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29 comments

Comment from: Jim C [Visitor]
What about last week? The Evian Masters has just as strong a field, and they had only 2 hours of coverage for the final round on The Golf Channel. That was really pathetic.

In Michelle Wie, women's golf has their most exciting young talent since Nancy Lopez. But instead of focussing on how great a talent it takes for a 16 year old girl to finish within two strokes of the lead in 5 consecutive stroke play tournaments--the LPGA prefers to either ignore Michelle Wie, or emphasis the fact that she has yet to win--and suggest that her numerous high finish are evidence that she doesn't have what it takes to be a winner. Who ever came up with the idea that this is the way to promote a sport?

The LET is actively courting Michelle Wie to play on their tour. I wonder if Michelle Wie will decide to play where she is wanted rather than where she is not wanted.

2006-08-05 @ 18:55
Comment from: JR [Visitor]
Jim C... what makes you think that the LPGA does not want MW to play on their tour? Because they won't give her any more sponsor's exemption than allowed by the rules???? If MW wants to play on the LPGA tour, why doesn't she petition to become a member? Until she does this and is turned down, then and only then can you say that the LPGA does not want her.....
2006-08-05 @ 19:17
Comment from: Randy Hebert [Visitor]
Bottom line is they have to secure a television deal. NBC , CBS, and The Golf Channel are all committed to the PGA now. The Golf Channel also is committed to the Nationwide and Champions tour. ABC obviously has no interest even with Michelle in the field. Fox is committed to baseball and nascar which are better draws. Unless it is a mens major that has Tiger or Phil in contention, the ratings for golf are generally small and get outdone by wrestling of all things, and whats phonier than that. It's time for Bivens and the LPGA to think outside the box a bit. CNBC, an NBC affiliate, is a cable network that goes into more homes here and abroad than practically any cable network. Their weekends are filled with paid programming. Strike a deal with NBC to get your weekend coverage on CNBC fulltime with NBC holding an option to show the majors. Then get USA or TNT or someone to cover the early rounds. This would give much needed money to the LPGA for purses. And the fans would benefit from finally seeing the LPGA live all the time, not just half the time. In conjunction with that you need Michelle Wie playing full time on the LPGA. Like her or not, she is the biggest draw in womens golf. Laura Davies did suggest she play some LET events, but face it, they play for peanuts. It would be next to impossible to get that tour turned into a big money tour. If they played for any money the best European players wouldn't be here full time. The LPGA is the one and only place women can play for decent money worldwide.
2006-08-05 @ 19:28
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
JR,
Why would Michelle petition for membership for the lpga tour.
Being a member would restrict her, so she won't do it unless they change their rules, so that it would not restrict her apprearances in pga, epga, japanese and korean tour events, and anything else she may like to add to her schedule.
2006-08-05 @ 20:33
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor]
Randy

The best European women play full time on the LPGA only offers them the choice of full time status or being treated like Michelle. Playing 10 or 12 events on both the LPGA and the LET is a viable option as far as the LET is concerned, but the LPGA will not allow it. Given the choice, I believe Annika would play fewer LPGA and more LET events--and that would help the LET develop into a stronger and richer tour.

LET membership would give Michelle Wie a home in women's golf, and if she wanted she could also be a member of the KLPGA. Her presence could help these tours become stronger, keep more of the top players in these countries, etc.



2006-08-05 @ 22:07
Comment from: Randy Hebert [Visitor]
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor]
Randy

The best European women play full time on the LPGA only offers them the choice of full time status or being treated like Michelle. Playing 10 or 12 events on both the LPGA and the LET is a viable option as far as the LET is concerned, but the LPGA will not allow it. Given the choice, I believe Annika would play fewer LPGA and more LET events--and that would help the LET develop into a stronger and richer tour.

LET membership would give Michelle Wie a home in women's golf, and if she wanted she could also be a member of the KLPGA. Her presence could help these tours become stronger, keep more of the top players in these countries, etc.

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Not with the small dollars they play for. And only American corporate sponshorship and television would bring that kind of money. At least as far as womens golf is concerned. The LET and the KLPGA don't pay enough for the best of their own players to stay and play. Any ventures she makes on those tours will be until she reaches full exempt status on the LPGA. If she played there full time you'd never see her play again on tv. Not in the US anyway. The LPGA is easily the strongest of the womens tours and yet you get delayed coverage on some key events. You can't hardly think think they will start showing the LET and KPLGA here just because Michelle is there. And you can bet Sony and Nike hasn't invested all those millions to see her go play fulltime on some non descript tours with no coverage. That my friend will never happen.
2006-08-06 @ 00:07
Comment from: John S [Visitor]
What I don't understand is why their #1 marketing tool Wie gets so little air time, on the 1st day when she had an earlier tee time and today when ABC had her for a few seconds. Yes I know she's not on the leaderbaord but they could still have found some way to show her and let's face it, a lot of us don't watch ladies golf, we want to watch Michelle

I think Bivens is doing a lousy job, so are the networks. They know that Michelle brings in 20% to 30% more viewers and yet they don't show her. Can anybody can explain? I'm curious of course
2006-08-06 @ 01:02
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Folks, I'd say that I hate to break this to you, but I don't. The LPGA is a fourth-rate tour and, as such, is an inferior product. Consequently, not many really want to watch women's golf. Facts are fact, my friends.

You might as well lament the fact that we don't see more ultra-marathons or college wrestling on TV. The market gets what the market wants.
2006-08-06 @ 01:37
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
If and this is a big if, Michelle can get her game up to a level where she can honestly compete with men, the Asian Tour would be her tour of choice. With the growth of golf in Asia now and the projections of the future Nike, Omega and Sony would be very happy indeed to see her playing in Asia with forays into the PGA and European tours with substantial appearance fees. She can accept those fees if she is not a member of their tour.

Michelle can also receive appearance fees for LPGA events if she is not a member of the tour. It doesn't get any better than this.

Another reason to join the Asian Tour is their schedule which has more flexibility for a college student to schedule around.

More golf courses have opened in Asia during the past five years than have in in last thirty-five years in Europe and the Americas. Billions of potential customers reside in this corner of the planet and India is on the horizon for the next big boom in golf course construction.

The USA is still the major market for golf related equipment, but this is about to shift if you believe the projections.

Michelle speaks Japanese, Korean and is learning Chinese and I am sure she did not study to order off the menu in a local Asian restaurant on a LPGA tour stop. Nike has already released TV ads with Michelle in all three languages overseas.

2006-08-06 @ 01:40
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]
I am a Wie fan, but will only watch the LPGA TV if Wie is in contention. For this British Open, I just played online Poker instead of watching ABC. The dilema with Golf coverage on TV is that only when Wie is playing AND doing well will people watch and anyone can have a bad day/bad week. Why would major networks pay up to cover LPGA ? Wie is only playing 6 events per year, no one will want to pay the full year price coverage fee for all the rest boring LPGA events....
2006-08-06 @ 04:07
Comment from: Randy Hebert [Visitor]
Comment from: John S [Visitor]
What I don't understand is why their #1 marketing tool Wie gets so little air time, on the 1st day when she had an earlier tee time and today when ABC had her for a few seconds. Yes I know she's not on the leaderbaord but they could still have found some way to show her and let's face it, a lot of us don't watch ladies golf, we want to watch Michelle

I think Bivens is doing a lousy job, so are the networks. They know that Michelle brings in 20% to 30% more viewers and yet they don't show her. Can anybody can explain? I'm curious of course
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Running the risk of sounding like a Wie hater which I am not I'll answer you best I can. The Pga is the most watched tour and Tiger is the biggest draw in golf. Yet on the first two rounds you will only get to see him one day, and on the weekend if he is in contention. I have seen majors where he wasn't contending and the coverage stopped showing him. It's no different for Michelle or anyone else. The few people who actually tuned in to watch the Womens British Open , except for the Michelle fans, would be highly upset if what they had to watch was someones round who is 11 behind the leaders rather than watching the actual leaders. People watch sports to see who wins, and this week she isn't in contention. It's that simple. Now Judge Smails, who would probably be proud to be labled a Wie hater lol, pretty much hit the nail on the head with the first paragraph he posted above.Golf has one major problem other sports don't have. Baseball, football, etc which draw bigger television audiences than golf are sports we played when younger and no longer play much after high school and college. So we watch and root our teams. But golf is a wonderful sport you can play well into retirement. So the very people who would be viewers and give the sport better ratings are out playing the game on weekends. We have six courses here and everyone of them will have threesomes or foursomes teeing off all day long on the weekends every eight to ten minutes. And you better call two days in advance for one of those precious tee times. Myself , I have a 10:30 one Sunday. So given a choice of watching golf on tv or actually playing golf, the vast majority are teeing it up.

Now this is for One Putt and Jim C and anyone else who thinks Michelles future will be playing overseas full time. I want you to copy and paste what I am about to say, save it to your PC, and in a year or so if I am wrong, print it here and I will gladly admit to being wrong. She will not be going to college, The Asian tour, the LET, KPLGA, JLPGA, PGA, KFC, A & W, or any other initials full time. She will be a full time exempt memeber of the LPGA. Her playing full time overseas wouldn't cause a ripple on the sports scene. People like Tiger and Michelle, and other sports stars are driven people and want to be recognized as the best in their sport. They don't want to be the big fish in the small pond, they want to be the big fish in the big pond. And for Michelle that pond would be the LPGA. Thats where she is highly competitive and could possibly transcend the game if she is as good as you think she is. Not the PGA where she isn't competitive, or any of those other tours people would care less about. She goes there and she fades from the forefront of golf in time. Trust me her career path, right or wrong, wasn't chosen so she could fade from the scene in two or three years.
2006-08-06 @ 04:31
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Comment from: Randy Hebert [Visitor]

If Michelle ties herself to the LPGA or PGA tours she will lose millions in potential appearance fees and limit her ability to play in events on both tours. I disagree that the Asian tour is out of the question, when it is the best place to hone her skills if she is serious about going to the PGA tour. She needs to play a minimum of ten Asian tour events to hold a card. The Asian tour allows a member to play six events outside of the tour. The important difference is these are six men's events. Women's events are not included.

All Michelle is really interested in playing on the LPGA tour are their premier events (Majors and the Evian). This adds up to five events.

The European tour has a few events that are co-sponsored with the Asian tour in China, Singapore and Malaysia. Appearance at these events counts towards the event minimum for the Asian tour and are not consdered playing outside the tour.

Toss in three Euro Tour exemptions and three from the PGA and you have developed a 21 tournament schedule that covers all the tours, male and female.

The LPGA is "Stuck on Stupid and I know they will not make any exceptions for Michelle to participate in men's events outside the tour over the minimum, so what are her options?

If her goal is truly is to someday join the PGA tour and be competative, the Asian tour is where she needs to test herself and build up her game in order to play the longer courses on the PGA tour with a more competative field.

After two or three years on the Asian tour she will be able to tell where she has the ability to play and choose the PGA or LPGA tours. She would still start holding a card younger than Annika did at 22 when she joined the LPGA tour, if it is the case Michelle decided she couldn't make it on the PGA tour.

The one thing everyone should realize by now is that Michelle is not your conventional professional golfer. If you think Michelle is popular in the USA, you can multiply that by a hundred fold in Asia as Michelle is their Golf Goddess. The men on the Asian tour will embrace Michelle as one of their own. Why? Attendance, sponsorships/prize money and the all important TV air time. It really is the best career plan.





2006-08-06 @ 06:11
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Randy Herbert,

Although I agree with you on the TV coverage, I highly disagree with you on Michelle NOT going to college. She is going to college, even IF it's not what she wants to do (big "if," I actually thinks she wants to go to college). When she turned professional, the first thing we asked was how she would manage schooling and playing. Michelle and her camp has made such a big deal out of "balancing" school and work, in fact, she mentions it in almost every interview. If she doesn't follow through with her going to college then imagine the uproar that would result in that announcement. I'd say Michelle would get 1-2 years of college done, just like Tiger, then maybe play golf. But like I said, I think she really wants to go college.
2006-08-06 @ 09:03
Comment from: Jon [Visitor]
I think the best thing for her to do is to go to college, full-time for at least for two years. The pro tours are tough grinds, espeically with the level of media attention focused on her. Playing part-time, she can mature and work on her game for the next three years in a more relaxed manner. As for her golf game, she needs to mature a bit more too. Hopefully, she will win a LPGA tournament by 2007. The important thing that I can not overemphasize is that the SK Open actually made money even with the appearance fees, whereas other tournaments there are perennial money losers. Money talks and the purse will ultimately decide the strength of any tour. She may be able to turn a money losing lesser tour into a profitable one. If she wants to improve her game, she needs to play against men. What One-putt suggests is feasible. I don't know the time frame for her playing full-time but I wouldn't rule it out. More options she has, better choices she can make. The LPGA, however third rate it may be, is still the best one for the women. The fact that there are so many non-Americans winning its events shows that the LPGA is draining all the talents from other tours.
2006-08-06 @ 09:58
Comment from: JR [Visitor]
Johnny N... please explain how being a member of the LPGA tour would restrict her from playing other events. If she were a member of the LPGA, she could play as full of a schedule that she chose to AND still play in other events if invitations were still extended.
2006-08-06 @ 10:58
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
It's utter nonsense that Bubbles has to play against the men to improve her game. In golf you play against the course; IT is your opponent. It's the toughest, most unrelenting adversary you'll ever face and it gives no quarter.
2006-08-06 @ 11:55
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor]
JR

I believe an exempt member of the LPGA is required to play a minimum of 20 LPGA events per year, and play at least jonce in every LPGA event every four years. A player may only play in a restricted number of events which compete with LPGA events such as the John Deere which competes with the Jamie Farr, although this restriction was put in place not for men's events, but to help the LPGA keep a monopolistic stranglehold on women's professional golf. That number was 2, but it may have been changedm possibly to 4.

2006-08-06 @ 12:15
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
If the TV coverage gave her air time when she's playing so poorly they'd be accused of rubbing it in, by certain people who post here. Note that even Tiger gets very little air time when he's struggling. All highly competitive people love public humiliation. No?
2006-08-06 @ 13:45
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]
I think everyone should make a nice ending note to everything. That being said, I think she should keep trying PGA (of course as long as she gets exemptions) to make a cut. She is oh so close and if she has two good days, there is no doubt she can make a cut. However, after making a cut, she should make an assessment of if she is at the level of being a serious contender or not in PGA Tour and decide what to do. Once making cut, she could try out Asian or LPGA as a carreer path, or heck, just go full time college and take a break. (avoid the real world for couple years and just party, that will be a nice long vacation)
2006-08-06 @ 13:50
Comment from: Military_Golfer [Visitor]
Wie has not petitioned to be a member of the LPGA because she is only 16, and cannot commit to the tour full-time and finish school. Most ignorant fools focus on the money early, but money with no brains ..... you know where that ends up.
2006-08-06 @ 13:58
Comment from: Stacy [Visitor]
Where it isn't nice to focus television cameras on golfers who are performing poorly during their round, it also shows the average golfer that, if a guy like Tiger can fluff that shot, maybe "I'm not as bad as I thought I was."

It substantiates that errant shots are a part of golf.
2006-08-06 @ 14:12
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
Stacy,

I agree but so many non golfers only want to see MW and don't care about the golf.

There are probably big bucks in a 6 hr DVD of nothing but Wie.

There's not much that can put a positive spin on my game anymore.
2006-08-06 @ 14:21
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
It might be of some significance that TGC provided complete start to finish coverage of all the Women's majors to several markets in Asia who paid TGC for the event coverage. At least you can look forward to seeing the Nationwide tour in the States.

Women's golf is a huge draw in Asia and the Asian men's tour is looking for crossover appeal to increase ratings, attendance and revenues. The JPGA is well behind the JLPGA in all segments of the market and the JPGA might lobby Michelle to join their tour in a effort to increase revenues in all areas and boost purses higher.

Michelle continues to be the Nuclear Fusion of the golfing world and media. Tiger is playing an excellent tournament this week and we are still here commenting on a sixteen year old that finished tied for 26th place.
2006-08-06 @ 14:52
Comment from: Stacy [Visitor]
Michelle should remain a free agent. If she commits to any tour she will be known as having accepted that lot in life. I personally enjoy watching her quest in all markets.

And, Tiger Woods is currently in a bit of trouble right now. His putter is letting him down and he is now tied with Jim Furyk. Great match!
2006-08-06 @ 16:39
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
I should have such trouble. I don't think Jim meant to piss him off.
2006-08-06 @ 18:04
Comment from: Stacy [Visitor]
I am relieved to see that Tiger Woods won. He's playing golf with renewed fervor. It's going to be hard for golfers to catch him now.
2006-08-07 @ 08:42
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Doug, If what you say is true, that non-golfers don't care about the golf and only want to look at Bubbles, it would probably be wise for her to make a few videos or DVD's and have them featured on MTV. I don't think that is the case. But if there is any truth to your take on it, that would prove that her publicity machine has been working overtime.
2006-08-07 @ 10:32
Comment from: Stacy [Visitor]
Would people tune in to MTV to see MW? I wouldn't, unless she had some terrific singing voice or her house was featured on "Cribs".
2006-08-07 @ 13:04
Comment from: putt4par [Visitor]
The problem with Alex and his mentors/sycophants is that for all the blabbering they do, they cannot dispute the fact that MW is one of the very best female golfers in the world at the moment.
The only "bubbles" involved are in Alex and Smails heads.

That is why people like to watch her. If Alex and his buddies don't like the hype as they claim, then they should STFU and lessen their share of the hype.
2006-08-07 @ 15:19

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