Bivens was one of about 200 or so faces in a gallery that would swell three-deep to get a glimpse at Michelle Wie 2.0. The smile on the commissioners face said it all. Wie was on her way to a closing 74 and a 12-under 348 total, more than good enough for a top-20 finish and an LPGA card.
Good day, Bivens smiled.
Given the weighty environment of the circuits clarion moment one neednt be clairvoyant, or have NSA clearance, to figure out who was the likely recipient of Bivens instant missive. It was a text that may have gone something like this.
SMS To: Wiesy
Subject: :- )
You did it. You earned your tour card. You didnt talk to the media for four days and you put a scare into us with that not-so-world-beater-like final round. But you did it.
You did it without a sponsor exemption and without a scoring gaffe. LOL.
More importantly, you did it with a gallery that lined the Champions Courses fairways three deep in some places. On an NFL Sunday, no less. In a corner of Americana that is spoiled by an embarrassment of pro golf riches that includes Tiger Woods, tournaments like the Players Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational. OMG. Who says golf cant compete with football?
Your swing whisperer David Leadbetter said it best as he wandered down the 18th fairway, your tour card all but locked up thanks to five steady days.
Does the LPGA need Michelle? Look around, Leadbetter said motioning to the assembled masses.
We need you like Zack needs Cody to have a suite life. You may have read that the economy is not doing so hot and our sponsorship portfolio takes a hit every time the stock market takes a tumble. Our alpha female Annika Sorenstam called it quits this year and English has become a second language at many of our events. : - 0
All of which makes those Wie Watchers who braved the wind and chill to watch you grind your way to a tour card that much more important.
We will need to talk, however. Like when you bogeyed your first four holes on Sunday, AI. It was Rule 88 all over again. Only this time there would be no withdrawal. No chance to play another day. No way to say it was just an anomaly that could be dismissed. : -(
You lost us a little bit when you said you still want to play on the PGA Tour. WTH
Ive always wanted to do it as long as Ive played golf. Its as simple as that, you said.
The PGA Tour has that Tiger fellow and Phil and Vijay and Anthony and Camilo. Do they need U2?
And when you said your degree from Stanford was a top priority. One word: majors.
You say, Im going to be a beach bum, when you go home to Hawaii for the holidays. I say youre going to become the centerpiece of a 2009 marketing campaign thats going to read something like: We have Wie, and they dont.
But then you nailed the finish, sounding so mature and at ease.
(Before earning a tour card) It was the feeling like you are always on the outside, no matter how well you might play, you said. I have come from really far below. After my injury to now it feels like I have a clean slate.
That doesnt sound like a 19 year old. That sounds like a professional who has weathered six years of storms and bad decisions and is ready to take her place among the games best. Im going to hand you a tour card this week. Youre going to hand us an opportunity. U rock.
I have worked really hard for this week and for this moment, you said. I just closed my eyes and closed my ears to everything that was going on. . . . I just feel like I got it.
TXS and BFF, Bivo
Cc: Stacy Lewis