Should Michelle Wie have won U.S. Amateur before going pro, like Tiger did thrice?
Sadly she went pro before ever winning it and is now ineligible to ever enter the tournament again.
Tiger Woods of course won three consecutive U.S. Amateurs before letting Nike reel him in.
As Tiger won his 50th tournament this weekend and Wie wasn’t a factor in the British Open, allow me to insert the obvious “woulda coulda shoulda". The Women’s Am would obviously be a much bigger deal with Wie in it, and she should be in it. Which poses the question:
With tons of other young girls seemingly poised for early success on the LPGA Tour, should the LPGA, like most other professional leagues, impose an 18 or 19-year old age limit?
Clearly, Wie is missing out on the pajama parties and spin the bottles that helped Tiger mature and get over the hump.
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No she shouldn't have stayed in amateurs.
The old argument of winning amateurs = success at the pro level is an old tired and useless argument.
Tiger Woods did do the amateur thing and go onto success. However if Tiger Woods had entered the Hooters Tour, he probably would have still went on and had plenty of success.
On the other hand, take many of the US Womens Amatuer Winners:
2005 Morgan Pressel
2004 Virada Nirathingy
Can anyone name any more?
What success have they had?
He says Michelle Wie should be competing in this year's Women's Amateur, and later he he says a young man or woman should at least be out of high school before competing against adults. Isn't the Women's Amateur an adult competition?
In your first post you said nothing about competing against men--and it is your opinion that she has done so unsuccessfully. Her fans understand that she is only a 16 year old girl, and do not consider her to be a failure just because she has yet to make a PGA cut.
It is not Michelle Wie's family or her supporters who quote Vince Lombardi about winning being the only thing--it is Wie's critics. There would be a lot less pressure on Michelle Wie if the criticisms directed at her when she fails to win an LPGA event or when she misses a PGA event would be no more than those directed at Annika or Karrie Webb when they miss LPGA cuts.
Stuart Appleby said before Michelle's first pga attempt, that she was a good player and it was good that she would get that particular exemption in her home event.
He said she was an excellent player, so good infact that he thought she would shoot two nice scores in the 80s.
Perhaps you'll look at that and think that was silly, but at that time, most players would have thought that anything breaking 80 would be a monumental achievement for a girl of 14 years of age. Of course she did quite a bit better than that.
That's what people don't get. They have expectations that Michelle should make pga cuts easily. What has been lost in the debate, is that it is amazing that she can compete so well to get near a cut against that standard of competition.
Michelle is a terrific golfer. People have their own agendas if they critisise her, and it has absolutely nothing to do with her golf.
I don't think Brittany Lincicmoe was exploited by her parents who sacrificed so she could pursue her dreams. I see nothing wrong with Brittany playing on her high school boys golf team. But I have to wonder when I read that Brittany played in more than 100 tournaments as an amateur before she turned pro shortly after her 19th birthday.
Junior golf needs to address the issue of the pressure on young golfers to play in an excessively high number of tournaments. And there certainly needs to be an end to ranking systems which pressure young golfers to play in a lot tournaments if they want a high ranking. Certianly in the case of girls, opportujnities to compete with boys at a local level should reduce the need for massive numbers of junior events that lead to touring 9 and 10 year olds.
And raise your hands if you would turn down $10 million plus per year to have your child set for life you hypocrites
Winning at the amateur level seems to have hurt Morgan big time. She came to the LPGA a legend in her own mind. Look at her now!
I have one question. Is what you said about Michelle's father not the same thing that Tiger's father did and even before he was a teen. I guess the same results can't happen huh? Is it because she a girl and Tiger is a man?
There was a time in the 18 C when kids were sent to factorys with horrible working conditions. That is exploitation.
Don't worry about her 'psychological damamge'. People vary in their tolerance level. If you are thrown in to a lion den with no prospect of winning, then that is psychological damage plus physical harm. However, if you are very very good at your trade and thrown into an arena, it can be good learning experience.
Going thru Junior/Ama level is just a stepping stone that is helpful but not absolutely needed. You can be US President going thru NYS senator as stepping stone, but if you didn't have to would you 'waste' your time doing that ?
She is what she is. Drop the verbal garbage.
Karen stupples +6
Natalie Gulbis +6
Christina Kim +11
All of these ladies had a chance of winning the Open.
Unfortunately for her detractors she has been so good that with only half the tournaments played in to maximise her average she is still ranked so high. Go Wie.
I suggest you also learn to read what is written. I made no comparson between Tiger and Michelle. The comparsion was between how John Z indicated Michelle's father pushes her career and how Earl Wood pushed Tiger's. Really, I say fairly simular. But the real thing I was gettting at was he was indicating BJ's influnce would be damaging to Michelle. I was indicating the same type of influnce didn't hurt Tiger and I don't think it will hurt Michelle, even though she is a girl. So where did how the media get into your responce to me?
This should actually help Michelle, since she did not need the baggage from such a high rating.
Get a life will you. I see nothing but your name when I view these blogs and I don't come often.
I think Travel Golf talked about the difference between men and women in how they responded to adversity on the golf course. Women are more likely to cry, and men are more likely to break their golf clubs. I don't know about anyone else, but on my scale for accepting adversity the ladies get 100 and we men get ZERO.
That is as stupid as thinking Brandon Tucker could win a Pulitzer.
You're a pathological liar, I highly doubt you've ever been around BJ Wie.
And if you were, what were you doing stalking him and his family ??
You seem to know their every move, and even know what they're thinking.
You're a total psycho - please don't delude yourself that anyone here takes you seriously.
It's funny how some of you Wie-zeals act as if pushy, overbearing sports parents are a figment of our imagination when such people are legion and infamous. Alex has told you that he witnessed Bubbles' father's lunacy. Why do you doubt him?
Hmm, why would we doubt Alex?
How about maybe that he is the biggest Wie critic on these boards.
He holds absolutely no imparitality on the subject whatsoever.
It is interesting to note though, that Alex went to an event to watch Michelle, and like all the other people watching her there, contributed to the hype.
Well done Alex, for helping the Wie hype machinge.
That machinge should be machine obviously.
Evidence relating to the second question, whether it is accurate or not, tells us little about the first. Yes he was a pushy sports father like Tiger's father was. Yes the vast majority of children with pushy parents do not achieve great success--but Michelle is one of the few who have. Figure skating was mentioned. Michelle's father may be like a lot of figure skating mother's. I have heard nothing to indicate that he was like Tonya Harding's mother.
As long as issues of golf etiquette have been raised, I have some issues on this subject. On Friday Morgan Pressel was 7 over for the last two holes. Suppose one of her playing partners had mentioned this to her on the 17th tee on Saturday? Would that be ethical?
There is probably no rule against a player saying that, but it would seem to be poor sportsmanship. Yet that is basically what Morgan Pressel did when she talked in Sports Illustrated about how not enough attention was being given to Wie's final round of 82--although I put much more blame on SI for publishing the comments than on Pressel for making them.
Michelle Wie has not won a tournament since the 2003 Women's Pub Links--but she has been able to put up a lot of high finishes at the highest level of women's golf. When people constantly focus on Wie's lack of wins, I consider it to be poor sportsmanship of much the same type as that of the hypothetical player who referred to Morgan Pressel's problems on the last two holes. OBVIOUSLY IF MICHELLE WIE IS GOING TO GET HER FIRST WIN, THE LAST THING SHE NEEDS IS TO FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT SHE HAS YET TO WIN. The next to the last thing she needs is to have everybody talking about how she has never won. And it really doesn't help to have someone pretend to be friendly and suggest that it would have been better for her to stay an amateur and win the US Womens Open like Tiger did thrice. The idea here being that since she already turned pro, it is now too late for her, her life is over, and she should just go out and kill herself.
Morgan drawing attention to Michelle's final round of 82 last year was very poor sportsmanship from The Mouth and shows her obsession with Michelle.
Poor pathetic Morgan, she wants to beat Michelle so bad yet she can't seem to do so even when Michelle plays bad as she did at the Br Open
If Wie's fans are going to compare her to Tiger Woods, I guess it is only fair that the youngest winner of a US Women's Amateur should talk about the confidence she gained from winning as an amateur in much the same way that people talk about the confidence Tiger got.
But Laura Baugh never did win in the pros--and I have to wonder whether the confidence she gained from her success as an amateur and her distain for just trying to make a cut helped lead to the alcohol addiction that nearly killed her. Laura Baugh sneers at Wie's efforts to just make the cut on the PGA--but I think it would have been a good learning experience for Laura Baugh if she had played in a PGA event and shot a couple of rounds in the 120s to miss the cut by 100 strokes. Perhaps she would have been better able to deal with the losing that was to be a part of her apprenticeship in the LPGA.
A possible explanation for a half dozen or so adults spending untold hours discussing someone they say they have very little regard for... Astroturf. Astroturf is the industry term for phoney Public Relations campaigns that try to appear to be "grassroots" movements. Alex (and his imaginary friends) show all the earmarks of astroturf blog writers.
So, Alex is either being paid minimum wage or so to attack a fine young golfer, or is being led by the nose in his views by a more sophisticated astroturf writer. True to form, Alex denies the existance of such astroturf PR campaigins - says it is delusional to think such thoughts (pretty weak stuff, Alex, even for you)
Anyone can go to Google and type in "astroturf" and "blog". The Wall Street Jounal wrote a piece on Public Relations astroturf last week.
I just typed in "astroturf" and "blog" on Google - got over 500,000 hits
Don't buy your BS Alex,
I've been a long time subscriber to SI , and no such thing has ever been printed about BJ Wie.
Quit making up stuff man but I guess it doesn't matter because you have as much credibility as Anna Nicole Smith.
Golf Digest's Ron Sirak reports in the past hour that Johnston was released shortly after the Womens British Open.
While Johnston is a top pro looper, there was not a great chemistry between player and caddie. It is never pleasant to fire anyone (or be fired, for that matter), but it is sometimes the only choice remaining. I think this move shows that Wie's management team has the strength to make tough decisions when required.
I think this move shows that Wie's management team has the strength to make tough decisions when required.
Hey, Wie Warriors, what do you folks think of St. Michelle, who is above skepticism or criticism, according to Get Real and others, in light of this comment from her ex-caddie?
"I was shocked and surprised, I thought we had a successful year," Johnston told GolfDigest.com. "And I was extremely disappointed that no one named Wie gave me the news."
so let's see. Either Michelle didn't have the guts to let him know, or B.J. Wie didn't. If Michelle is running the show, as some of the Wie Warriors maintain, then she apparently has a character flaw whereby she doesn't have the courtesy to let one of her top employees know he was being dismissed.
If B.J. Wie is running the show, then it brings his character into question.
He made a number of mistakes and she deserves better.
I agree with Johnny N. - Good decision.
If I'd been her father I would have encouraged her to do precisely what she's done. What makes someone like John Z think her father did this to make himself rich? In fact, if anyone is "pimping" it's John Z...other than a two bit opinion and a great deal of envy what support, other than his large mouth, does he bring to the table for his bias??
Michelle is propbably the most physically mature athlete for her age I've seen..and certainly one of the most intelligent. By the by...John Z...please tell me what high level Amateur events Tom Watson won before he turned Pro...did you know he had to get financial assistance from a group of his father's friends before he could attempt the PGA Tour? No...I'll bet you didn't.
I would like someone to please tell us if they saw Tiger play when he was 16...and if he was better that Wie..because I saw Johnny Miller play at 16..and he wasn't even close to her.
Kyle, This may come as a surprise to you, but when one is a spectator at a golf tournament, one frequently comes within arm's length of the golfers themselves including all the big names. Nothing at all unusual about that. BJ Wie never tries to hide his enthusiasm, which is understandable. But his actions when the other golfers are addressing the ball are so egregious that he has been chided by marshals several times. BJ Wie's antics have been witnessed by thousands of golf spectators and have been documented in several news articles and magazines including SI. The fact that you don't know this is testament to your abysmal ignorance on the subject."
Another "Urban Legend" gathers moss and rolls nowhere.
BJ is a non-issue that for some reason is demonized by some ignorant members of the media. If he speaks Korean (his native language) he is accused of coaching. If he gets excited when his daughter plays well, he is accused of disturbing the other players.
First; most members of the media are ignorant of his culture. Koreans speak loudly, with gutteral sounds as points of emphasis. This sounds harsh to Western ears, but is quite normal to a Korean. This might sound like a scolding to a Westerner, but it really is nothing more than talking in their normal tone of voice.
Second; In Korean culture family is everything and I mean absolutely everything. Korean parents will sacrifice all to promote the success of their offspring. This was bred into the culture of Korea during the Yi Dynasty and explains the success of Korean women on the LPGA tour today. Their fathers and mothers were no different than BJ or Bo Wie.
Third; Koreans are very reserved in public and a Westerner might see this as stand offish or stuck up. When you watch a Korean player they are not prone to smile very much and appear in total concentration. They seem cold and distant to the public and not very approachable. What would surprise most people is how warm, friendly and carefree a people they are out of the public eye. The media does not get to see this side of Korean life, so they just form an opinion of the public persona.
Finally; Koreans who learn English as a second language continue to translate from English to Korean in their minds and then from Korean to English in their response. No matter how educated they are sometimes things don't come out exactly as they intended. An ignorant person may not take this into account and misunderstand the message from a non-native speaker. Michelle because she learned English at a young age will think and speak in both languages, switching from one to another without this translation process taking place.
BJ is just a Dad showing his love and support in the Korean way.
Michelle's ex-caddy said he thought Michelle had a good year. Do you agree with him?
They gravitate to a Korean community within the country they are living in, thus providing a network of their own culture. Their best friends will be other Koreans who live in the community where they will worship in Korean churches, shop in Korean markets and eat in Korean resturants out of preferance. In fact they will use Korean lawyers Alex, creating a sub-culture within our own.
Unless you're blinded by hate, you may not have noticed the Korean community in your area Alex, where the largest population of Koreans live in the USA. All the major cities have Korean communities providing a support network and a link to their own culture.
There are directories published in Hangul for most major cities around the World to assist traveling Koreans in connecting with their culture away from their residence.
Koreans will go to a Western resturant with you Alex, but when they get home they will crave a bowl of rice and kinchi before they sleep.
As a guess I would say Michelle's closest friends are children of other Koreans who she will feel most comfortable with and connect culturally with. Hawaii has a very large Korean sub-culture.
I don't mean being a soldier on furlough in a foriegn land, I mean live in that community, grow up in it, and have your kids grow up in it.
They function quite well in American culture but revert almost entirely to their own culture when at home and amongst their ethnic friends and relatives. I grew up in that kind of community, I know what they are like.
It is also quite noticable that Alex has an obvious prejudice for Americans against any other culture.
His childish observations and comments do not make me want to hire him or his "firm" for any of my legal work, if he is indeed a lawyer as he would have us believe. Most lawyers would die before publishing the kind of garbage the Alex spews forth in this blog.
Your view of the world is colored by money and position. Snobbery, elitism and social climbers.
And you actually know some of these Asian people? Wow, good for you. By reading your little nuisance responses in these blogs, I am amazed that you would lower yourself to mingle with "teenage Americans of Korean ancestry".
I must commend you, little snob, you done good.
Thank you for your carefully considered insights into Korean-American culture. One of the most intriguing elements of the Wie story is the cross-cultural impact she is already having. Her family has shown wisdom in encouraging her to study Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, in addition to her native English. (In my household we claim her as an All-American girl). She'll be a valued ambassador throughout Asia and beyond for years to come.
At lunch yesterday I had a rather serious-looking Korean waitress and a bored-looking Chinese busboy. Neither spoke much English. The busboy was in his teens and the waitress was in her 50's. I asked "do you know Michelle Wie?" Both of their faces lit up instantly. You could feel the pride. "Very good golfer!" the woman beamed. I then asked, "Do you know Se Ri Pak?" They responded, "Is she good too?"
There is something happening with MW that transcends most any sport story that I've ever seen. I feel sorry for those who are unable to enjoy it. I'm having a ball watching the saga unfold.
We see you are learning to deal with the resident fool. Here are a few notes on the care and feeding of AstroAlex:
If you want to punish him, just ignore him - drives him into deep dispair. Don't ignore him for too long as he may go away. All Wie supporters agree that we could not invent a better poster boy for the anti-Wie faction than AstroAlex. So, to keep him around (for the greater good) he does need to be verbally bitch-slapped on every third or fourth day. He craves this treatment and and while it is distasteful to administer, we fear we'd lose him without it. Good luck. Others will help out when they can.
Thank you for your carefully considered insights into Korean-American culture. One of the most intriguing elements of the Wie story is the cross-cultural impact she is already having. Her family has shown wisdom in encouraging her to study Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, in addition to her native English. (In my household we claim her as an All-American girl). She'll be a valued ambassador throughout Asia and beyond for years to come."
Just a note; Chinese is taught to students in Korea since all official records are maintained in Chinese characters. If a student aspires to work for the Korean government, Chinese is a requirement.
Michelle learning Japanese is a bit of surprise since most Koreans still feel a deep resentment for Japan and their occupation of Korea. Japanese was the only language allowed to be taught in schools during the occupation and Hangul was taught as an underground language. Teachers of Hangul would be severly punished or tortured if caught. It is a miracle the language survived.
Japanese does make sense when you consider the popularity of women's golf in Japan. The LPGA could only hope to be half as popular and they would be highly successful.
sweet Jesus what did this turn into?
Matt Slater, BBC, golf editor:
“Tall, good-looking and articulate, Wie is already fluent in Korean and is studying Japanese and Chinese. It is no scheduling accident that her second pro event will be against men in Japan.”
AP wire report:
“Several hundred people were at the airport to greet Wie as she stepped off the private jet flown from her home in Honolulu to Japan. "Konnichiwa, I am very much moved by your welcome," the sixteen-year-old said in Japanese. "I will do my best and please cheer for me!"
Brent Kelly, “About Golf” reporter:
“We can expect to see Wie playing more tournaments around the world, and particularly in Asia where Wie's heritage - her parents are Korean - and her ability to speak Korean, Japanese and Chinese make her extremely attractive to companies in the growing Asian market. According to espn.com's Darren Rovell, 20-percent of all golf merchandise in the world is sold in Japan, and 40-percent of Nike's sales take place outside the U.S.”
uh..by the way, not everone who says Michelle might have been bettr off extending her stay as an amateur & learning more about her golf game before playing with the big dogs has ANY of that sentiment being rooted in her ethnicity.
sweet Jesus what did this turn into?"
But Merrin, it has everything to do with her culture and ethnicity.
That is the link and why she is taking the path in front of her. Koreans are a determined people who are driven to achieve their goals. Westerners will look at this as stubborn or willful to a fault. A Korean looks upon this behavior quite differently.
The best analogy to describe this commitment was given to me by a elderly Korean friend in Seoul:
Every Korean child starts off at the bottom of a high mountain (he used Soraksan as an example) that affords them a wonderful view of the World when they reach the top.
The journey to the top will be most difficult and filled with danger along the way. Many obsticals will face them on the path to the top that will block their way and they will have to go over or around them to keep climbing to the summit. There are Tigers, Bears and Wild Boar they must avoid on the way up to the peak. Sometimes they will slip and fall back down the mountain path, but they must gather themselves and keep trying as the view is just too beautiful to miss.
As they move towards the top of the mountain they are growing stronger and the climb is getting easier for them until finally they reach the top of the World.
The view is quite spectacular looking out at the sea to the East where the sun rises above the water over the mist at the mountain base. They begin to think there can be no better view of the World and they have achieved everything in life. Then they turn to the North and spot another mountain in the distance rising above the mist, a much larger one. The young man (no longer a child) looks longingly at this mountain and says to himself, "I just know the view from that mountain will be much better than the one I just climbed. I'll go find out."
Korea has many beautiful mountains and Michelle has just become a young woman who is very close to reaching the summit of Soraksan.
One-Putt, Did the elderly Korean gentleman who delivered that stirring bit of prose speak in Korean or English?"
He speaks only elementary English Alex and it is my translation from memory. Koreans are very eloquent orators if you understand the language and can open your ears. It is as accurate as a Westerner can translate it for you.
George, Walker Hill Resort was the first government casino opened in Korea. I was at the opening and cleaned up pretty well myself. Apparently their training program for dealers was lacking and they were flipping cards when the house should have stood pat. I noticed our windfall didn't last very long after they hired some Chinese dealers from Macau to take over their training.
Golf was always a Rich Man's sport in Korea and still is today. Your average Korean can go to a driving range and that is about it. That is why most of the Korean LPGA players have such mechanical swings, from hitting tens of thousands of balls on a driving range. Once they became good enough they could pay entrance fees to enter amateur events. In the past there were no public golf courses in Korea and private ones cost several hundred thousand dollars to purchase a membership share, plus around 7,000 to 10,000 Won to play a round each time.
You were very observant in your description of the "older" students starting a riot. They are simply paid hooligans hired to stir up trouble by the opposition during election time. It is sort of a tradition now, much like the Democratic Party and their Resident Hooligan, Howard Dean.