Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On another injury-related WD by Michelle Wie ...
At year’s start, swing coach David Leadbetter delivered a tough-love message to Michelle Wie. “I love her like a daughter, and we can say things to each other,” Leadbetter told GolfChannel.com. “I said, `Now is the time, young lady, when you need to show what you’re capable of.’”
That’s what makes her continuing struggle so frustrating for everyone who believes she still has more potential to lift the women’s game to new heights than anyone else playing today, that she has more of the charisma and intangibles required to draw new fans from beyond the sport’s niche than anyone else. Wie started this year finally healthy again, but it’s just not happening for her, and Sunday’s withdrawal just adds to the uncertainty over whether it ever will. Her WD comes on the heels of her missed cut at the Lotte Championship in her Hawaiian home. It marks her fourth MC or WD in seven starts in full field events this year.
Wie’s body looked like it was finally strong enough this year to allow her to build on that great return of promise she flashed two years ago winning the Lotte Championship and U.S. Women’s Open, but we don’t know now if her body’s going to hold up this year or even if her body’s the real problem. She withdrew from the Swinging Skirts Classic after 15 holes Sunday with neck spasms. She was 11 over for the day when she walked of the course.
Is the body giving away again, or is it something even more troubling? We don’t know, and maybe she doesn’t, either, but the timing’s troublesome because we’re on the verge of a historically important run of big events in the women’s game. Now is the time, as Leadbetter said. There’s never been a better time for Wie to show the world what she’s really capable of. – Randall Mell
On players snubbing the Olympics ...
First it was Vijay Singh citing a need to focus on the PGA Tour. Then it was Adam Scott who said his decision was based on a condensed schedule, followed by Louis Oosthuizen. Overall, the three high-profile no-shows from this year’s Olympics are concerning, but not unexpected nor ruinous.
Golf’s return to the Games was never about the impact it would have on the developed nations, like Australia and South Africa. The real measure of success will be on how the Games will influence the growth of golf in undeveloped countries.
“If I’m going to finish third [at the Masters], I’d prefer a bronze medal. For Paraguay, it’s going to be much bigger than a third at the Masters,” said Fabrizio Zanotti, who is currently qualified to play for Paraguay. “For Paraguay, for sure. I think Paraguay only has one [Olympic] medal in the history, in soccer. It’s going to be huge.” – Rex Hoggard
On a refreshing #SB2K16 ...
I’m not afraid to admit it, I loved the hell out of #SB2K16. I could not get enough.
Watching Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman all be unafraid to share their fun Bahamas vacation on social media was refreshing on so many levels. It even made me create a Snapchat account for the first time. I checked it about 50 times each day.
Now, their respective agents may not have been too pleased that they were each so forthcoming, but there was nothing wrong with anything that anyone did. Four millionaires living the dream in paradise, playing golf shirtless and shoeless, dancing, pulling pranks, doing impressions of various golf announcers, etc., is all good, clean fun. The Rory McIlroy twist was a hoot too.
For my money, Kaufman was #SB2K16’s leading man, which is what Thomas wrote his postmortem. Spieth was the top dog and Fowler was a close second, but we got a great glimpse of Kaufman’s personality. He’ll shine with media for years to come if he can win from time to time.
I was most pleased that I didn’t see anyone hammering them for their antics or accusing them of being elitist. Boys will be boys and we were fortunate to catch a sliver of the action. I’ve already set a notice on my calendar for #SB2K17. – Jay Coffin
What he said ...
Too often we rail against the stars in any sport for being too guarded. Too corporate, too hesitant to show their true colors or any semblance of personality.
Well, thanks to the greatest bro-cation in the history of Snapchat, that claim can't be leveled against the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman. The quartet used social media this week to offer a glimpse into their epic getaway, a far cry from the pressure-cooker they experienced at Augusta National just a couple weeks ago.
There was song, dance, drink - even a found dog. But most of all, there was a lighter side to show that these ultra-talented 20-somethings don't take themselves too seriously once they step outside the ropes.
It was a refreshing and enjoyable window into their lives, as they partied it up in the Bahamas as you'd expect most others would do (or would like to have done) at their age. Expect the media credentialing line for Baker's Bay in 2017 to rival anything we'll see later this summer at Oakmont. – Will Gray