Anybody Else Playing this Wie-k


In 2004, Michelle Wie teed it up at the Sony Open in Hawaii as a ninth grader and the range was like the line at Best Buy when X-Box 360 came out. You couldnt find a spot, you couldnt get a glimpse, and you couldnt begin to imagine what was on the way.
Now, shes older, perhaps wiser and the resume ' while loaded with top finishes on the LPGA ' is without a professional win of any kind.
She tees it up this week on the GOLF CHANNEL and will no doubt get some airtime. But this week is about the PGA TOURs best available talent as the season really takes off.
The first full-field event gives us a chance to check back with Vijay Singh ' whos now fifth in the World Golf Rankings and ushering in a new year with thoughts of doing more damage to the over-40 record books.
It gives us a chance to see if Steve Strickers Comeback Player of the Year honor carries any momentum into a new season.
It gives us a chance to see if Charles Howell III can get off to a start that makes us remember what we were thinking just a few years ago.
It gives us a chance to remember Jerry Kellys win of a few years ago at the Sony Open and see if hes ready to step it up a notch in a Presidents Cup year.
It gives us a chance to see if J.B. Holmes can out drive Bubba Watson or if Bubba Watson can out drive J.B. Holmes or if Bubba Watson can play like he did a year ago at Waialae when he finished fourth.
It gives us a chance to see young 21-year-old Anthony Kim, who has nearly won twice on the PGA TOUR despite a hand injury that set him back.
It gives us a chance to catch up with Matt Kuchar whos won a PGA TOUR event, lost his PGA TOUR card, and now has returned from the Nationwide Tour with new confidence and higher hopes for consistency.
It gives us a chance to watch his fellow Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Bryce Molder and another former young gun in Jeff Quinney, who won a U.S. Amateur but hasnt been able to make a dent as a pro.
It gives us a chance to see if David Toms ' like Vijay a 40-something now himself ' can successfully defend his Sony Open title and put his name in the water cooler conversation.
It gives us a chance to see what might become of former Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, who now can play without thinking about being a Ryder Cup captain.
It gives us a chance to see how Paul Azinger will play now that he is saddled with Ryder Cup responsibility.
It gives us a chance to see if John Daly can forget about trying to keep up with J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson and try to stay ahead of those who possess half of his talent.
Do you get my point? This week isnt about Michelle Wie.
'No one really talks about it,' Hawaiian PGA TOUR star Dean Wilson said. 'You know she's going to play. We've all seen her play. We've all seen her on TV. She's so popular that there's not much curiosity. You just cheer for her to make the cut.'
And thats no slight on Michelle. Its just proper perspective that this event isnt about the teenager. In PGA TOUR circles, its more about her playing competitors Gavin Coles and Stephen Marino who have designs on making their own waves in the years first full-field event.
By the weekend, well know what Michelles done and if shes done. Well also know if Vijay Singhs on his way to giving us a storyline that gives PGA TOUR fans reason to chatter before Phil Mickelson makes his way to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic ' hosted by George Lopez and before Tiger Woods tees it up at the Buick Invitational.
Ive hardly been rooting against Wie this week. The opposite in fact. But I do consider myself a realist. And so far theres no reason to think beyond simply the new year on the PGA TOUR and all that its members have to play for.
See you all year on the Sprint Post Game ' right after PGA TOUR coverage.

Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann