It’s not fair to Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel, but they will always be linked.
Who did it right? Who took the better path to the LPGA?
Seeing Wie atop the leaderboard at the CN Canadian Women’s Open this weekend with Pressel tied for second raises the old, feverish questions.
You can’t really say they came up together, because their paths were so radically different, but they came up at the same time. They came up as rivals in philosophy if not competition. It was impossible not to compare them.
Pressel, 22, a dominant junior who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur, was the model purists pointed to in how to groom a champ. She did it the right way. That was their thinking. She learned how to win by winning at every level.
Wie, 20, was the non-conformist, the rebel with a cause leaping over the junior ranks to develop her game against the pros. She never learned how to win. That’s what purists said until Wie won late last year, but they’re still doubting she’ll win with any regularity.
That brings us back to this week’s leaderboard.
If Wie wins, she’ll equal Pressel’s two LPGA titles, though Pressel will have the edge with a major.
It may not be fair to Wie or Pressel, but those who watched them develop on their separate paths will always be keeping score, in part to measure who did it the right way.
But, in the end, it's quite possibly a flawed question, because there’s more than one way to a mountaintop, isn’t there?