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.

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  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.