Michelle Wie's fame proves life is unfair (just ask Morgan Pressel)
When I worked at The Denver Post we had a Sunday columnist who, whenever she wanted to generate a ton of letters from readers, wrote negative stuff about the pope and the Catholic Church.
I don’t see much resemblance between the pope and Michelle Wie except one - every time one of us writes a blog on Wie, we get a bigger-than-usual reader response.
Can somebody tell me why? What is the big fuss over Michelle Wie, and why are golfing fans so ardent in their praise and condemnation? Why the unusual level of interest in a girl who has never won an LPGA, or any other kind of tournament above the pee-wee level?
Why aren’t we all talking about Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Brittany Lang or Louise Stahle? They’re all 21 or under, and they play winning golf. Not even Annika Sorenstam, the greatest female golfer of all time, gets the volume of publicity that Wie gets.
Well, just look at Michelle Wie and look at the others and there’s your reason staring you in the face.
Wie is a tall, slender, attractive young girl who happens to hit a golf ball 300 yards. Her physical presence - I’ll go ahead and say it - her blooming sex appeal, combined with her booming drives that’s creating all this ruckus. The reason we don’t talk about it, except in private, is that she’s still a kid.
I have a friend who went to see the LPGA Open at Cherry Hills last year. He couldn’t stop talking about how great Wie looked in shorts.
Morgan Pressel is a bright person and a ferocious competitor. She knows exactly why her rival gets the exemptions, and understandably she doesn’t like it. She’s begun to air her resentment, and who can blame her?
Most of us learn as youngsters that life is not a meritocracy. The pretty girl and the handsome boy get things the easy way while the plain Janes and ugly ducklings struggle through life. That’s how it’s always been, and it isn’t going to change.
And here’s another thing that won’t change: Writers love to get reader response whether it be pro or con. That’s why you’re getting a disproportionate number of stories and blogs about Michelle Wie.
But not from me, because I’m above all that crap. Hey, Pope Benedict! Your short game freakin’ stinks!
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1. She wants to play in the PGA
2. It is at least arguable that she could succeed.
If the same were true of Pressel, Miyazato, ... they would get a lot of attention too. Look how much press Annika got when she played in the Colonial. It has little or nothing to do with how she looks in shorts.
On the other hand...Michelle is going to have to drop that "I had two days of fun" attitude if she expects to win on the LPGA...the typical 16 year old response. Also, why can't she make arrangements to only accept appearance fees if she makes the cut while playing outside the USA?
Wie has shown us the slightest of hint that she might be able to put her name on a PGA leader board one day. Wie is trying to do something no one has ever done and many people are encouraging her to accomplish that. I don’t think Wie and her fans should be blamed for just doing that.
- As I grew up, I began to get better and better at golf. My play was far superior to those around me. I quickly excelled and started breaking local course records and winning competitions. I was told that I was a fantastic talent and could make it to the very top of the game.
- This led on to a very good amateur career, with plenty of titles.
- I got to play on the Euro Tour as an amateur and learned valuable lessons about what it actually meant to earn a living on tour.
- I next got on to the Challenge Tour (similar to Nationwide Tour). That is where I really learned what it means to earn your money. The purses there are very low and the competition very tough. That tour really brings reality to many players.
- After a few years I managed to break through somewhat to the European Tour with limited success, but injury halted progress.
When I watched Annika at the Colonial I was very interested to know how she would get on. I didn’t particularly watch much womens golf, and I didn’t rate her chances very good. She performed okay but I came to the conclusion, that top women just weren’t cut out for playing golf with the top men.
Next I heard about a young kid named Wie who was competing on the Canadian Tour and a Nationwide Tour event. I was interested in this, because I was thinking of looking into moving to the States and having a go at that tour. Then I heard she missed the cut by a nice bit. I thought to myself that her expectations of playing with men were unrealistic.
When she played the 2004 Sony Open, I watched it and I said to myself, I really hope this young girl doesn’t shoot a round of 100 or so, and embarass herself. This was a pga event after all so how could a young kid, and a girl at that, shooting off mens tees, expect to do any better than about 85, no matter how talented she may be.
After the first round, I was pleasantly surprised that she hit a 72. Although outside of the cut line, it way ahead of what I thought she could shoot.
The next day she shot a 68. I was completely shocked. I knew that I had dedicated years of my life to the sport and yet even when I was 21 I couldn’t have scored anything like that.
So that is where the fascination began, just with my own knowledge of years and dedication to a sport, and then watching a little girl, barely out of nappies come out and make this complicated sport look very easy.
People who don’t recognise that she is special are very ignorant about the game of golf.
The same silly arguemnts get put forward time and time again:
- her lack of wins.
- her non improvement in pga events.
Firstly, she has improved dramatically in the lpga over the last couple of years. Anyone who has experience of golf, knows that it usually takes many near misses before success at any level.
For the pga, she has improved massively. She still has plenty of work to do, if she wants to be able to qualify for that tour, but she is certainly well on the way.
Michelle Wie is an extremely talented golfer.
People who aren't impressed what she has accomplished at such a young age are being very unfair.
Overrated ?? She was a runner-up at 2 majors before she was 16 ! Even Paula Creamer who I think is awesome has never finished as a runner up at a major.
If Michelle hasn't won in the LPGA by the time she gets to be Creamer's age then I can understand the animosity against her but NOW ?
The fact that she is physically attractive can only help her, but you underestimate her if you think that's what she's all about.
Morgan Pressel's attitude toward Michelle is strictly jealousy so people should know not to take it too seriously.
The LPGA will be making money off of Michelle for years, the least they can do is be civil to her and stop being so catty.
Why the unusual level of interest in a girl who has never won an LPGA, or any other kind of tournament above the pee-wee level?
And yet she thinks she can start at the top. You have to "make it" the "old fashion way...you have to earn it."
You are obviously 95 years old
I believe you don’t have “any level of interest in a girl who has never won an LPGA, or any other kind of tournament above the pee-wee level.” Just out of curiosity, could you tell us why you seem to leave comments on blogs only related to Wie? Please correct me if I am wrong because I haven’t checked all the blogs on this site.
As regards to why many people are interested in her, many people have already answered your question throughout this blog and other blogs. I think a good debater reads what others said first before he/she give his/her opinion.
No Michelle has not won an LPGA event yet, but its ridiculous to discount her high finishes in LPGA tour events against the BEST golfers in the world. ( And yes she's still a kid!)
Pressel's wins are impressive but she was not playing against LPGA tour vets.
She won a pee-wee event? No it was the Women's Amateur Public Links, and she was the youngest ever winner at 13!
Everyone wants to follow her, because she will eventually become the number one women's golfer of all time! And that PGA logo that goes, "These Guys are Good," will have to be changed in about 5 or 6 years to "These Guys and a GIRL are Good!"
So what I am trying to say here is that I am not a good sport if I say something like “it’s ridiculous …..” just because someone has different view.
OTHER teen golferS? Can you name TWO that have won on tour? Don't you mean ONE teen golfer, Paula Creamer?
Pauls Creamer had an exceptional start for a rookie on either tour. Now the expectations are high for her to win again.
My expectations are not that high for the new batch of rookies in 2006. I do expect them to finish the year as million dollar plus earners on the tour. That would be a successful start.
If Michelle can improve in 2006 like she has in every previous year, she will join them in the million dollar club. Will she win? Who knows, but I don't think it hurts her chances playing her first event of the year on her home course.
George Washington was great; Winston Churchill was great; Albert Einstein was great. Woods and Wie hit a little white ball around. Let's not be silly.
"..... could you tell us why you seem to leave comments on blogs only related to Wie? Please correct me if I am wrong because I haven’t checked all the blogs on this site."
Response from: John D:
I don't keep track of who's blog I post on, but I also post about Tigger and anti-Nike.
I have also posted on the blog about congress keeping thier nose out of sports and other events. They are politicians and they should stick to politics.
Let's not be silly.
Of course no golfer is great in the sense of comparing to people who do more important work.
But what are these blogs about? They are about golf and in that sense when someone is called great it means in the golfing sense.
Wie could well be one of the greatest sports women, but the word sports is important there.
Main Entry: leg•end•ary
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of legend or a legend
2 : WELL-KNOWN, FAMOUS
So I think I may say Wie's LIFE is legendary without being ridiculous. Just look at the number of posts on this blog compared to others. She is well-known and famous whether I like her or not.
I think you would have had a valid point only if I or One-Putt had called Wie a legend. I said she is legendary based on the second definition and One-Putt said she will be a legend IF she were to win one LPGA event at sixteen this year.
When someone calls a person “great, dominant, and legend,” it is very subjective. You may think Tiger is a legend based on a certain measurement but I may think he not based on a different measurement. Language is not a math.
There are countless examples that the meaning of a word changes over time. It is just the nature of language whether I like it or not.
One thing I sympathize with you, though, is, in your own word, “people in today's society are so quick to throw around words like great, dominant, and legend that we have forgotten the true meaning of these words and who we should reserve them for.” I think I am one of them :-)
Pressel, who caused a stir a couple weeks ago by saying Michelle Wie should have to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open instead of getting an exemption, said she doesn't have anything against the 16-year-old star from Hawaii.
"I didn't mean anything, especially against Michelle," Pressel said. "I just made a statement that everybody else has to qualify and I'm going to stick by that statement. But it will obviously come down to what the USGA says, but it was definitely nothing personal. That's for sure."
Wie is not playing the SBS, despite tying for second last year.
"We get along fine," Pressel said. "We obviously don't see each other that often, but whenever we do, there's never any problems. We sit and chat or say, 'Hi,' when we walk by. But there's certainly nothing there."
YEAH RIGHT MORGAN PRESSEL HAS NO HARD FEELINGS TOWARDS MICHELLE...WHO DOES SHE THINK US PEOPLE ARE? IDIOTS?
someone please help that child!
I agree with the spirit of your post. Personally, I'm sick and tired of the posturing and politician-like answers.
I had similar feelings, but I recall a similar situation with Paula Creamer around the time of the Evian last summer. She made some mild remarks indicating annoyance when asked a question about Michelle Wie--but in her next interview was all positive about Wie as a part of the competition in women's golf. At the time, I assumed someone had gotten to Creamer.
Perhaps someone has gotten to Pressel now. I certainly don't believe Pressel--but perhaps we will now be seeing considerably less annimosity from Pressel directed at Wie. It won't be so bad if Pressel starts acting a little bit more like an adult.
In Morgan's case I think she was probably a little taken aback at how a sound bite plucked from a much longer interview came across as far more catty and petty than she had intended it to sound.
I doubt she was worried about whether she hurt Michelle's feelings, I just don't think she ( or Paula for that matter ) cared for the image of themselves that came out in the media. Morgan in particular sees herself as out-spoken, but not petty. However petty was how the media made her look. I think she will try not to get in that position again.
By making the silly comments about Wie, Pressel is putting alot of pressure on herself, because if she is attacking Wie, people will expect her to back it up with her clubs.
Hopefully Pressel won't win anytime soon, because if she does, I think that she would get even more petty and would probably refer more to how she is a proven winner and all that garbage. Also hopefully Pressel's first tournament won't have given her too much of an advantage over Wie.
It is possible that she could feel more comfortable on the first tee, having played the week before, but I still expect Wie to beat her, because Wie is just plain better.
First of all, yes those guys who beat Wie at the Sony are just plain better than her. In fact nearly all of the pga guys are better than her at the moment. I don't know why you are bringing that up. Do you think differently?
As regards Pressel's 5th place finish in the SBS. Yes indeed it was a very good finish. I think she should be very pleased with it.
However it is Pressel who has claimed that Wie doesn't know how to win, but she herself does. There hasn't been any evidence of this at the top level so far.
As regards top 5's being a yardstick. Yes top 5's are very good.
- However, for both Wie and Pressel, I would think they should be disappointed if either of them didn't win in their first full season on the lpga. That is when they play about 25 events. I simply think that with that many chances that they should be able to achieve at least one win.
For Wie, with just 8 events and most of these against the top fields it is obviously much more difficult to win. I still think she has a good chance because she is a fine player, but winning is far from certain when you have such limited chances.
I will applaud Pressel when she wins, because I think it is just a matter of time, but I won't stand for the nonsense that anti-Wie people spout about how great she would be to win just 1 from 25 events, and how that would make her better than someone who played only 8 events, because it certainly wouldn't.
Anyway, I am more than willing to go with the Jim Coulthard yardstick:
- for the 8 lpga events that Wie and Pressel play together, let the better player be determined by the player who finishes ahead of the other player in more events.
That is fair and I would accept the outcome of that, whichever way it turns out to be.
I'd much rather watch Pressel storm around the course with emotion and guts, than I would watch Wie with her little school girl wave when she makes a putt and Powerpuff girl frown when she doesn't.
I'm not interested in women's sports period. In fact, the tendency to watch them is an interesting social phenomenon.
After all, choosing to watch women's sports is akin to buying inferior products when superior ones are the same price. Why? And, if some folks find sports at that level so fascinating, why don't they watch men's amateur events or the Nationwide Tour as much as the LPGA? After all, they are better than the latter.
The truth is that it's all conditioning, nothing more.
You of all people should know why womens sports are interesting.
Arn't you a tennis pro?
Many people find womens tennis more interesting than mens, and I amn't talking about the attractiveness of the players.
In womens tennis you have more rallies and more excitement. Mens tennis can often be very boring.
I enjoy watching Federer because he pulls out amazing shots from all over the court.
However watching Andy Roddick against Ivo Karlovic is not so entertaining.
On the whole, women's tennis is more entertaining to watch, even though the standard is much lower than the mens game.
Lefty is going to have to spend a little time on the treadmill and in the gym for his breasts to get small enough to look like Morgan Pressel's.
If watching hours of men hitting aces and unreturnable serves turns you on, then go for it.
Some of us like to watch a rally develop, like it used to when McEnroe and Bjorg played.
Perhaps you think McEnroe's form of the game was like tiddlywinks?
Improved technology has ruined the mens game. Federer is the only male player worth watching. Watching the number 58 ranked played beat Roddick because his serve is a little off doesn't bring great entertainment.
The women get equal prize money to the men at most slam events, and there is great money in womens tennis. If it was not entertaining the money would not be there.
Kevin, honestly, you gave me the best laugh I've had in ages -- a major LOL.
To an extent I agree with you; in fact, if I had my druthers, I'd make the men go back to wooden racquets and would increase the weight of the balls they use (although, the men already use heavier balls than the women at the US Open -- a little known fact). Having said that, I suspect that most of the tennis you've watched has been at Wimbledon. If so, this explains your perception. Tennis on grass is far different than on other surfaces.
As for the prize money in majors, that is the result of political-correctness. Since the men and women play in the majors at the SAME sites at essentially the same time (they tend to alternate days), it may be hard to ascertain exactly what percentage of the spectators would attend were it a purely a women's event. However, in this PC world, the hen-pecked little excuses for men couldn't justify paying the kvetching women less money.
What's the big fuss about her ? I am a femal lawyer so you can't accuse me of being a 'dirty old man' and I am not even interested in golf. So, you might wonder then why I watch Michelle Wie. It's because she looks good out there. It makes a boring sports like golf so much more watchable by people like me. I find her trendy dress sense which is typical to her generation so refreshing in golf which I had associated with nothing but grey men/women and green grass. That was until I found a striking looking girl who could also hit the ball.
After all it all about fun. Loosen up guys !
P.S : I do believe she has that thing known as 'X factor' or 'star quality' though.
Circus side show or winner? "But she ALMOST won a few times." please
Oh yea, Tell her dad to get a life.
1) Her top drive is 325 yards while most top drives of PGA players is 375-440. The world record is 515 yards by Mike Austin.
2) People are putting a girl on male growth scale when they metnion her age. Women are full grown at 18 while men are full grown at 21.
3) She keeps getting compared to Tiger Woods, but Tiger Woods has won 3 US amateur tournaments as a teenager.
4) She rarely performs under the cut line for more then one round. Her chances at Q-School are a longshot.
5) She could also be using steroids to keep up with the men's longer drives in order to make the cut or she is taking steroids out of desperation to make the cut on a PGA tour.
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