Even positive press by Travelgolf.com's Jennifer Mario can't help Michelle Wie win at the John Deere Classic
On the heels of her new Michelle Wie book it is quite understandable that Jennifer Mario is interested in promoting the opinion that Miss Wie will make her first PGA cut this week at the John Deere Classic. For arguments sake I have chosen to take the opposing side.
Attempting for the fifth time to make a cut on the PGA tour is 16-year-old Michelle Wie. On four previous occasions, she has MC’d, always coming close but not yet able to close the deal.
When the chips were down recently at both the U.S. Women’s Open and at the HSBC World Match Play Championship, Wie acquiesed to the pressure. At the Kraft Nabisco, Wie lipped out on eighteen and missed her chance at a playoff. If she hasn’t learned how to finish in first place on the LPGA tour, how can she be expected to compete capably on the men’s tour?
Okay, I have had moments of weakness where I really thought that Wie could make it to the weekend (I even thought that she might make the qualifier for the U.S. Open) but I’m beginning to doubt her finishing skills.
Jennifer states that “what’s held her back in previous attempts on the PGA Tour hasn’t been her length off the tee, it’s been her putting.” I don’t agree with that statement. Her putting was quite adequate at the U.S. Open, so much so that Wie commented on the “confidence in my putting. There’s been a lot of talk about she can’t putt, that kind of stuff. And I really feel like I showed this week that I can really putt because I made putts when I needed to. And I felt like the speed of my putts were the best ever".
The problems in her game have been in her approach shots and greenside bunker attempts. As Michelle Wie stated during that same interview, “my irons weren’t the greatest today".
In her 2005 John Deere qualifying attempt, Wie almost made history but began to unravel as inaccuracies with her driver and irons left her one-stroke shy of making history.
But, hey, she was a kid back then. As Wie stated, “I made a couple of bad decisions coming into the final holes, but I was only 15. I can make mistakes when I’m 15. Hopefully I learned from those mistakes".
I hope you learned from those mistakes too, Michelle, because the entire world (including Ms. Mario) is watching. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we’re all here reading a blog for the 2007 John Deere Classic claiming “third times a charm! I’ll bet she can do it THIS time. Heck, she’s SEVENTEEN now!”
Nope. I’m believing that my blog at that time will state, “three strikes and you’re out!".
Even though Wie understands her weaknesses and probably has been working on them to no end, I think that this week she sits out another Sunday. But who knows? With all of the upper crust preparing for the British Open next week, Michelle might have a chance against the B-rated pros (except for Chris DiMarco and a few other honorable mentions).
Perhaps we should consider defending champion Sean O’Hair’s statement about the Big Wiesy being “good for the tournament". And she is! As O’Hair continued to assert, “Watch the ratings this week, they’re going to go sky high!".
It’s great for a tour stop that wouldn’t normally get much press but since Michelle is playing will receive full coverage. Television and web sites are expected to be on full “Wie watch".
The question is, if Michelle Wie doesn’t start winning soon, how long will the public remain enamored with her?
What has Wie done lately to make you think she’s going to make the cut? Golf is a game of several different learning experiences. First, you learn how to play the game. Second, you learn how to compete. Third, and most importantly, you learn how to win. Michelle Wie hasn’t gotten to step three yet.
And, by giving her an exemption, a PGA tour pro who has worked extremely hard to this point will be warming the bench. But, with ratings and big dollars to consider, it is easy to see why Michelle Wie is the sponsor’s choice.
I hope that Michelle Wie finally makes the cut and proves this blogger to be wrong. If not during this tournament, perhaps winning any event on any tour this season can justify the millions being spent on this young lady with high expectations.
Hats off to Jennifer Mario on her new book, “Michelle Wie: the Making of a Champion” and her appearance on ESPN. You go girl!
One final note: the Owens Corning Classic will be televised this weekend on ESPN2. Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer, Juli Inkster and a very talented field of golfers will be vying for over $1 million in total prize money. Even the great Nancy Lopez will be picking up the sticks! You can also expect some fireworks with Morgan Pressel among the pairings!
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You are a realist...You have stated facts...
If she does make a cut, so what? What door does it open? What does it accomplish besides push her more on the public who is rapidly growing tired of her?
Bottom line...so what?
Sadly you cut all the strings (facts) which could lead to the validation of the publication of a book... She has to win to be a champion, then you applaud money making materialistic Mario...
Tired of her already.....
But Michelle Wie's career is just taking off. She has plenty of time to win, score well and make history, if she can just calm down a bit.
Annika Sorenstam and Morgan Pressel are tied for 14th place, only four strokes out. Many scores in the 60's and great golf being played.
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