The long-time weekly had already completed the photo shoot in Wies homeland of Hawaii. Then a tragedy occurred and it was completely unrelated to the growing legend of the 14-year-old Wie.
Former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman, who left his NFL team to join the Army Rangers and fight for America in Afghanistan, was killed when his unit was ambushed.
Sports Illustrated quickly and understandably decided to put Tillman on its cover. A spokesman for Sports Illustrated told me the story on Wie will run this week. Just no cover.
Wie will have plenty of time for Sports Illustrated covers. Meanwhile, her next event on the U.S. mainland is next week at the LPGAs Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
Dont be surprised if the precocious Wie has quietly set appearances on the cover of SI as a career goal. In case youre wondering Jack Nicklaus, with 22 SI covers, is the leading golfer in this category. He is tied for third among all athletes with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
First on the all-time SI list is Michael Jordan with 49 covers followed by Muhammad Ali with 37. Tiger Woods is 12th on the list with 12.
The good news for Wie this week came out of the United Kingdom where Royal & Ancient Secretary Peter Dawson said he would never say never about the possibility of Wie or any other qualified woman playing in the Open Championship.
Until now, no woman has played in the worlds oldest major championship. And the entry form currently refers only to male golfers.
This year a place in the Open Championship will go to the leading non-exempt player at both the Cialis Western Open and the John Deere Classic. Wie is not expected to play in either of those events even though she received an invite to play John Deeres event.
Dawson is well aware of the fact that Wie will continue to improve and likely will accept sponsors exemptions from time to time in American Tour events. The day she qualifies for the Open Championship, he admits, will be the day his tournament has to face the changing face of golf.
The championship committee would have to take it very seriouslyif a woman does meet one of the qualification criteria, Dawson told The Sporting Life this week. It would be difficult not to.
And so it goes. One cover closes without Wie on it. A crack in a door opens somewhere else.
Weve not had a situation in golf where equal competition between the sexes has been seriously considered in the past, Dawson said.
Sounds like thats about to change.
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