Notes Big Dreams for Wie

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenSOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- Michelle Wie doesn't need a special exemption for the next U.S. Women's Open because she finished in the top 20 at Orchards Golf Club.

That doesn't mean she won't experience U.S. Open qualifying.

B.J. Wie said his daughter likely will enter the 18-hole local qualifier for the men's U.S. Open, part of the plan for the 14-year-old from Hawaii to compete more against the men next summer.
Wie, who tied for 13th place at the Orchards with 17-year-old Paula Creamer, tried to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Public Links and missed by one shot. It was her fourth time playing against the men. She previously missed the cut on the Canadian, Nationwide and PGA Tour, although her 68 at the Sony Open to miss by one shot turned heads.

Next year, she is expected to play in the Western Amateur and try the Publinx qualifying again.

'She learns a lot when she plays against the men,' said B.J. Wie, as he prepared for a 10-day break away from golf while visiting family in Los Angeles. 'The only thing she wants is to get better than she was the year before.'

The USGA took some heat for giving Wie an exemption instead of having her go through 36 holes of sectional qualifying like Creamer, Erica Blasberg and the rest of the Curtis Cup team.

What would have happened had Wie finished outside the top 20?

She might have received another exemption next year, anyway.

'The slate is wiped clean from this moment forward, ' USGA executive director David Fay said Sunday as Wie was about to start her final round. 'I hope we are in a situation where we have amateurs that, by their play, earn consideration for a special exemption.'

And what of Creamer?

The senior-to-be at Leadbetter Golf Academy tied for second and finished 13th in consecutive weeks on the LPGA Tour. That came after the field was set for the Women's Open, and Fay said Creamer's performance the last two weeks might have been considered for an exemption next year.

Alas, none of it matters. Both secured spots in the field at Cherry Hills in Denver. But the USGA made it clear that they are looking as much at amateurs as they are past major champions, such as Betsy King and Dottie Pepper.

The question for Creamer is whether she shows up at Cherry Hills as an amateur.

Her father, Paul Creamer, said she has a multitude of options that include going to Q-school in the fall but still finishing up her senior year of high school. Creamer already has taken college visits to Arizona and Arizona State, and plans more visits this fall.

USGA executive director and baseball fanatic David Fay referred to Orchards Golf Club as a late-season acquisition for the U.S. Women's Open.

Lake Merced pulled out of the rotation about the time Orchards inquired about hosting another U.S. Junior Girls. Fay knew the course because his wife is a Mount Holyoke alum, and he gave it the biggest event in women's golf.

It turned out to be a great week. The Donald Ross course was well-received and there were record crowds.

The Women's Open is scheduled to visit well-known courses such as Cherry Hills, Oakmont, Interlachen and Pebble Beach over the next several years. Where would a quaint course like the Orchards fit in?

Somewhere in the schedule, most likely.

'It is linked to the oldest women's college in America, built by a father for his daughter. It works,' Fay said. 'Given the success here, if the college invites us back, this would have to be given consideration -- unless we don't want to go to places where you have the most crowds ever and the players think it's an exceptional course.'
Dan Wilson has a unique perspective on how much Michelle Wie has matured in one year -- not just her golf at the U.S. Women's Open, but her etiquette.

Wilson caddied for Pat Hurst last week and they played final two rounds with Wie. A year ago, he was working for Danielle Ammaccapane when fireworks went off the first two days at Pumpkin Ridge. The teenager hit out of turn and her father-caddie, B.J. Wie, was accused of moving around the green as others were trying to putt.

Wilson said there was no trouble at the Orchards, and that Wie was no different than any other player.

'It was a joy to be paired with them,' he said. 'It was a totally different experience from last year.'

Wilson didn't want to talk about the incidents last year that led to B.J. Wie accusing Ammaccapane of bumping his daughter, and Ammaccapane berating Wie in the scoring tent. But he said he was a little apprehensive about the weekend pairing, and pleasantly surprised how it went.

'She was great,' he said.

Ammaccapane did not play at Orchards because she is pregnant.
Now this is how you break in a golf course.

Tom Lehman played a tournament to commemorate the opening of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif., which he co-designed with architect Casey O'Callaghan. When he got to the 231-yard fourth hole, Lehman hit a 5-iron that looked good all the way -- a hole-in-one.

So, what does Lehman think of the hole?

'Too easy,' he told The Orange County Register. 'I need to redesign it.'
Natalie Gulbis has released her 2005 calendar that features the California blonde in swimwear, casual clothes and athletic outfits. It came out last week at the U.S. Women's Open, where she tied for 37th. Meantime, the equally fetching Paula Creamer, 17, tied for 13th and shared low amateur honors with Michelle Wie. ... Tiger Woods (7) and Retief Goosen (2) are the only players with multiple majors since 1999. On the LPGA Tour, they share the wealth. Karrie Webb has won six majors since 1999, followed by Annika Sorenstam (5), Juli Inkster (4) and Meg Mallon and Se Ri Pak with two each. ... The USGA is looking for a golf course in Britain for U.S. Open qualifying next year. Among the issues is making sure the club's membership does not discriminate against women.
Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer have played four LPGA Tour events this year. Had they not been amateurs, Wie would have earned $191,526 and Creamer would have made $190,236.
'Because I was too fat.' -- Darren Clarke, when asked why he went on a diet. Clarke has lost 44 pounds and 6 inches around his waist since September.
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    Reed: 'Back still hurts' from carrying Spieth at Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:48 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Friday’s marquee match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who are both undefeated in pool play, just keeps getting better and better.

    Following his 1-up victory over Charl Schwartzel on Thursday, Reed was asked what makes Spieth, who defeated HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, so good at match play.

    “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, who teamed with Spieth at Hazeltine National.

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    The duo did go 2-1-1 at the 2016 Ryder Cup and have a combined 7-2-2 record in Ryder and Presidents Cup play. Reed went on to explain why Spieth can be such a challenging opponent in match play.

    “The biggest thing is he's very consistent. He hits the ball well. He chips the ball well. And he putts it really well,” Reed said. “He's not going to give you holes. You have to go and play some good golf.”

    The winner of Friday’s match between Spieth and Reed will advance to the knockout stage.

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    Reed vs. Spieth: Someone has to go

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:11 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – The introduction of round-robin play to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was a necessary evil. It was needed to stem the tide of early exits by high-profile players, but three days of pool play has also dulled the urgency inherent to match play.

    There are exceptions, like Friday’s marquee match between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, which is now a knockout duel with both players going 2-0-0 to begin the week in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    That the stars aligned so perfectly to have America’s most dominant pairing in team play the last few years square off in a winner-take-all match will only add to what promises to be must-see TV.

    Sport doesn’t always follow the script, but the pre-match subtext on this one is too good to dismiss. In one corner, professional golf’s “Golden Child” who has used the Match Play to wrest himself out of the early season doldrums, and in the other there’s the game’s lovable bad boy.

    Where Spieth is thoughtful and humble to the extreme, Reed can irritate and entertain with equal abandon. Perhaps that’s why they’ve paired so well together for the U.S. side at the Ryder and Presidents Cup, where they are a combined 7-2-2 as a team, although Spieth had another explanation.

    “We're so competitive with each other within our own pairing at the Ryder Cup, we want to outdo each other. That's what makes us successful,” Spieth said. “Tiger says it's a phenomenon, it's something that he's not used to seeing in those team events. Normally you're working together, but we want to beat each other every time.”

    But if that makes the duo a good team each year for the United States, what makes Friday’s showdown so compelling is a little more nuanced.

    The duo has a shared history that stretches all the way back to their junior golf days in Texas and into college, when Reed actually committed to play for Texas as a freshman in high school only to change his mind a year later and commit to Georgia.

    That rivalry has spilled over to the professional ranks, with the twosome splitting a pair of playoff bouts with Reed winning the 2013 Wyndham Championship in overtime and Spieth winning in extra holes at the 2015 Valspar Championship.

    Consider Friday a rubber match with plenty of intrigue.

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    Although the friendship between the two is genuine, there is an edge to the relationship, as evidenced by Reed’s comment last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he was denied relief on the 11th hole on Sunday.

    “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys,” Reed said.

    While the line was clearly a joke, Reed added to Friday’s festivities when he was asked what makes Spieth such a good match play opponent. “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, a not-so-subtle suggestion that he carried Spieth at Hazeltine.

    For his part, Spieth has opted for a slightly higher road. He explained this week that there have been moments in the Ryder Cup when his European opponents attempted some gamesmanship, which only angered Reed and prompted him to play better.

    “I've been very nice to [Reed] this week,” Spieth smiled.

    But if the light-hearted banter between the duo has fueled the interest in what is often a relatively quiet day at the Match Play, it’s their status as two of the game’s most gritty competitors that will likely lead to the rarest of happenings in sport – an event that exceeds expectations.

    Both have been solid this week, with Speith winning his first two matches without playing the 18th hole and Reed surviving a late rally from Charl Schwartzel on Thursday with an approach at the 18th hole that left him a tap-in birdie to remain unbeaten.

    They may go about it different ways, but both possess the rare ability to play their best golf on command.

    “I’m glad the world gets to see this because it will be special,” said Josh Gregory, Reed’s college coach who still works with the world No. 23. “You have two players who want the ball and they aren’t afraid of anything. Patrick lives for this moment.”

     Where Reed seems to feed off raw emotion and the energy of a head-to-head duel, Spieth appears to take a more analytical approach to match play. Although he admits to not having his best game this week, he’s found a way to win matches, which is no surprise to John Fields, Spieth’s coach at Texas.

    “Jordan gave us a tutorial before the NCAA Championship, we picked his brain on his thoughts on match play and how he competed. It’s one of those secret recipes that someone gives you,” Fields said. “When he was a junior golfer he came up with this recipe.”

    Whatever the secret sauce, it will be tested on Friday when two of the game’s most fiery competitors will prove why match play can be the most entertaining format when the stars align like they have this week.

    It was a sign of how compelling the match promises to be that when asked if he had any interest in the Spieth-Reed bout, Rory McIlroy smiled widely, “I have a lot of interest in that. Hopefully I get done early, I can watch it. Penalty drops everywhere.”

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    Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

    We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

    But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

    One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

    It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

    And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

    Hey, whatever works.

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    Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

    Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

    The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

    “I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

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    Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

    “I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”