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31 comments

Comment from: Joe Cool [Visitor] Email
Brandon,
I checked out the 156 names for the US Open and recognized 50. One thing that I feel many have overlooked was the fact that Michelle and Natalie after playing 90 holes of golf at a major, was then required to tee off the next morning at 7:00 for the 36 hole qualifier. It was noted that Michelle bogeyed four of her last five holes to miss the cut by one stroke. Michelle had to play 126 holes of golf for six straight days, the last five...burn out! Many of my golf friends are not going to be bothered to watch the Women's US Open and I will not be watching it either.

I thought Bivens should have been fired three years ago when 13 of her staff left. She has made one bad decision after another and I think the players protest is too little, too late. There is a possibility that by years end the LPGA will lose 10 tournaments...that's 10! The damage has been done and I doubt if the LPGA can recoup. What Bivens did to SBS was very typical of a former media headhunter and bottom line advocate that will not compromise.
2009-07-08 @ 20:27
Comment from: Joe Cool [Visitor] Email
Birdie Kim has won $12,000 dollars this year with no wins and no top tens...a real marquee player!

I think the TV ratings for the US Open will be the worst ever. It is interesting to hear the USGA execs spin their rational why they changed the rules this year. Stupid is as stupid does.
2009-07-08 @ 20:33
Comment from: J.O. [Visitor]
Brandon, 2 things:
1. Are you implying that people actually care about Zach Johnson?
2. NBC really should've jumped on this one and done a "US Open Challenge" with Wie and Gulbis like they did with Roethlisberger, Timberlake, and Jordan.
2009-07-08 @ 21:15
Comment from: Albee [Visitor] Email
I absolutely agree with Joe Cool.

I am going from watching everything I can for the women's US Open (as well as reading every news article on the internet) to not even bothering to check the leaderboard at the end.
2009-07-09 @ 09:22
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor] Email
Gulbis won the Evian in 2007 not last year. Under the old system she would have needed this year to win an exemption which she would have done with a top 35 in the money--something like 29 after the LPGA and currently 33. Had they adopted a PGA like top 50 in the rankings she would have made it--but instead I read that they incresed the last year 40 to 50 keeping all the exemptions for LPGA players.
2009-07-09 @ 10:06
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
Brandon, please explain why either Wie or Gulbis deserve to be in the Open. If your argument is that it is good for TV then Wie should just be able to play on the PGA Tour whenver she damn well feels like it. It is not good for sport, nor for the development of kids and junior athletes to just hand someone everything on a silver platter because once a long time ago she could hit a long straight drive. Those days are long past, and if you want to keep watching a train wreck, sure, put her in the field, again undeserved. The only thing she's ever done is squeak through Q school, so sure free ride to the Open is the answer for the LPGA. Give me a break. And I love Gulbis, but really, what has she done lately to deserve a spot. The OPEN is OPEN to anyone who can qualify. WIE did not, which is not a new story. If the media would put its resources to following the LPGA which is abound with young great players, maybe it would have a hope, but by continuing to harp on how Wie, the unproven, spoiled, brat keeps getting denied undeserved opportunities, it is set up to fail. I blame the media for the LPGA's issues, 100%. So please, explain to me why Wie deserves a spot.
2009-07-09 @ 10:42
Comment from: Brandon Tucker [Visitor] Email
Smudge...I thought I did explain why both should be there...

"Wie is 12th on the 2009 money list and has five Top 10 finishes in eleven starts. No, she still hasn’t won yet, but she is back to contending regularly."

"Mega-popular Natalie Gulbis, who won last year’s Evian Masters, which has a major-worthy field and purse ($3.25 million, identical to the U.S. Women’s Open), didn’t qualify either. Gulbis is also 9th in U.S. Solheim Cup standings and 39th in world rankings."

There are about 75 girls in the field this week who probably can't say post similar resumes of the past year.
2009-07-09 @ 11:41
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
A few top tens does not mean you are qualified. Some of those 75 girls will be like the Wiester was when she was 13. Are you saying she should not have been there then? Be consistent. Also you got the facts wrong on Gulbis so try again.
2009-07-09 @ 11:49
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
One of the biggest changes I have noticed about Lorena Ochoa's game is her scoring on par 5s. Earlier, she was nearly an automatic birdie on par 5s, and that was one of the areas that she distanced herself from the rest of the field. Today, again she has has only parred all three par 5s, while Creamer has birdied all three. Hopefully she will resume her aggressive play in these holes soon.
2009-07-09 @ 12:16
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
Wow!!!!

What happened to Eunjung Yi??? Last week she won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, including a 10-under par 61 in the third round, and today she shot an opening round 9-over par 80 and is currently one stroke above dead last place!!

What a difference a week can make.
2009-07-09 @ 12:26
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
Lance, that's what a little rough will do to you. She only hit 9 fairways. Imagine if Wie was in the field.
2009-07-09 @ 12:41
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
Smudge,

With Wie-wees inconsistencies off the tee box, I am sure she would be having some issues with this course. From looking at the early scores, this does not appear as if it is going to be a "birdie fest" as has been the case in some of the previous tournaments. Bu88les seems to struggle more than most in windy conditions and on courses with unforgiving fairways. So I would guess that she would be several strokes over par at this point if she were playing this week.

I won't miss Bu88les, but I will miss seeing Gulabis in the field (miss her already).

LR
2009-07-09 @ 13:03
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
Lance, I totally concur, and I miss Gulbis too. But Gulbis also doesn't seem to bring her A game to the majors, so unless you are there, I'm not sure she'd be getting much airtime on the tube.
2009-07-09 @ 13:07
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
Smudge,

Regarding Bu88les deserving (or not deserving) to be in the Open, I must admit that she would have probably performed a little better than Martina Eberl, who withdrew after shooting a 44 through 9 holes (well on her way to the dreaded 88).

I think it is not so much that Bu88les had earned a spot in the field, but rather she deserved it more than some of the unknowns (like Ms. Eberl). I will admit that I do not know all the rules and criteria that the LPGA has in place for qualifying for the Open. But as I look at the field and review their performance charts (if they even have one), I am curious as to how they qualified when Wie and Gulabis and a few of the others did not.

LR
2009-07-09 @ 13:26
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
I don't totally disagree. But it's funny how not too long ago there was the criticism (and rightly so) of Wie being given playing chances that she did not deserve. She finally qualifies through Q School for the tour. She was in a lot of tournaments she had absolutely no business being in, through exemptions etc. Now she's out because she didn't qualify under the rules and everyone is bent out of shape about it. The same argument you make of Ms. Eberl could be made of Wie when she almost shot the 88. Did she qualify for that tournament. For some reason everyone feels the rules should be tailored for Wie, who has not proven once that she has the game to deserve the star status she's somehow achieeved. Even if she wins a tournament this year, is that worth the $10 or $20 million a year she receives? Reality people.
2009-07-09 @ 13:33
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
Smudge,

I totally agree with all your comments regarding Bu88les and the way she has been worshiped by the press and event directors. I am also glad she is not playing this week, except for the fact that we do not get the opportunity to hear and joke about her ramblings and excuses subsequent to a poor performance.

But putting all that aside and only focusing on her accomplishments this year, lets compare her to a player that is in the tournamant via Sectional Qualifer only. Nicole Hage is in the Open field this week only because she fired a 68-76 (144) at the Wilmette Sectional a couple of weeks ago. She was right on the cut line for disqualification, but made it by one stroke. However, Nicole has not even participated in an LPGA event in 2009 (her rookie season was 2008), and her current career earnings (total) are $8,449. Wie has participated in 11 events this season alone, and at least made all 11 cuts. Hage is in the field this week and Wie is not based solely on this one two-round qualifier (note that Wie was in a different Sectional). Do you think this is a fair system for entry criteria? I think we should have qualifiers, but I also think more consideration should be directed towards a players ranking and their place on the money list or even Soleheim placement.

Again, I am not defending Wie in any way, but I think if Nicole Hage is in the field, Bu88les entry status warrants strong consideration.
2009-07-09 @ 14:22
Comment from: smudge [Visitor]
True Lance, but again it is an Open event, which allows for those types of qualifiers. The men's Open has the same things. The issue is that if Wie knew she wasn't in based on her tour performance, she could've just as easily got in through a qualifer, but I'm assuming she didn't go or failed to make the number in that (which is par for the course as far as Wie goes). I appreciate you are not defending her, and there is always work to be done on these things, but Wie has been in the Hage situation more than once before where she took the spot of someone more deserving, so it really is tit for tat so to speak.
2009-07-09 @ 14:30
Comment from: Lance R [Visitor] Email
Smudge,

Wie-wee did try to qualify through the Rockville, MD Sectional Qualifier, but she shot a 71-74 (145) and missed it by a stroke. I hear that she was doing ok until the last few holes during the second round. This has been her trade mark for the past 5 years; if there is alot on the line, Bubbles will choke at the end.
2009-07-09 @ 15:18
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor] Email
The USGA really blew this one. Compare to how the R&A has the special money lists for those PGA Tour players not already qualified for the Open Championship. Their intent is not to exclude any deserving player, whether on last year's performance or current form. Yet they hold X number of spots for qualifiers. THAT is how you run a world championship.
2009-07-09 @ 15:18
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor] Email
My main complaint with the rules this year is the lack of wiggle room. Two spots were reserved for the Wegman and Farr winners--but only one was needed since Shin was already in. If that unused dpot had gone to the top player on the current LPGA list not already in, or the top ranked player not already in, Wie would be in the field.

The change was not one that was likely to help market ladies golf in a bad year, but it could very easily hurt, which it did. Does the LPGA really want Wie to be forced to skip the event with the greatest TV coverage. Maybe it would be better if the LPGA made the Evian instead of the US Open their fourth Major--and maybe there should only be limited TV coverage. Then the USGA could do whatevcer they want.

Under the old rules, Fouch who was 50th last year with 375G and only 46G so far this year would have had to qualify and Wie with 435G just this year would have been exempt.

What if it were Wie who was 50th with 435G last year and only 46G this year who was the one who got the exemption only becasue of a rules change--and some obscure golfer who was left out with 435G so far this year? Would Wie critics embrace the change in the same way they are doing now?

If Wie wins a few times she may have to make a choice between the Open and the John Deere next year. I can't see that she would be swayed by any loyalty to the USGA.

Following a t10 and a t3 Wie might have done quite well this week, at least if she left her driver out of her bag--but she also might have struggled. Instead she has two weeks off to prepare for the Evian and/or the British. If Wie wins the Evian I suppose her critics will say she got an unfair advantage because she skipped the US Open.

2009-07-09 @ 19:14
Comment from: Ray Jeske [Visitor] Email
Brandon,

Don't know if you've watched Wie in person lately, but I walked 18 with her at the Jamie Farr last week on Thursday. She played with Shin (current #1 on the money list) and Gulbis, all the more interesting given the drama of this week. Ochoa, the current world no. 1, was in the group behind and, as has been the case this year with fewer events, the field was loaded.

Wie was lights out, shooting 65. It seemed to me that she was the most gifted player in the field, and that she is very near the form displayed pre-injury, yet with more polish. Her only weakness is accuracy with the driver, but hit 100% of the fairways when she drew a fairway wood.

One telling and amazing instance when the talent differential was on display early, was a 184 yd. par 3. Gulbis and Shin both hit excellent shots on the green in the 20-30 foot range, requiring fairway woods. Wie pulls 6-iron, and smokes a shot that never moves off the flag to six feet, then makes the putt. She just plays in a different league.

I would suggest that, building on the observation of a previous poster, when Wie leaves the driver in her bag, she already may be the best female player in the world. Now the statistical #1 in birdies per 18 holes, Wie needs only to reduce slightly bogeys--caused more often by her errant driver--and her ascension will be complete. And going 7 under her last 10 holes on her way to a closing 64 shows she's gaining confidence in crunch time.
2009-07-09 @ 20:41
Comment from: Joe R [Visitor] Email
I would love to see Wie and especially Gulbis but they did NOT QUALIFY. When they both play better they should qualify. If all you want is good looks and bad golf then let some Playboy playmates play.

One person said WIe "plays in a different league" well if she is so good she should be able to qualify. How many good golfers have missed by one shot to get their Tour card or be in the US or British Open. It happens all the time so why make an exception for WIe. If she is really good it will help her get better and tougher. If she does not have the heart she will fade away. I think both she and Gulbis will be there for years to come.

For everyone who is critical of the field this week......they all qualified so good luck to them all.

2009-07-09 @ 20:58
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Ray,

You miss the most important aspect of competition. No one is denying that Bubbles has immense physical gifts. However, to paraphrase Bobby Jones, "Golf is played on a six inch fairway between the ears," and that is where Bubbles is found terribly wanting.

If you're mentally fragile, you simply cannot be the best player in the world. And it doesn't matter what clubs you pull.
2009-07-10 @ 00:22
Comment from: Ray [Visitor] Email
Have to expose a dirty little secret to the wiefans. Paula Creamer is by far the most popular player on the LPGA Tour. Nobody is going too miss Wie or Gulbis this weekend when you have Kerr,Creamer,Lincicome,Ochoa and maybe the next American sensation 14 year old Alexis Thompson in the mix. Nobody.
2009-07-10 @ 00:54
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor] Email
Smails is right. Wie shot that great round on Sunday from far back in the pack, which is much easier to do than being in the hunt all day. Where I depart from his position is that I believe she can learn how to win (can, not will). It took Tom Watson years on the PGA Tour to shed his choker label and, once he figured it out, he went on to be the best player in the world.
2009-07-10 @ 14:04
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor] Email
Wie was in the hunt. She had a bad hole, a bad round, and then regrouped to finish strong. If anything that is harder to do than shooting a good final round on a week when nothing ever goes wrong.
2009-07-10 @ 23:18
Comment from: Joe R [Visitor] Email
Shooting a good final round is NOT harder than being in the hunt and playing well. When you know you have nothing to lose and take chance with a little luck you play well. Great now do it under pressure.

Smalls is correct, Bubbles is a gifted athlete but if she does not get her head straight she cannot win.

Ray you got it right Paula is the most popular partly because she has proven tough under pressure.
2009-07-11 @ 10:17
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor] Email
How can there be added pressure on Wie when she is in the hunt? That would only be true for players who care whether they win or not.
2009-07-12 @ 10:12
Comment from: sue [Visitor]
i am sorely going to miss michelle in the us open. she is the only reason i watch lpga events. she has been playing consistantly well recently and makes you want to root for her. it definately wont be as entertaining to watch without michelle.
2009-07-12 @ 18:38
Comment from: Rick W. [Visitor] Email
Let's be real here. Paula is Creamer may be popular among niche LPGA fans but, unlike Gulbis and Wie, no casual golf fans, much less the general public no who she is. Plus, she hardlyplays well under pressure. Sure, she can win the gGreater Kroger Classic by 3 when no one is watching but, as proven again yesterday, she folds like a cheap suit in the major tournaments. Both Wie and Gulbis, who's win total palein comparison to Creamer, have played better than her in the majors, coming closer to a win and shooting better rounds when they were in contention (look no further than 06' Kraft Nabisco.
2009-07-12 @ 18:57
Comment from: JAC [Visitor] Email
Wie has choked any chances she has ever had at victory at any tour stop. Closer to a win means nothing when you haven't won. That makes you Lorrie Kane not Annika Sorenstam.
2009-07-15 @ 02:05

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