Wie at Stanford Not a Celebrity

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Things might - emphasis on the word might - be starting to turn around in the cautionary tale that has become Michelle Wies life. The early reports from Stanford, where Wie has just begun her first year, paint a picture of Wie as a normal freshman leading a normal life.
 
Asked if any feature stories were planned on Wie, Jack Salisbury, the sports editor of the Stanford Daily, said, Maybe. And maybe not.
 
Asked if Wie was viewed as a celebrity on Stanfords campus, Salisbury said matter-of-factly, Not really. Were all pretty busy here.
 
This anonymity, if you will, could be one of the best things to happen to the beleaguered Wie since her golf game began deteriorating earlier this year. But there are still questions.
 
More than one observer close to the situation has insisted Wie needs to be away from the protective shield of her parents. But, at least for now, thats not happening. Sources say B.J. and BO Wie have obtained a house Menlo Park, Ca., which is adjacent to the Stanford campus. They have been spotted regularly accompanying their daughter to daily two-hour practice sessions at the Stanford driving range.
 
The Stanford Golf Course, apart from the schools intercollegiate golf programs, allows Wie to practice in the varsity area of the range but only when team members are not present. If Wie wants to play the golf course, she must pay $25, same as any other undergraduate.
 
NCAA rules are strict when it comes to Wie mixing with members of the mens or womens teams. Womens coach Caroline OConnor said Wie, neither an amateur nor a team member, is not allowed to have any contact with Stanford players during formal practice sessions on the range or on the golf course.
 
Perhaps the best news for Wie is that, for now, she is living in a dormitory and mixing with the general student population. We are all happy to have her on campus, OConnor said. And I hope she is able to grow here as a student.
 
Next up on Wies golf schedule is the Samsung World Championship in Palm Desert, Calif., Oct. 11-14.
 

AUSTINS POWERS
The people paid to manage Woody Austins career are becoming increasingly swamped. Pun intended.
 
When last seen at the Presidents Cup the colorful Austin was rattling off three straight birdies Friday at Royal Montreal after tumbling face first into a water hazard on the 14th hole. Phil Mickelson, Austins playing partner, quickly dubbed Austin Aquaman. Austin responded by donning a pair of scuba goggles, at the suggestion of Barbara Nicklaus, when he arrived at the 15th holes the next day.
 
Hes hot right now, said Kevin Canning, who handles of Goal Marketing, the New York-based that handles requests for Austins time.
 
And the phone is starting to ring. Canning said the Presidents Cup aqua hijinks could lead to more than one endorsement deal with water-related companies.
 
One thing Austin wont do, Canning said, is take the money and run to every corporate outing willing to write him a fat check for a one-day hit-and-giggle. He enjoys being with his family too much, Canning said.
 
But Austin will be in the field for the Merrill Lynch Shootout in early December near Naples, Fl., not far from where he grew up in Tampa. Austin also asked Canning to find out if there was any room left in the field the following week for Tiger Woods Target World Challenge presented by Countrywide.
 
Turns out the 16-man field for Target is already set. But a discreet inquiry from Canning to Target officials revealed that Austin is on a short list of alternates.
 
How short?
 
Yes, his name is on the list, Canning was told. And, no, we are not saying exactly where on that list he is.
 
Austins powers, after all, arent as great as Tigers
 
Actually Austins rapid rise to prominence this season began in early June when he fashioned a final round 62 that was good enough to win the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis.
 
Austin then forced the hand of eventual winner Woods at the PGA Championship in August. Woods responded by pulling away but Austin picked up a solo second place check worth $756,000.
 

ASPIRING MINDS
Tim Moraghan, who left his post as the USGAs director of championships agronomy earlier this year, has announced the formation of Aspire Golf Consulting.
 
Moraghans experience includes 30 years in the golf business as, among other things, a course superintendent. He is highly-regarded inside the industry and is, in his rare spare time, a diehard NHL fan.
 
Aspire will aspire to provide its services to public, private and resort courses in the areas of tournament preparation, golf course master planning, staff evaluation and conditioning and turf grass management.

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