Girls Rivalry Maybe Maybe Not


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Morgan Pressel says its nothing, really. Michelle Wie agrees, though she still is a little more reserved in discussing the situation. Sounds like an upcoming 30-year relationship - rivalry?- in womens professional golf has begun while both are still teenagers.
Pressel opined not long ago that she felt Wie should have to qualify for the U.S. Womens Open like all the others do. It was nothing against Wie personally, it was just Pressels opinion of the situation. But somehow it has blossomed into a supposed catfight between two young women who say they like each other.
Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie
Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie share a hug after playing the final round of this year's Fields Open.
Michelle I only see every now and then because she doesnt play that often in the same events, said the 17-year-old Pressel. But were friendly.
Wie says that, I think its great she has an opinion. Everyone should have an opinion on things. My opinion is that she has a right to say whatever she wants to say. I guess thats what she believes.
These two people are expected to be the backbone of the LPGA in a few years, along with 19-year-old Paula Creamer and several others who are under 20. Call it a rivalry if you wish - Pressel understands the public relates better to such things.
I think thats a great thing for publicity and just the promotion of the LPGA Tour, to have certain rivals, said Pressel. But just because I beat Michelle or just because I beat Paula doesnt mean Ill win the tournament.
I think thats even bigger for the LPGA, that there are so many people that have an opportunity to win every week.
And Wie? Does she consider the rivalry to be an ongoing situation when she plays a tournament?
Well, I dont really think of anything, said the 16-year-old Hawaiian. Im pretty much thinking about, OK, how am I going to play the next shot, how am I going to get ready for the tournament?
I think its great for the LPGA that there are a lot of young people coming up. I dont think of it as a rivalry. Im out there trying to be the best, and shes out there trying to be the best. If thats what a rivalry is, then I guess thats what it is. But when Im out there, Im just trying to think about how Im going to hit the next shot.
Christina Kim is only 22, hardly Medicare age, but she sees the rivalry' as an advantageous part of the overall LPGA product.
I think its great for the game because it piques peoples interest, said Kim, because golf for so long used to be, quote-unquote, the grandfathers sport. It was a noble sport, something for the wealthier people.
I think its just now becoming more mainstream. People are playing, people are watching, the people that love the game ' weve touched into almost every demographic area. And I think thats awesome. So rivals wouldnt do anything but help the game, I think.
And Pressel will keep giving interviews and will not censure her thoughts or filter her chatter, she says. Theres no reason for me to tone it down, Morgan says. I dont see why I should. I dont think that Ive done anything that would be unprofessional or anything like that.
Its just something that people can relate to. Its just me being me, so Im not going to change.
She might be a feisty kid, she might go over-the-top sometimes, but she still is an excellent addition to the LPGA Tour, says her LPGA big sis, Juli Inkster.
Morgan is going to be just fine, says Inkster. She is a great kid. Shes the type ' she loves golf. Like she said, she would rather play every day than practice. She doesnt like to play bad, and shell show those emotions. But I think overall, shes a good kid.
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