Pressel, for the record, is only 18, Wie 16. Pressel hasnt yet learned to filter her remarks through the professional athletes do-nothing, say-nothing web. At this tender age, when she is asked for an opinion, she delivers it. And, I might add, she has quite a few opinions, learned opinions, much more than the average teenager who has just graduated from high school in the past month.
She has been asked several times about her opinions of Wie, Wies accomplishments, and Wies penchant for playing events regardless of gender. And each time she is asked, she responds forthrightly ' she feels Wie should not be given an exemption into various womens majors. For all we know, its possible Wie feels the same. However, the various organizations have done so ' each time with a convincing reason why, by the way.
Her remarks have been spindled, folded and mutilated to make it appear as a personal grudge against Wie. A reporter reads where Pressel said so-and-so about Wie and he has to ask Morgan for him/herself. Then another reporter reads the remarks, and at times the writers negative opinions, and he asks the same question. Before long, it becomes a self-fulfilling exercise.
I have only sat in on two or three of Morgans press conference, but in each one, the questions were almost always first and foremost about Wie. And the answer is nearly always the same ' Pressel is awed, as is everyone, by Wies ability. She personally thinks Wie is nice, sweet ' whatever the word of the day is. But no, she isnt overwhelmed by Wies ability, nor is she cowed by the fact that she ' Pressel - will be going into competition with her.
I didnt attend Tuesdays media session with Pressel, but the transcript shows that the questions were along the same lines as the few I have personally attended. And undoubtedly, today you will see several stories written about Pressels dislike of Wie. I will let you decide.
Pressel, it develops, was quite impressed with Wies play in the mens U.S. Open qualifier Monday. She played great! said Pressel. You cant take anything away from the way that she played. Her putting cost her a little bit down the stretch probably all day, but I think that obviously when she plays on the LPGA Tour in events like this (the McDonalds), it helps these events.
But she also said that Wies appearance in the Open qualifier negatively affects the LPGA events that Wie doesnt play.
People say, Oh, well, if Michelle's not playing, it's a second class event, said Pressel.
Its just - she can only play seven events or however many she can play, and those events aren't really going to benefit from it.
Pressel understands one reason why Wie plays mens events ' Wie can make much more money just by showing up. And Wies sponsors certainly can benefit greatly from the exposure.
She can go over to Japan and play for a guaranteed, you know - for just as much money as some of our purses, said Pressel. So why would she want to come play in LPGA events when - I mean, she's making lots of money?
Morgan took a little backhand swipe at the media. And rightly or wrongly, the media has helped fuel this tremendous surge in public opinion over whether a female should compete alongside males in traditionally male events.
The media, Pressel says, has created this huge persona that the public is absolutely fascinated with, with this idea of a woman competing in a men's event. And she's a great player; you can't take that away from her. And I'm sure when she comes on the LPGA Tour, you know, she brings all that hype with her.
I wish that she would play more obviously on the LPGA Tour, but she's got it made.
The public fascination of Wie, Pressel says, is derived totally because she wants to play against men. Obviously, I'm sure she wants to win on the (PGA) Tour and on the LPGA Tour, but she wants to compete with the men, and that's her main focus, said Morgan.
Pressel readily agrees that Wie has not taken the easy way out. Her path will be extremely difficult, considering that she is breaking all sorts of ground in approaching her golf career in a totally different way.
She has a lot of pressure on her, Pressel says. And for Paula (Creamer) and myself, the other young players, there's always pressure, but it's not the tremendous media circus. That doesn't follow us around every day. And that does allow us to really concentrate on our game more and focus.
It's really made her this huge icon, really, but it's not always the best to come out center stage, I guess. I remember when I was 12 and when I was playing in the U.S. Open and for awhile thereafter I wasn't really focused on my game because there was so much going on around me. And it took awhile for me to really settle down and once the media hype settled down, then I was able to focus.
Sounds to me like a young woman forcefully stating her opinions. Some people have decided its personal, that one girl is jumping on another girls dreams of playing against the men. I dont think so. But, you be the judge.
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