With SK Telecom Open in sight, is Wie the Pete Rademacher of golf?
Michelle Wie has signed up to play in a men’s tournament again, this time the SK Telecom Open in Korea in May. It’ll be her eighth attempt to make the cut against the guys, and maybe eight times is a charm.
This business - and it is about business - of Wie challenging the boys reminds me of the time when Pete Rademacher challenged Floyd Patterson for the world heavyweight boxing title in his first pro bout. Predictably, Rademacher suffered four knockdowns in the fifth round and was bombed out in the sixth.
The difference between Rademacher and Wie is that Pete actually won something first – the 1956 Olympic heavyweight boxing title. He also managed to deck Patterson once during their bout. Even so, Floyd and his overprotective manager, Cus D’Amato, were ridiculed, and deservedly so, for taking such an easy opponent. Remember, this was the duo that refused for four years to fight Sonny Liston, the no. 1 contender, claiming his unsavory associations would stain boxing.
Public pressure eventually forced Patterson to fight Liston - who KOed Patterson in the first round. A rematch the next year brought the same result. Observers at ringside said it was like a man fighting a boy, and as usual the man won easily.
It’s not surprising, given what we know about sports history, that Wie hasn’t made a single cut in seven attempts against a men’s field. If she keeps trying and the trend continues, though, she’s going to prevail eventually. We hear there’s an opening at the 2007 Pygmy Open in Botswana.
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Who gives a toss about boxing?
Is this not a golf blog?
I might not be the most knowledgable golf person, but even I know how stupid you sound, comparing her to a boxer.
The big difference in the two cases is that only one boxer gets to fight the world champion at a time, and this only happens every few months, so maybe that guy didn't deserve his chance.
For Wie she is not getting a match play versus Tiger Woods, which would be the equivalent of what you are talking about.
She gets exemptions in tournaments with about 140 other people in the tournament.
Also, these are run of the mill tournaments which happen every weekend. So comparing that to someone getting a world title shot is completely idiotic.
Hopefully you can admit the error of your example.
To simplify further:
* In boxing, one man gets to challenge the champion every few months or so.
* In golf, hundreds of golfers play at this level each week.
Sorry, if I seem to be coming down hard on this blogger, but the quality of blogging here recently has been just dreadful. Someone needs to get a grip and improve this.
If Wie plays in PGA events, critics say she only plays the toughest events so no one will criticize her if she doesn't make it. If she plays in a slightly easier event, critics say she is only playing easier events in a "desperate attempt to make a cut".
No matter what she does she is critisized.
It's a bit pathetic jumping on the Wie bandwagon.
You don't earn sponsors exemptions. The sponsors decides who who they want to invite. Probably based on who will put bums on seats. It that regard Wie has it hands down on everyone else. This is not even worthy of debate.
Here are the reasons pure and simple people:
THREE MILLION DOLLARS IN APPEARANCE FEES BETWEEN THE TWO EVENTS!
They anted up.
Would Wie be allowed to compete as a pygmy? Isn't there a height restriction?"
Al and Ron she already played in the Pygmy Open and came in second. Here is the proof:
Jackson, I agree that Johnny was a bit harsh on the blogger.
However, comparing the two sports is indeed a silly thing to do.
In boxing there are only title fights a few times a year, and there are plenty of good fighters queueing up.
In golf, it simply is not a big deal if Michelle takes 1 spot from 145 or so, in the type of event that is on practically every week.
Boxing: the challenger was taking 1 of about 3 spots of a title fight.
Golf: There are about 5,600 spots available per year on the pga. If Michelle takes one or two of those, it is very different.
You have gone on in length in your comments about how she doesn't deserve the sponsors exemptions. However I have not heard you complain about any other golfer getting sponsors exemptions. These exemptions are there in most tournaments. She is not the only one getting these.
Here is an example. At the recent Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Esmond Clouthier received a sponsors exemption. He shot 87, 84 and finished at +27. That was 18 shots behind the 2nd last place.
Perhaps you should save your critisism for whoever decided to give him an exemption.
Sponsors invitations are for the sponsor to decide, and they will give them to whoever they like.
Sponsors exemptions are not earned by players. Fred Couples didn't have to earn his, or Tiger or anyone else. They are actually earned by the sponsor, and the sponsor will do with them whatever they choose to do.
If Michelle wants to compete in some third rate Asian tour event in a desperate attempt to say she has made the cut against male proffesionals then so be it, but like Al I for one am tired of obvious marketing/media ploy.
She is competing in Korea because her parents are Korean or had that escaped you.
Actaully the event itself is one of the biggest in Korea and is a fully fledged Asian Tour event. Yes it is a step down from the pga, but would you not be shouting the odds even more, if she were taking more and more sponsors exemptions on the pga?
In my opinion, it is good for her to play some events at this lower level because it will give her good experience without using up too many US pga exemptions in the process.
What events do you think Wie should play, given:
* She can play something like 12-14 events a year
* She can play, at most, 8 LPGA events
* She wants to get experience playing against men
* She can't play amatuer events
* She gets paid a lot of money to play Asian men's events
I would have liked to see her play in the ANZ Women's Masters, but other than that I don't see the problem with the events she is choosing.
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