating it, but how much interest would there be in this tournament absent Michelle Wie - local fans? As to those professionals who are concerned about her taking a spot - perhaps if they played to a higher level they wouldn't have to worry.
  • There are four words that make me violently reach for the remote to change the channel: Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie. I doubt that I will watch one shot of the Michelle Wie Classic... er I mean The John Deere Classic.
  • What would the golf world be doing if it was a 15-year-old male with the same talent as Wie? He would be on the all the golf books front page every day. At her age, male our female, she is something special, so just set back and enjoy.
  • I can't imagine any of her critics would honestly go play in a junior tournament instead of playing in a pro event if they honestly believed they could win. Heck, Johns Hopkins University runs a youth program whereby highly intelligent 7th and 8th graders take the college entrance exam simply to gauge how smart they are. I never heard of any parent complaining that their talented kid should be taking the 7th and 8th grade exams because getting a top score in an easy exam is the best way to learn how to get top scores on more advanced, higher level exams.
  • Any of the touring pros who dont like it ought to instead be thanking their lucky stars for the likes of Mr. Palmer, Mr. Nicklaus and Mr. Woods for collectively raising the economics of this great game to the absurd cash cow it is for all of them. And while theyve got this cute girl on the course, be thankful shes RAISING everybodys payday and not asking for any herself. After all, someday she might be TAKING their money, and then theyll REALLY have something to complain about!!
    Email your thoughts to George White
    Related links:
  • Michelle Wie's Scorecard

  • Full Coverage - John Deere Classic
  • 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.