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
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x