Wie LPGA at Same Crossroad

By Brian HewittDecember 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ' David Leadbetter sensed the question coming three fairways away Tuesday:
 
Is this week more important to Michelle Wie, a reporter wanted to know, or is it more important to the LPGA?
 
It was eve of the final stage of LPGA Q-School and the versatile Leadbetter ' one of the most successful teachers in the history of the game ' was doubling up and serving as a spokesman for the Wie family.
 
Very important for Michelle, Leadbetter began, because shes got to have a place to play next year. This stopping and starting schedule shes been on is no good.
 
On Wednesday 140 women will tee it up at LPGA International for five rounds of organized torture. Late Sunday 20 of them will emerge with full playing privileges for 2009. The LPGA is quietly rooting and fervently hoping for Wie to advance.
 
With Annika leaving, Leadbetter continued, getting back to the question, its really important for good young players, especially American players, to step up. Right now they are few and far between.
 
Michelles a great drawing card. And when shes in full flow, shes a sight to behold. People need to put the axes that have been ground behind. This is a new era.
 
For her part, Wie was not doing any interviews Tuesday. Her parents, Bo and B.J. were cordial and shook hands. But they have long since stopped talking to the media.
 
So it fell to the next most decorated player in this field ' Stacy Lewis ' to give a players perspective on the Question of the Day. Lewis was the 54-hole leader at last Junes U.S. Womens Open and is the only women ever to go 5-0 in a Curtis Cup competition.
 
The LPGA just needs young American players to step up and compete, Lewis said. And Michelles definitely a draw. It would definitely help the LPGA (if Wie gets her card). But thats also a lot of pressure for her.
 
Wie, 19, has always been a multi-tasker when it comes to golf and all the other things she wants to do outside of the game. When she returns to California at the end of this week, she will run smack into the beginning of finals week at Stanford where she is an undergraduate.
 
Leadbetter reported that she has brought the books with her to Florida this week and, he said, he thinks it will be a good distraction for her to have something to think about at night other than golf.
 
You can get too wrapped up in what happened on the course, he said.
 
Leadbetter played in several international Q-Schools in his days as a player and has talked a lot about the strategy of the 90 holes with Wie. Youve got to accept the fact that youre going to hit a few bad shots, he said. You have to stay light and smiling and not play defensively. You have to stay low key. Its more of a mental battle.
 
The 23-year-old Lewis, who experienced the rigors of Q-School caddying for friend at the PGA Tours second stage, said she will be trying to just joke around and have fun.
 
A lot of people here, Lewis said, are pretty uptight.
 
It will help, Lewis said, that her college coach at the University of Arkansas, Shauna Estes-Taylor, will be on her bag this week.
 
Wies last LPGA start was in mid-August where she tied for 12th at the CN Canadian Womens Open. Her only top 10 this year came at a Ladies European Tour event in Germany prior to the U.S. Womens Open where she missed the cut.
 
Since then, Leadbetter said, Wies multifarious injuries have healed. She loves being aggressive with the driver now, he said. And she wasnt able (when her wrist was hurt) to support the club. She never really lost her short game and the looseness in her swing from the injuries is gone.
 
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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


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    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.