Wie Continues to Stir Up Emotions

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Everyone, it seems, has a word or a thousand to say about Michelle Wie. Below is a sample of the flood of e-mails commenting on my Thursday column (Read - The Only Criterion - They Will Watch). I have withheld the authors names to protect the innocent.
 
Incidentally, there were 156 players in the John Deere field, and among them were eight sponsors exemptions. Four were restricted to PGA Tour members who werent otherwise exempt for the tournament. The other four are unrestricted ' they go to whomever the sponsor wishes to invite (in this case, Michelle.)
 
Those who dont agree with the Wie invite had better get used to it ' John Deere tournament director Clair Peterson says seven more events have invited the 15-year-old. Of course, she cant accept them all. There is no indication that she will accept any except the Sony Open in Hawaii. With that ' happy reading!
 
  • Right on! When are professional athletes going to get it? They want to play a game for a ridiculous amount of money, all the while being provided with extravagant perks at the sponsor's expense. Then they have the audacity to complain when the sponsor tries to maximize its return by inviting Michelle Wie instead of some unknown 'Professional Golfer'.
     
  • Its too bad that it's all about money. I don't think that a 15 year old, no matter how good she is, should be treated as a god. Golf was something to be admired, but now with all the gimmicks (i.e. Michelle Wie) it's now only a sport to see who can get the most people there so they can make the almighty dollar.
     
  • Michelle's appearance will no doubt increase attendance at the event, which translates into more dollars for the charitable organizations the PGA Tour so strongly supports. As for the so-called golf fans who criticize her inclusion, I would suggest to them that there are more pressing issues in our world over which they should be concerned.
     
  • I never gave a hoot about this tournament, but this week my 13-year-old daughter and three of her golf buddies are watching and recording the event. These girls never cared about the PGA, LPGA or even Annika, but they follow Wie - something about the way she does not care about what others say or write that appeals to kids. Now they are wearing the same earrings and dreaming of hitting the ball 300 yards. I hope she does not make the cut, or my weekend will be ruined as I would have to stay at home caring for four young girls.
     
  • Miss Wie in her innocence might just be having fun competing against the guys, but you can bet that every chauvinist group - male or female - has a stake in this each time she tees it up. I would love to see her take control of the ladies tour and when she gains the top status over there, bring her out and really let her show here stuff against the guys. Let her grow into the fabulous player that she's destined to be. She is special.
     
  • To add a just a little bit of credence to the thesis of your article, the only reason I set up my ReplayTV unit to record Round 1 and Round 2 of the John Deere classic is because Michelle Wie is in the field.
     
  • No one has the right to make a living playing golf. The public is willing to pay and watch a golf tournament because it is entertaining. Just like a movie, a successful golf tournament requires stars and/or a good story. The supporting cast members (or non-star pro golfers) can complain all they want, no one buys a ticket to watch them act (or play golf) because they have a right to make a living. Michelle first showed up as a good story, now we are hooked on her as a star.
     
  • I was of the opinion that Michelle should learn how to win against her peers before taking on the LPGA or PGA tour members. That is, until I saw her at the U.S. Women's Open in Denver. She definitely plays a game altogether different from everyone else, and I'm not talking just length. Her swing is obviously modeled after a male (Tiger?) and her drive and acceleration through the hitting area is something to see in person.
     
  • Talking about sour grapes! I'm referring to those who say Michelle is taking other professionals places. You hit the nail on the head. The PGA is all about the size of the 'gate' and TV audiences....It's a no-brainer that the tour will benefit hugely by her participation.
     
  • The bottom line is, Michelle Wie does not belong in this or any other PGA tournament. Of course tour players dont mind if she plays - it means more money for them and one less player in the field that can beat them. Yes it is the tournament sponsors right to have anyone play, but they should meet some qualifications. If not you could have the potential to have some very unusual situations happening on tour.

  • Your thoughts about Wie in the PGA are right on. When I was a little boy, I thought professional baseball was played just for fun. I didn't realize it was for pay because it was just a game in my mind. How could you get paid for that? Well, only if you were good enough that people wanted to pay to watch you.
     
  • How Wie could draw bigger galleries than John Rollins shows that even the PGA is invaded by the mass mainstream that watches The real fans that are the lifeblood of the PGA are watching the real players, not the carnival act, and will not fade away.
     
  • I am a 56-year-old male who took up golf a few years ago. I am fascinated by the ability of a 15-year-old girl to be able to compete at this level. I may be overstating it, but how much interest would there be in this tournament absent Michelle Wie - local fans? As to those professionals who are concerned about her taking a spot - perhaps if they played to a higher level they wouldn't have to worry.
     
  • There are four words that make me violently reach for the remote to change the channel: Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie. I doubt that I will watch one shot of the Michelle Wie Classic... er I mean The John Deere Classic.
     
  • What would the golf world be doing if it was a 15-year-old male with the same talent as Wie? He would be on the all the golf books front page every day. At her age, male our female, she is something special, so just set back and enjoy.
     
  • I can't imagine any of her critics would honestly go play in a junior tournament instead of playing in a pro event if they honestly believed they could win. Heck, Johns Hopkins University runs a youth program whereby highly intelligent 7th and 8th graders take the college entrance exam simply to gauge how smart they are. I never heard of any parent complaining that their talented kid should be taking the 7th and 8th grade exams because getting a top score in an easy exam is the best way to learn how to get top scores on more advanced, higher level exams.
     
  • Any of the touring pros who dont like it ought to instead be thanking their lucky stars for the likes of Mr. Palmer, Mr. Nicklaus and Mr. Woods for collectively raising the economics of this great game to the absurd cash cow it is for all of them. And while theyve got this cute girl on the course, be thankful shes RAISING everybodys payday and not asking for any herself. After all, someday she might be TAKING their money, and then theyll REALLY have something to complain about!!
     
    Email your thoughts to George White
     
    Related links:
  • Michelle Wie's Scorecard

  • Full Coverage - John Deere Classic