Annika who? Sybase looking to Ochoa, Wie to create buzz
During the 2008 Sybase Classic, Annika Sorenstam mentioned that she would be “stepping away” from competitive golf, careful not to use the “r” word. Carolyn Bivens, worried that fans might lose interest in the LPGA, also made it perfectly clear that Annika did not say the word “retirement” but confirmed that “She plans to end her competitive career".
One translation? Annika slipped into second place in the money rankings just below Ochoa and could not seem to climb back into contention. Not to take anything away from a golfer who had seventy-two career wins but Sorenstam was busy building outside interests too; golf courses, clothing and perfume lines. And, most importantly, her clock was ticking! Tiring of the daily grind, Annika realized that it was time to make room for a new generation. She would graciously fade away and reinvent herself.
Even so, the door was left open in case screaming kids and diapers became too mundane for the former champion.
Meanwhile, Lorena Ochoa was quietly picking up momentum from 2004 until 2006 where she did everything from carding her first LPGA hole-in-one to receiving ADT official money list honors. In 2007 Ochoa grabbed hold of the Rolex Rankings from Sorenstam and never looked back.
Unfortunately for the LPGA, Ochoa is more interested in winning tournaments than becoming a social media prodigy. The Tour, on the other hand, needs more sponsors and fans and is more interested in survival these days.
The players and companies involved in the LPGA are also trying to become better known outside of the realm of their own Tour hoping to entice viewers. Natalie Gulbis, for example was a regular on the Celebrity Apprentice and Anna Rawson has become the new “Go Daddy girl". Even the Golf Channel has decided to use Michelle Wie as the recognizable “face” of the LPGA, and she hasn’t even won an event!
Has women’s golf suffered due to the loss of the “Tiger Woods” of the LPGA or is it the fault of a sluggish economy? Has “feminization” slowed the process?
When the heroine of the decade “retired” it placed the LPGA at a huge disadvantage. Add the economic woes of the country to the mix with fans cutting out extraneous spending and the LPGA could be at risk to go the way of arena football.
Remember the malaise that covered the PGA Tour when Tiger Woods was making his recovery? Ticket sales dropped and Tim Finchem put out a plea to professional golfers to play in a few more events and shmooze more so that fans and sponsors got more bang for their buck.
The Sybase Classic is making it easier to get people in the door, so much so that they are offering free tickets to almost any one with a pulse. For example, cell phone users text LPGA to SYBASE and receive two free tickets. If you have a Lincoln/Mercury, just show your keys and get tickets at the gate and, if you have a Shoprite card, you too get in for gratis! Get the fans inside Upper Montclair Country Club, illustriously designed by Tillinghast/Jones, and everyone wins!
This weekend a two-day summit welcoming one-hundred players and LPGA top-brass will convene at Kingsmill Resort to discuss the future of the Tour and the likelihood of its survival and growth.
If the LPGA ship does sink, there may be a lot of women vying for a spot on the PGA Tour.
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at the same stage as Lorena is now?
Don't think the babes, Natalie, Anna & Michelle
are doing their thing for the LPGA, but for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, of course,
particularly as their careers tend to be of shorter duration than their male counterparts.
It's a bit chicken & egg, isn't it? I'd watch more LPGA if it was televised, but with everyone chasing sponsors, there's only so much money to go round, so don't feel confident about its survival. Will be interested in outcome of summit - will they publish anything?
The golfers that are doing things to help themselves are inadvertently helping the LPGA so that is good in the long run.
I'm betting the outcome from the summit will find its way onto the web, with a positive spin, of course. Everything does.
Thanks for your comment!
Jason Taylor: "Rain today, pretty soggy track, supposed to hang around through Thursday. If the course is wet, what kind of player could fair well out there..."
Michelle Wie: "The person with the best rain gear, I guess."
She has a sense of humor!
I'm not sure about Bubbles sense of humor, and when she stated the comment that you posted above, she probably was not kidding. If you watch her interviews and listen to her speak, you will probably come to the conclusion that the girl is a dingbat! Note that we call her "Bubbles" for a very good reason (that name fits her so well).
PS - She played well today though. If you count las week, she has had five (5) consecutive rounds under par. A tremendous improvement over how she was doing a few weeks ago.
As usual Ms. Wie finds herself six strokes back after the first round against Lorena "Birdie Machine" Ochoa. During the pre-tournament interviews, Lorena said "every tournament I enter I play to win." Bubbles said "every tournament I enter I play to have fun." As long as she continues to have this seventh grader attitude about the tournaments she plays, she will never win a tournament during her golf career. Already, she has lost the tournament to Ochoa. It is obvious that Ochoa keeps her foot on the necks of her competitors in every tournament. She definitely has the killer instinct, something that Bubbles will never have. Ochoa is already on track to beat Annika's tournament record score of -19 which she set in 2008. I think everyone was amazed that Ochoa had a "bogey" during her round. Where Bubbles will have 20 bogeys during a tournament, Lorena may have 20 bogeys all year. Bubbles has the knack to shoot herself in the foot in every tournament. At this level of competition, you simply can not afford four to five bogeys per round. The top players will have maybe one bogey but rarely more than that. I will say that Bubbles will finish at -10 and will be 16 strokes behind Ochoa during the Kingsmill tournament.
Whoa...Bubbles eagled hole #1...only to follow it up with a bogie. There is no question that Bubbles does not have the same desire to win as Ochoa, or Creamer, or Tseng, or most of the other atheletes out there. As you have said, she only does this part time while attending Stanford, and her main primary focus is "to have fun." With this attitude, she may never win a tournament...ever. I acutally believe that if she attends enough events, she will eventully win one. She has so much talent that she should enter an event, and through some luck with not folding in the final round with 9 holes to play, actually win an event. I do think this may happen one of these days, but we shall see.
Alex, Joe Cool...do you agree that she may win one event?
Interested to see your reply.
What has gotten into Wendy Ward? You had mentioned surpries with her top 10 finish last week, and today she she fired a 64 and is currently in 9th. All of a sudden, she is on fire. Conversely, what is wrong with Julietta Granada (sp?). She won a million bucks in 2006 in a single event. Now, she is routinely missing the cut and is currently in last position today. What happens to these golfers? Guess that is what makes it so fun to watch.
Lorena "Birdie Machine" Ochoa kept the pressure on with a 65 today and is now 8 strokes ahead of Bubbles. Once again Bubbles had another 4 bogies and at the LPGA level, that is not going to get the job done. I still see Bubbles using her caddie only to be a porter for her golf bag and GOD forbid should he offer Bubbles any advise! Earlier I had said that Bubbles would finish at -10 and Lorena would finish at -26 with another tournament victory. Alex had mention that he thought Bubbles was a "pretty good golfer", however, no where near the hype that has been placed upon her during the last three years. At the Kingsmill the course record of 63 has been tied three times and everyone seems to be going low. At 6310 yards, Bubbles should be eating that course alive. The problem being she is simply too inconsistent with her game right now and keeps shooting herself in the foot with unnecessary bogeys. Again, I think she will finish around tied for 15th place which will pay for the Jet-40 fuel of her private plane. Since she is not planning on changing her schedule of school and golf, I do not see her winning a tournament until she is 22 years old, if she is still playing golf.
Of the 75 players that made the cut at Kingsmill, only two golfers had 8 bogeys during the first two rounds...yep, you guessed it, Bubbles and Vicky Hurst. When Ochoa was making a birdie from 22 feet, Bubbles was three putting from 22 feet. It looks like those six foot putts are still the monkey on her back. Tomorrow Ochoa will have another 64 and Bubbles will shoot a 69 and will only be 13 shots back.
You're right, whenever I read this blog it reminds me of the quote -
"Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about other people."
Welcome back, have not seen you blog for a while. But I am not surprised to see that you are saying the same thing: I am so greatful that Bubbles is a role model for my daughter. Well Florida Mike, Your daughter idolizes the most over-hyped, over-rated brat in the history of sports. Bubbles has more money in the bank that Sorenstan, yet has yet to win a tournament. She has no class, walking off the tee at the 17th to avoid an 88, or dismissing a pro-am because she does not get her way. If your daughter wants to be like her, I hope it is only on the course, because in front on a micorphone, she is a moron: "ahhh, I had a really good day, I learned a lot....ahhh, there is very little difference between a 82 and 67, ahhhhh I did not realize I was 4 over par today because I was really playing well.
Jack - as a philosopher, you suck. Anyone can regirgutate the comments of others. Don't give up your day job.
If you can not stand the facts concerning Michelle, then get the hell out of the water!
Were are just blogging here Mike and discussing the facts,, don't get your panties in a wad. No one here is "preoccupied" or "obsessed" with Bubbles, who looks to be the most over rated athelete in the history of sports.
Stacy bring up an interesting question. Just what is a scumwaffle, and if I read your post correctly, 10% of said scumwaffles are better than Bubbles. Please clarify this point Mike as I believe you are the only one of us with insight on the matter.
"BJ, Bo, and Bu88les"
Imagine how good Bu88les could have done if it had not been for her pushy folks....even if she is a poorer role model than 10 percent of Florida Mike's scumwaffles.
Interesting development regarding Bu88les new caddie. I can't believe that the press is so quiet about this. I guess that news like this is sort of "common" now and everybody expects it, so why print it.
She is playing well again (especially for a scumwaffle), but she has 5 bogies through 17 holes. she is at -2, which appears to be very much in contention at this point. If not for her bogies, she would be right up at the top.
How about Alfredsson's 30 on the back half. If she can keep this up, she will be out of reach. Bu88les has been playing well, but to WIN, she need to eliminate the bogies.
Unfortunately for Bubbles, Alfredsson shot a career low score 62 in the first round which puts Bubbles 8 shots back. Either Alfredsson could not miss a putt or the course was not playing very difficult. Bubbles has been having 3 to 5 bogies a round and this might get you a win in high school, but, on the LPGA, good luck. I will say Bubbles will finish between 15th and 20th at this tournament. If she wants to play on the Solheim Cup Team, she better start picking up her game.
“You know, like I always say, dream high and stuff, set your goals up high, and I think it’s definitely—I’m not saying it’s an easy goal to achieve,” Wie said when asked about winning a men’s tournament. “I’m not going to be like, ‘Oh, I’m going to go out and win a men’s event.’ It’s not like that, but it’s one of those long-term goals where I see myself getting to. I see myself getting there, and it’s one of those goals that really motivates me and pushes me to be a stronger player, a better player.”
How in the hell did this bimbo get into Stanford, she speaks as if she is in the 4th grade. If not for her money, I can not imagine Stanford letting such an intellectually vacant person into their institution. Florida Mike may be correct...maybe she is a scumwaffle!
You have got to be kidding me....right. Otherwise, please put down you bong filled with crack cocaine, clear your head, and listen to Bu88les speak during an interview.
Ahhhh...you know I have to really aim high and stuff...I played really well today, but I don't think about shooting 88. I learned a lot when I came in dead last place against the men....I really did...or something.
Jim C said:
"When Ochoa struggled, her interview sounded like Wie's do when Wie struggles."
Jim, your observation is outrageous. First of all Ochoa's primary language is not even English, its Spanish. But she still makes a hell of a lot more sense than Bu88les. To compare Ochoa's speaking ability to that of Bu88les is like comparing Obama to Bevis and Butthead.
Also, when Ochoa struggles, she plays a stroke or two above/below par. When Bu88les struggles, she launches balls over the gallery's heads and either fakes an injury, or withdraws for some lame reason. So I don't think you can make a comparison of the two when they "struggle."
Your right, Ochoa is not playing that well right now. I think her confidence is probably ok, but the most difficult part of golf (once you are a pro) is consistency. That is what impresses me about Paula Creamer, I believe she has only missed one cut since turning pro (maybe 2 at the most). Ochoa is consistent as well, but she will have her periods of not playing to her potential.
As I am sure you are aware, Bu88les has played very well over the past 3 events. She is -3 today after 15 and is actually in contention. She has had many bogies over the past two events, but has avoided big numbers. But, if she is in contention in the fourth round, I still believe she will come in second.
We shall see.
Joe Cool, what is your take on Bu88les latest performance.
It was interesting seeing how the Golf Channel played to Michelle...they gave her 25 seconds of air time. It was really the Ochoa, Creamer, Kerr and Lincicomb party. I think the LPGA gals are getting the short end of the stick. The Golf Channel allows them two hours of broadcast time and then uses one hour and fifteen minutes for commercials.
Bubbles performance was more consistent, however, the two drives on the par threes and three different putts was all that the Golf Channel would show. On the back nine she had four birdie putts that burned the edge and would not fall. Since the leaders didn't play that well, Michelle really had an opportunity to close the gap, but, could only manage 3 under par. She is only 6 strokes back and I think she really must make a statement tomorrow and try to shoot a 65 or 64 in order to get the attention from the leaders.
Look out also for Paula who is tied with Bubbles. Both Paula and Bubbles have been steadily climbing up the leader board.
Should be interesting.
I watched Wie the three days and wa most interested in her putting. Evidently the greens were rather tricky to read. The gals seemed to make those 25 to 35 foot putts and miss the 3 to 5 footers. I saw Wie misread many of her putts and I can not understand her reasoning to want to read her own putts and not have any assistance from her caddy. Does she have the "PGA Mentality" to line herself up for shots and read her own putts? She has been missing CRUCIAL short putts for the past six years and unless she gets her head on straight, I think she will continue to miss those short putts. If Wie continues with the attitude that she plays in the tournament to have fun, she will not win anything. The mindset of OH was interesting when she stated that she was there to WIN the tournament after she had her hole-in-one during the first round.
Great...now she is missing par putts in the inches! Ying Yang is trying to shoot a 59 during the third round. The Asians are slapping the Corning course up side of the head. If Bubbles could play a course with no trees or water or sand she might pull out a win. It looks like she will finish around tied for 42nd on a 6200 yard course. This is 1000 yards shorter than she played with the PGA. It seems that the first round she always shoots herself in the foot with a mediocre round and then tries to play catch up the rest of the tournament. The Asians are simply too consistent in their games for Bubbles to catch them. I can never recall of ANY KOREAN missing a 14 inch putt for par.
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