Tiger Woods goes public about Grand Slam win, Mickelson silent. Michelle Wie seeking LPGA glory and Leadbetter power tip
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When PGA Tour golfers mention their season ambitions it’s usually hypothetical, mixing dreams with unspoken fears, hedging their bets with terms like “goals", “desires” and the “significant improvements” made over the previous year.
Not Tiger Woods. Simply put, a single exclamation on his website is all that is needed to jump on the Grand Slam bandwagon. “I think it’s easily within reason,” said the world’s number-one, confident of his abilities.
Taking the lead from Woods is Ernie Els who isn’t as positive but remains hopeful. Although Els has been a non-event in the U.S. for several years (he claims that putting under pressure lets him down), he has now decided that he has to “start winning tournaments…fast!” His insecurities are magnified by his statement, “anything is possible. Dream big…and who knows?”
Phil Mickelson remains silent in his ability to win four consecutive major events in a single year but is buoying himself up with the prospect of playing Torrey Pines, where he won his first professional event. Although Mickelson is confident of a future Green Jacket and his ability to win another PGA Championship, he has made no claims that this is even a goal of his, hedging his bets with comments about his difficulty in making the cut at Royal Birkdale in 1991!. Perhaps Phil is smarter not making predictions, although he is betting on equipment changes that he thinks will “lead to lower scores".
This week Golf for Beginners discusses the difficulties in achieving the elusive Grand Slam and the slim possibility of one man making history.
Michelle Wie’s absence from the Sony Open is also probed as well as the possibility of a future commitment to the women’s tour. Is it in the LPGA’s best longterm interest to bestow exemptions on a girl who may be using ladies’ events as a springboard to the PGA Tour?
We also feature a golf tip regarding core coil from David Leadbetter , Michelle Wie’s instructor, and talk about the upcoming PGA Merchandise Show.
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You are late to the party. The LPGA has already figured it out. She is not getting any exemptions to majors and from what I've heard she's being burned by one of the Hawaii sites. She will have to earn her way just like every other young woman out there.
Not quite. She will probably receive sponsor's exemptions to some of the lesser full-field events, especially those in which she performed fairly well in the past.
Since Monday qualifying is only open to non-exempt LPGA members, she won't be able to get in the field that way.
What's with the line about "using ladies' events as a springboard to the PGA Tour"? That's a joke, right?
Actually, Bubbles used men's events as a springboard to the lower echelons of women's golf.
With the PGA Tour starting to hold back exemptions that they initially gave her earlier in her career, Wie is going to have to start proving her value on the LPGA Tour once again. She then might be able to finagle some men's tour exemptions.
And Alex, I always like to keep my readers entertained! ;-)
Wie is Leadbetter's "cash cow" and he will want to hold on to her as long as he can. The start of the 2008 season doesn't look very promising for MW since the SBS tour officials have already given out the exemptions for that tournament and one of their own was not on the list. Unfortunately, I think 2008 is going to be pay back time for Michelle. What will be the Wie Camp reaction if MW doesn't get an exemption to the Fields Open? Bo and Diddley are going to have to make some very big decisions in the coming months or 2008 will be an after thought.
Since she is not an LPGA member, she cannot qualify for an LPGA event. She can only get in the field by a sponsor's exemption.
The US Women's Open and I believe the British Women's Open are not governed by the LPGA, and thus Bubbles could attempt qualifying fo those two, if her handlers don't think qualifying is beneath her dignity.
I'm a severe critic of her career path and the amount of undeserved hype she has received, but if she qualifies for the Opens and makes the cuts and finishes well, I'll give her all the credit she is due.
Steve Wozeniak PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses
While I agree that she had an incredible golf swing at one time and that she worked on the wrong things in 2007 (driving distance instead of short game), I disagree that her problems could be worked out in "one afternoon." Her most severe problems are not her new flawed golf swing, but the issues she has developed mentally. I actually think she will get worse before she gets better, and she may return one of these days to be a force on the LPGA. But it will take more than just an afternoon on the driving range.
I seriously doubt that Bubbles will ever be a force on the LPGA tour, since she is not even a member of that organization and has shown absolutely no interest in becoming one.
Last September, she CHOSE not to attend LPGA "Q" school, a venue where she has as good a chance as any to qualify. And that BEFORE any classes had begun at Stanford.
Steve didn't say HOW Bubbles' game could be fixed in one afternoon. However, since Steve is a PGA member and a golf instructor, I think it's safe to say that he thinks that he's the one to perform that miracle.
He's not the first golf pro guilty of praising Bubbles to high heaven prior to her having done anything worthwhile. Four years ago, Ernie Els said that she should be able to be competitive on the PGA tour. Ditto Tom Lehman. And Joe Ogilvie was even more ecstatic. He said that Bubbles would be winning multiple times by now and that she was far better at her age than Tiger Woods. Brandel Chamblee went so far as to say that he wouldn't be surprised to see Bubbles winning six, eight , or even ten times a year on the LPGA tour.
I think these guys are too close to the forest to see the trees. There is an old axiom thata horseplayer seeking inside information should never ask a jockey for any.
Talking about Tiger, I think as the years pass by his desperation for the slam also seems to be increasing. He has felled many records in his professional career but this is something that must be close to his heart and thank god that players like Tiger have something to cling on to, to keep their drive going. Otherwise with such dominating performance week in and week out one should not be surprised if he decides to pack up and leave in search of a greater challenge.
The quoted odds against Woods winning the Grand Slam this year are well over 100 to 1.
But he he doesn't accomplish the slam this tear or any other for the next ten, he'll still be trying in 2019. He won't pack it in and go searching for something more challenging. Tiger has already begun to dabble in course design, the avocation of choice of golfers.
There is a very good reason for golfers' affinity for that line of work. Golf is all they know. The same goes for superstars in other sports.
Michael Jordan didn't get involved in designing skyscrapers or ocean liners, nor did he start a Wall Street brokerage. Why? He is not a structural engineer, a naval architect, of an MBA in banking.
Woods is a superstar, the absolute best of his era. He is far the best of anyone competing today, and probably in the top five of all time.
He may yet prove to be the very best in history.
But Tiger has been trained exclusively to be a standout golfer for his entire life. He has accomplished almost everything he has attempted.
If he does win the slam within the nexr, say, ten years, he will still be playing competitively until well into his fifties.
He won't need the money; he doesn't need it now. He has to satisfy his craving for competition. THat's all he knows, golf and trying mightily to win over and over again.
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