Are Wie There Yet

By Kraig KannMay 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
By now you know, Michelle Wie shot even par 72 on Monday at the USGAs local qualifier for the United States Open. That 72 was the low score by a shot and in advancing, the USGA believes Michelle is the first woman to successfully move through local qualifying.
 
Whether you are a huge Wie supporter (and there are many of you) or one of the detractors (and there are quite a few of those as well), you must give her credit. And I believe plenty of credit is deserved.
 
But now is when it gets interesting. Really interesting.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie is one step away from a spot in the 106th U.S. Open.
Our research tells us that 70 players are exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Open in New York next month. That leaves 86 spots available in the 156-person field. Thats right ' person.
 
According to the USGA, approximately 750 players are still with hope of reaching Winged Foot from among the 14 Sectional Qualifying sites.
 
So do the math. Wie is among 750 vying for a precious 86 spots in the field at what most believe is the most demanding test in major championship golf. Last year at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey there were 84 players chasing just six spots in the U.S. Open field. And it figures that both numbers might go up this time around. The field at Canoe Brook will be set early next week. Reports have the number in the field at around 200, with 25 or fewer spots at stake. And the field will have major champions and multiple players with PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour wins.
 
One day. 36 holes. A spot in the United States Openagainst the men. Good luck.
 
The possibility of playing at Winged Foot? Its the U.S. Open, the name speaks for itself, Wie said. Its one of a kind.
 
And the odds of ultimate success are not strong. Wie is attempting to do what just 30 players did last year by advancing through both local and sectional qualifying sites.
 
So are you in favor of the quest? Do you think the media is making too much of the story? Do you wish the coverage were less?
 
No matter how you fall on the question, June 5th will be a media circus. It will be big because it has never happened before. No woman has ever qualified to compete with the men at a United States Open. So where will the story fall among other events going on in sports?
 
The Yankees and the Red Sox begin the first of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. The NBA and NHL playoffs will still be ongoing. But if you can believe it, aside from being the dominant story on The Golf Channel, the Michelle Wie story could lead ESPNs SportsCenter. It could be the talk of NBCs Today Show. It figures to be a part of ABCs World News Tonight. Like it or not, be prepared.
 
Wies been down this road before. Shes competed against the men, shes lived the circus. Shes handled the questions. And she doesnt seem that fazed by it all anymore.
 
Playing with the men, Im not sure whats going to happen. It puts me in an almost uncomfortable place, Wie said. Thats what makes me a better player.
 
And thats all Michelle is trying to do. Shes trying to challenge herself. Shes trying to become a better player. In fact, shes trying to become the best weve seen. And while shes made more cuts against the men than shes won professional tournaments against the women, you have to give her some credit for putting herself out there to be criticized.
 
All this aside, Wies not at Winged Foot yet. Not by a longshot. Every player in the field at Canoe Brook ' while marveling at her ability ' will be chasing their own hopes of a spot in the U.S. Open.
 
Understand that Ill sleep just as well whether Michelle makes, or misses the U.S. Open. And I, too, question the motives and involvement of her parents at times. At the same time, however, I looked to my parents for almost every bit of advice and support at the age of 16. I wasnt ready to go at it on my own ' and I dont think Wie should be expected to do it.
 
Cleary Wie wants the challenge. Clearly she has the ability to be the one to make history. All I think we should do is to consider the magnitude of the challenge, the potential magnitude of the moment and not the magnetic force between Wie and the media during her quest.
 
Make or miss, it will be big either way. Her history with and against the men says the odds are against her. I say we toss aside any negativity between now and June 6th when we have our result.
 
Which side are you on?

Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Getty Images

Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

Getty Images

Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

Getty Images

Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

Getty Images

Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.