LET for WIE

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Michelle Wie was in Europe last week playing on a sponsors invite at the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open. The former girl wonder quietly went about her business without the usual fanfare accompanying her every move. The result was impressive: 14 under and a sixth-place finish, her first sub-par tournament since tying for second at the Evian Masters two years ago.
 
I remember when Wie first turned pro, having many conversations with, my then co-host for GOLF CHANNEL UKs LPGA Tour coverage, Laura Baugh, about how good an option the LET was for a rookie Wie. The LPGA was against extending a membership to Michelle because of her age, but the LET waived their rule to accept Amy Yang when she was 17, and it seemed Wie could probably sway the tour in her favour as well. But money beckoned; Wie took on the men and played a handful of LPGA events and, well, we all know how it turned out.
 
The LET offers a top-class playing environment on good golf courses in fabulous spots around the globe. Over the next few months, the ladies will visit the Algarve, the Canary Islands, Tuscany, Carmarthenshire and Oslo. If I could offer a tiny bit of advice to Michelle: take as many invitations as possible, go play in these places, make friends, sample the local delights, gain some golfing confidence, because there are a lot worse summer jobs. You could be interning in a grubby office for no pay getting three credit hours.
 
By the way, it was Yang who won the event last week, and promptly donated the 37,500 first prize to the victims of the Chinese earthquake.
 

A Celtic Let-Down?
 
If you saw GOLF CHANNELs coverage of last weeks Celtic Manor Wales Open you would have seen the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup. The Twenty Ten course was used for the first time in competition last week, having been under construction for the past three years. There are nine new holes and then nine re-worked from the old Wentwood Hills course, used for the Wales Open from 2000-2004.
 
I was rather keen to look at this course seeing its importance in the 2010 festivities, and I must say it grew on me as the week went-on. Im not saying its the best course I have ever seen, but the stretch did seem to suit a match-play duel -- drivable par-4 15; long par-4 16; par-3 17; and then an eagle-able par-5 to finish.
 
Sir Terry Matthews and the team have built this course to suit a Ryder Cup and for that they should be commended; it shows the importance of the venue and how much they value its presence. The same cannot be said for some of the Open Championship venues, for instance. But the difference between those old storied links and the present day Ryder Cup courses is huge. Where would you rather spend your British golfing holiday? Turnberry, Birkdale, St. Georges and Carnoustie or the K-Club, Belfry, Celtic Manor and Gleneagles? Yes, the accommodation may be far more superior at the latter but I just dont think the golf will be.
 
Three to Watch
 
Three to watch at next weeks U.S. Open
 
  • Robert Karlsson
  • Justin Rose
  • Ross McGowan
     
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