Will Wie win in 2009

By Jay CoffinJanuary 7, 2009, 5:00 pm
Michelle Wie will win this year on the LPGA. Wont she?
 
Theres a little sprinkle of doubt embedded in there but the odds that shell win are certainly greater now than they were over the past two years when DQs, MCs, DNFs and WDs were more common than the birdies and top-10 finishes she once produced with ease.
 
Wies turbulent career warrants recapping before trying to predict her future. The 19-year-old Hawaiian produced six top-5 finishes in major championships from 2004-06, including three of those coming in 2006 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (T-3), LPGA Championship (T-5) and the U.S. Womens Open (T-3).
 
Paula Creamer (1) and Morgan Pressel (2) have combined for only three top-5 finishes in majors, although Pressel did win the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship, making her the youngest ever to win a major.
 
But the Big Wiesy hit the skids in 2007-08 mostly because of damage ' both to her confidence and wrist. In 15 LPGA events during the two-year span, she missed six cuts, withdrew twice and had a controversial disqualification.
 
The DQ came at the State Farm Classic in late July when Wie was near full health and looking to regain form. She was in contention through three rounds but signed an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified. Had Wie signed her card properly shed have had a serious chance at victory and could have avoided LPGA Q-School at the end of the year.
 
The confidence hasnt existed for awhile, said Wies swing coach David Leadbetter, while shadowing his star pupil at Q-School. With the State Farm thing, as much as a debacle as it was, she realized that she could get back in the mix.
 
Wie used September, October and November to completely heal her injured wrist and worked diligently with Leadbetter on rebuilding her game and tightening her swing.
 
The fruits of her labor came via rounds of 69-65-72-68-74, good for a seventh-place tie at LPGA Q-School and a tour card for 2009. During the five days at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., Wie used the same length and precision that she displayed when she was piling up top finishes against the best players in the biggest events.
 
I have a clean slate, Wie said. I took the long way to get here, but I feel really good about it.
 
A smooth performance at Q-School shows that Wie is ready for her maiden professional victory. Team Wie says that shes likely to play between 12-14 events, which decreases her odds of multiple victories, but its not a stretch to think that shell win one.
 
If victory does come, its likely to come at a lower-tiered event where there isnt an abundance of top 10 players. Sure, Wie has always played well in major championships, but that was before Lorena Ochoa was Lorena Ochoa and before Paula Creamer was labeled the best player never to win a major. Both Ochoa and Creamer, clearly the top two players on the LPGA, will be difficult to beat in the four biggies.
 
Even if Wie were to win a major this year, that would only make her the third-youngest LPGA major champion behind Pressel (18 at the 2007 Kraft Nabisco) and Yani Tseng (19 at the 2008 LPGA Championship).
 
One thing that most Wie observers can agree on is that her success depends on the proficiency of her putter. Had she been better with the flat stick shed have won at least two majors by now. Instead, Wie tends to tighten up in pressure situations and her putting becomes more suspect. Not exactly a recipe for greatness.
 
Nevertheless, there will be loads of pressure placed upon Wies shoulders, which is something that ' after two years of playing poorly ' shes sincerely excited about.
 
I am looking forward to people having that high expectation of me and Im going to work hard because I have that same high expectation for myself, Wie said. So, Im just going to work harder.
 

Related Links:
  • Top 5 Questions of 2009
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  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.