Michelle Wie stomped around the Sony Open like shed been playing the game forever and playing most of that forever with the guys.
My take on Michelle is quite simple. The props are most-deserved and well-earned. And whats all the negative fuss about? Since when do we need to waste space or oxygen talking negatively about the opportunity she was given or the possibilities that might come because of her fantastic display? The circus talk is just a bit overboard.
Are we, as a collective group of golf fanatics, not in favor of growth in our sport? If Michelle brought more folks to the course to watch the tournament - was that bad? If more youngsters pick up the game because of what the 14-year old accomplished ' is that not a good thing?
If either of my young daughters finds inspiration in watching Wies explosive athletic ability and electric smile while playing against the best players in the world (albeit men) then I say, Where next! Remember the PGA Tour slogan Anythings Possible? Michelle proved it. Isnt that what we want our kids to believe?
My take on Phil Mickelson is more optimistic than some. Ive talked with a few players on the PGA Tour who feel as though his climb back to status among the legitimate threats to Tiger will cause some serious leg pain. The theory centered on his love for length and his disdain for conformity. Look at his stats from a year ago. They were un-lefty-like to say the least. I believe Mickelson himself called his play from 130 yards and in pathetic. His world ranking took a tumble from second to 16th. Need any more of a wake-up call? Not when youre talented enough to reach the top.
Truth be told, and Phil told it Tuesday in his press conference from the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Mickelson and his wife Amy survived more than just bad stats a year ago. The birth of their child nearly cost Lefty his wife and his newborn. So tell me that wouldnt cause you to lose some focus. Losing your golf ball off the tee is one thing. Losing your every day world is another. Golf is just a game. Remember?
And because of that, I say Phil has something more to play for. If Tiger finds motivation in the smallest of things, Phil can certainly find some extra fight for something big like his family. Mickelson should win at least twice every year. And this year, I think hell do just that. By the way, Wednesday Mickelson took the 3-wood out of his bag in favor of a 1-iron, and geared down his golf ball as well. In the hope of finding more control, he might just leave the Hope with a win.
Here are a few other things.. 2004 from where I sit:
1. Geoff Ogilvy and Pat Perez will have breakthrough years.
2. Paul Stankowski and Tommy Tolles will have comeback years.
3. Chad Campbell will have a Ryder Cup year.
4. Zach Johnson may actually surpass lofty expectations.
5. Fellow Nationwide grads Bo Van Pelt and Ryan Palmer are more than capable.
6. Hal Sutton becomes a television star at ABC.
7. Steve Flesch is doing the same here at The Golf Channel.
8. Last year was no fluke for Kenny Perry.
9. Is there a tougher hombre than Jerry Kelly?
10. Is there a quieter budding star than Briny Baird?
Is there anything better than speculation? Thats whats so great about this game. We never know er make that, Wie never know, now do Wie? See ya late Sunday on the Sprint Pre-Game after TGCs coverage of the Champions Tours Mastercard Championship.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann