Wies Post-Round Transcript with Officials

By Lpga Tour MediaOctober 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Samsung World ChampionshipWie talks about her DQ in her post-round interview with and Rules Officials:
 
PAUL ROVNAK: Michelle, we certainly appreciate you coming in. We'll take a couple of questions.
 
Q. Do you agree with this decision? Do you agree with what they told you that you did, indeed, play a ball too close to the hole?
 
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I mean, you know, I respect the rules. I was three inches ahead. I mean it looked fine to me. You know, I learned a great lesson today. You know from now on, I'm going to call a rule official no matter what it is. And, you know, I'm really sad that this happened but you know, the rules are the rules. Three inches or 100 yards, is the same thing. I respect that.
 
Q. Michelle, did you have any idea yesterday, I know there was a discussion here about it, and we all kind of laughed it off because you really felt you were behind the line. Any question in your mind yesterday when you left yesterday?
 
MICHELLE WIE: No, none at all. I mean me and Greg were talking when we were up at the shot. He told me like watch out, that you're not closer. I made sure that I was farther. Well, I thought I was farther behind. But it looked fine to me. And it was far away. You know, it looked fine to me. I didn't have any question in my mind that I was ahead of the line.
 
Q. When did you find out there might be a problem, when were you first told?
 
MICHELLE WIE: Like 10 minutes after I signed my scorecard today.
 
Q. Michelle, was there ever a point when you were out there this evening on the 7th hole when they were going through the discussion that you knew that there might be a big problem, and can you just talk about whatever emotions you felt?
 
MICHELLE WIE: Well, you know, they did the line and they paced it off. You know, it was like that much in front. You know, obviously, I was really disappointed with my first event. But, you know, at least I got it out of the way.
 
Q. How far ahead was the ball?
 
MICHELLE WIE: Like three inches. It was yesterday, it's not like it was from today. It's from yesterday. It was all guesswork where the ball was, where the ball was yesterday, where the ball was originally in the bushes. So it was basically all guesswork. I mean it was only three inches.
 
Q. Did you protest?
 
MICHELLE WIE: I mean I tried to see what would happen. But, you know, the rules are the rules and that's what happened.
 
Q. Michelle, can you just describe your emotions right now?
 
MICHELLE WIE: Well, you know, I'm pretty sad but, you know, I think I'm going to get over it. I learned a lot from it. It's obviously not the way I wanted to begin it but, you know, it's all right.
 
Q. I'm just curious, Michelle, you took probably three or so unplayables this week without the help of rules officials and you did it quite confidently, do you consider yourself a pretty good statement of knowing when to drop from red to yellow and unplayables and things like that?
 
MICHELLE WIE: I mean I've been through so many unplayables. I've been in a lot of water hazards before so you know, I know. I know what to do. I don't feel like I cheated or anything. I felt like, you know, I was honest out there. And, you know, it's what I felt like I did right. I was pretty happy out there with what I did. If I did it again I would still do that because it looked right to me. But I learned my lesson, I'm going to call a rule official every single time.
 
PAUL ROVNAK: As can you see we are joined by LPGA rules' officials Robert O. Smith and Jim Haley. Unfortunately, Michelle Wie has been disqualified from the tournament, and I will now turn it over to Robert O. Smith to explain the ruling and situation.
 
ROBERT O. SMITH (LPGA Tournament Official and Manager of Rules): Well, I was sitting on the golf course, and a spectator came to me and told me of an incident which occurred yesterday on the 7th hole, when Michelle had taken relief from an unplayable lie to the left of the green.
 
The spectator told me that he felt that the player had dropped the ball and played the ball closer to the hole than where the ball originally lay unplayable.
 
Well, rules of golf provide that if you take when taking relief from an unplayable lie measuring two club lengths, you can't go closer to the hole.
 
Well, unfortunately, this ball was about ended up being played about 12 to 15, 18 inches closer to the hole than where the ball originally lay.
 
Because of that, because she had played that ball from that position yesterday she played from a wrong place and violated Rule 20 7 which is: Playing the ball from a wrong place.
The penalty for that is two strokes. She didn't put that on her scorecard for the 7th hole, so therefore she had a scorecard of two strokes less on that hole.
 
The rules of golf provide also under Rule 6, that if you sign your scorecard with a score lower than you actually made on the hole, you're disqualified.
 
Unfortunately, that's what happened and that's it in a nutshell.
 
Q. I take it you brought her out to the spot and she showed you?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: Yes, sir, we had Michelle and her caddy, Greg, come to the 7th hole, and I said what I need to know is what happened yesterday when you took your unplayable lie. Where was the ball?
I want to tell you something right now, and I told them, the rules of golf, ladies and gentlemen, are based on facts. Where was the ball? It's a fact where that ball was. They had to tell us where it was. From there I can tell. Then I have to find out where did you play your shot from after you dropped the ball. That's also a fact.
And the fact was, the ball was closer to the hole by about 12 to 18 inches unfortunately.
 
Q. That being the case what took so long?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: Took so long today? There was quite a discussion with everyone involved with that after the round was over. She came out there I guess, immediately Jim brought her out after the round was over and unfortunately what they showed us.
 
Q. I'm saying this has been well over an hour?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: I know that. There was a lot of discussion with all parties involved with this. Jim and I have a philosophy that we try to let them say their piece and make sure is this where that ball was? Tell us that.
And, unfortunately, when the ball was in that bush, no matter where it was in that bush, that ball was closer to the hole when they played it. I looked at the videotape which was inconclusive, I might add, so at that point I want to make sure we were making the right decision, because this is important to Jim and I and all of the officials on our tour.
 
Q. When did the spectator bring this up?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: I was sitting on the 15th hole. The final group was on, what, Jim, 14.
 
JIM HALEY(LPGA Tournament Official and Manager of Golf Course and Site Development): Yes, somebody else asked me the same thing. I think it was about 40 minutes before the tournament was over approximately.
 
Q. What was her emotional state?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: Obviously, I know when I played as a youngster, and when I was a 16 year old, if this would have happened to me, I would have been pretty broken up. She was a little bit emotional about it unfortunately. But you know what, good things come from things like this. That's what I believe.
 
Q. Were any calls put into the folks at Daytona, the LPGA headquarters or was this the decision here?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: No, sir, we feel confident what we did was the right thing. Unfortunately we have had to do this before. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, this is not fun.
 
Q. Are you saying that no matter where she would have dropped the ball out of that bush, unless she had gone across the cart path there, the ball was going to be closer to the hole?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: If that ball, if you had to see this situation, she would have probably been dropping in a dirt area, not on the grass area. And that's the bad part of it. We measured this three or four times. Jim and I wanted to be perfectly sure that what we were doing was right. Unfortunately it turned out that way.
 
Q. Was it some sort of a device?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: We use string, like plumber's string.
 
Q. She was emotional, what did she say? Did she dispute the ruling during your discussion?
 
JIM HALEY: Once we pointed out, you know, went through the whole procedure, and they realized that they did play, or Michelle did play from a closer spot, I mean it was fairly conclusive then after we used the string. And it was conclusive. There wasn't much they could say unfortunately.
 
Q. Who all was out there, the two of you and the two of them? Was it you two, Michelle and Greg and that was it?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: Initially. Who else?
 
JIM HALEY: There was one individual from the tournament, tournament management staff that came along with us just to be there. That was essentially it. I have to admit we did come back to the office and Michelle's parents were there. Obviously they were quite concerned. We did have some discussions with her parents.
 
Q. Just for clarification sake when she put the ball in the bushes was she able to definitively say where she dropped her ball. Was there still a divot there? Or are you saying, Robert, it didn't matter, anywhere on the grass would have been too close?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: Yes, sir, that's what I'm saying. When I went out there, I looked for a scuffed up area where that ball might have been hit yesterday. I could not find it. I could not see it. That's 24 hours, so the grass tends to rebound.
 
Q. She had to estimate where the ball was?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: The videotape will probably tell you where the ball was after when she played it. But we couldn't tell where the ball lay in the bush on the video tape. That's why we had to have them tell us. What they told us, that becomes a fact.
 
Q. Was the spectator here yesterday or did he see it on TV and did either of you know the spectator?
 
ROBERT O. SMITH: I don't know who it was. They were here yesterday and they told us about it today. Unfortunately, what we like to do, if a spectator sees something like, they need to tell us because if they can tell us right away, if she could have played that, and we could have caught her in the tent at 18, it would have been a two-stroke penalty. Play golf today. But once that scorecard is signed, it's history. That's the unfortunate part of it. That's the sad part of this whole thing.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


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    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

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    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

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    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

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    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

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    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.