Wie Refreshed and Ready

By Rich LernerJanuary 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
HONOLULU -- What do you call the hat youre wearing? I asked Michelle Wie as she strode out of her first press gathering of the New Year.

Its sort of the newsboy, golfer, chick hat, she said with a laugh.

Wie designed the hat, and though clearly not for 46-year-old male reporters, the fresh fashion splash does match her outlook as she preps for the Sony Open in Hawaii.

I feel very refreshed, she said.

Obviously, I was a little tired the last couple events and it showed, she said, referring to her late-season, critic-rousing flameout in mens events that read 78-79 at the European Masters in September, 77-81 at the 84 Lumber Classic later that month, then 81-80 at the Casio World Open in Japan over Thanksgiving..

The family learned and there were some growing pains, she added. Hopefully, well put together a better schedule in 07, Though the plans not been finalized, indications are the primary focus will be the LPGA, where she contended in three of four majors in 2006.

December brought better fortunes when she was admitted to Stanford. Im definitely going to graduate, she declared. Whether it takes four years, five years, six years or 100 years, Im going to graduate.

How shell mix professional golf and the rigors of high-level academia remains to be seen. Im just going to wing it, she said.

She also spent two weeks around Christmas in Florida working with swing coach David Leadbetter. I basically had a flat tire in my swing, she conceded. My swing feels better. I didnt think about school, I didnt think about anything. It was good.

Tuesday morning she joined up with David Toms and Joe Durant for nine holes with maybe 100 people in the gallery.

She just showed up and brought the fans with her, said Toms, whod just played a quiet nine with Durant.

She said she always wanted to play golf with me and that was nice.

I got some fairway karma from Joe D. and David Toms, said Wie. She got more than karma. She got advice after hitting several tee shots left into the rough.

I know where shes coming from with the draw, said Toms. Shes trying to hit it far to compete with the men.

Then she hit a left-to-right slider and I said, Thats what you need to be doing.

She needs to have it in the fairway because shes not going to overpower the course. I face it every week because Im not one of the longer hitters out here.
Wies long enough.'

'She actually out drove me on number nine, Toms added. 'She plays like a guy. She moves the ball, gets the ball in the air and creates speed around the greens.

Obviously she has a tremendous amount of talent, said Durant.

Not everyones been as understanding as the good natured Toms and Durant. Some believe Wies forays into mens golf are little more than publicity-seeking, marketing exercises. In response, Michelle says simply, This is what I want to do.

But is it in her best interest long term?

It obviously helps the tournament and as long as she enjoys it and it doesnt carry over negatively to what shes trying to do on the LPGA then I think its just fine, reasoned Toms. If she does well, then that could really help her confidence.

Durant has a 15-year-old daughter. Asked what hed do if his daughter had a special talent like Wies, he said, Id explore ways to develop that talent.

Added Toms, I cant imagine what I wouldve been like as a senior in high school and a tournament calling me asking to play beside the best players in the world. If someones offering a spot, why would you not do it?

Now making her fourth straight Sony Open appearance, the buzz is noticeably cooler and expectations actually lower given her play of late.

Before there was only pressure to succeed, theorized commentator Mark Rolfing. Now she just needs to not fail.

Would a pair of 72s to miss the cut be OK? I asked Rolfing.

Probably, he said.

What about 75-76?

Probably not.

Michelle will play with father B.J. on the bag, and viewers may be struck with just how tall shes gotten, with long arms and legs. Tuesday she wore vanilla pants with a turquoise top, her pigtails dangling from her cream colored hat. Her right wrist, tweaked when she hit a shot heavy off a cart path at the Samsung World Championship late last year, was heavily taped, but she said it was not a major hinderance. Practicing between Stuart Appelby and Luke Donald on the putting green, she appeared business-like, just another professional doing the necessary work.

A short time later, before the media, she recounted her recent experience as a teachers assistant for a Head Start pre-school with 3- and 4-year-olds. Her beautiful face softened. With a smile she said, It made me realize the joy of being young, of finding joy in the smaller things.

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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

    11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

    Tuesday,   May 29

    Semifinals,   Team Match Play

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30

    Team Match   Play National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

    Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

    While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: