Can Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis find happiness outside the ropes of the U.S. Women's Open? Also weight shift drill
After watching the struggles of both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (among the other great golfers) at the 109th US Open, it can be said that this was the year of the initiate, not the veteran. Lucas Glover, who had only won once in his career on the PGA Tour astounded and amazed the crowd with his steely gaze, focus and lack of emotion while both Woods and Mickelson fell short of the basic skills needed to get the job done.
One can almost compare Glover to the lovely Natalie Gulbis who has also had a single victory but who, along with Michelle Wie, failed to qualify for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and may be watching from the sidelines. Will either be offering Twitter commentary? Not likely!
What separates golfers who qualify from those who don’t?
When John Daly missed qualifying for the U.S. Open, he remarked that his feet were tired and the greens over in Europe were much slower than those in the States adding, “talk about not even sniffing a putt!” Solid putting, therefore, is the single most important part of any player’s golf game.
Glover, who had missed the cut in three previous Opens acknowledged that his lead “can be attributed to putting and patience” and is currently “ranked seventh in putts made from between 15-20 feet.”
Now, considering why Michelle Wie, for example, did not qualify for the Women’s U.S. Open, she revealed that she was swinging really well but “just couldn’t get anything going, and some of the putts didn’t drop.”
Should the USGA bend the regulations to assist the LPGA (and NBC) retain a slipping fan base or are the rules the rules? Originally, the policies stated that the top thirty golfers would be admitted to the U.S. Women’s Open but now only the top ten automatically qualify. Well, the USGA says that it is for the good of the game…
You certainly wouldn’t need to bend the rules at the U.S. Open to accomodate Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson because of the excitement factor of the entire field but, for the U.S. Women’s Open, it could be the difference between increased ratings and hearing crickets chirping in the distance.
Would it have mattered if Gulbis and Wie played in the U.S. Women’s Open? Not likely as both missed the cut last year. Michelle’s quintuple bogey on the ninth hole at Interlachen said it all.
Golf for Beginners also discusses a weight shift drill which will allow you to stop that ‘reverse C’ and point your club more directly at the target.
Send your golf questions and comments to email@example.com.
This podcast is supported by GolfCalifornia.com, 1-866-351-1688.
Photo Credit: © Sj-r.com
|« Tiger loses twice in NY, the LPGA needs Woods versus Wie and handy golf rules to keep in your bag.||Woods, Mickelson pairing at U.S. Open? Kodak golf shots worth $1 million, casting drill »|
Unless Wie qualifies based on the next two events, she will miss the Open, and the USGA will pay the price of their stupidity in a loss of fan interest. But there is really nothing that can be done about it now.
So, no, no one should be given an exemption simply because the person bears a marquee name, but merit is a different matter.
And, as you know, I say this as someone who is no fan of the Bubbles.
In general, anyone in the top 30 on the current LPGA money list or in the top 50 current WORLD Rankings belongs in the U.S. Oopen. This is a ludicrous omission on the USGA's part. These players have earned their place in the field through SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE and you have to protect them.
Suggestion. Do like the Solheim Cup. Use points or dollars from last year's cut off day on, and add to that double points or dollars for this year up to the cutoff date.
Alas, as detailed in another post, I fear that the winless princess will end up playing in the Open -- I am sure, at this very moment, bj is busy, busy, busy, pulling some stunt.
Nonetheless, I am hopeful that at this year's Open the spotlight will be on the deserving players (especially on the many outstanding golfers from Korea).
You obviously didn't see my response to your question in the other thread, so I'm posting it here as well.
No, actually, you are what you are. Whether or not you're a liberal is determined by your ideology, your beliefs, not my perspective. What I believe doesn't change the objective reality of what you are. The only qualification I will add is that "liberal" is a relative term, in that its definition does change based on the time and place. However, in 2009 America a liberal is understood to have certain characteristics, lacking and defective though they may be.
Joe cool is right about everything in those posts, and that is clear if you read his comments with an eye toward understanding them. Note that he didn't say Koreans should be banned from the Open. He simply lamented the fact that so many qualified for it. This is understandable, as it's well-established that robotic foreigners who do not and cannot interact with the fans don't exactly help the marketability of a tour. Also note that people do not say the same thing about Shigeki Maruyama on the men's tour, and Chi Chi Rodriguez was a hit. Why? Because they aren't automatons who walk around with a Terminator-like countenance. They are personable, charming and funny and put on a show for the fans.
Joe's point also was that high-ranked LPGA players (which can include foreigners) should be shown more respect; he was saying that it's ridiculous to limit exemptions to the LPGA top 10, thereby affording players who haven't "paid those dues" — many of whom are foreign — a greater chance of getting in the Open.
You should also realize that Joe's commentary was inspired by the fact that Bubbles, despite being ranked 16th on the tour, was denied automatic entry into the Open. And her racial background is precisely the same as that of the Korean players.
Now, on a personal level, I'm tickled pink that Bubbles won't be in the event. However, I'm also fair and would thus never deny that, in this case, she was victimized by an unfair system. (Ironic, too, isn't it? The girl who benefited from copious exemptions she didn't deserve now is denied one that, it could be reasonably said, she actually did earn. Of course, it still is ridiculous that she couldn't qualify.)
Lastly, there is nothing wrong with requiring people who work in our country to speak our language. It's what any sane nation would do . . . . Oops, my mistake, as that characterization ceased describing us a looooong time ago.
While I don't expect it to be forthcoming, you owe Joe Cool an apology.
Set down your bong pipe full of "great weed" for a moment and reread the posts that your last statement referred to. Most posters are claiming that Wie has earned the right to be in the Open, not that the "LPGA needs her in the Open." I despise Wie-wee as much as any other that has followed her and think her off the course behavior is unacceptable. But I do give credit where credit is due, she has EARNED the right to at least be in the field at the Open, unlike earlier years when she received exemptions. By the way Smudge, I believe she is now tied for second place late in the second round with a full LPGA field. OK, now you can resume your activity with your bong.
That's funny, really.
Our golf princess (Wie-wee) has started off +3 after 4. Going to be hard to have another top 10 finish with a start like that.
Yes I believe that Bu88les has once again shot herself out of the tournamant with her 75 today. She had a shot at contention at the conclusion of yesterdays round (-7 overall), but today's 75 is going to do her in. (I think Shin will be hard to catch in this tournamant for any of the other players the way she is playing.)
She still has an opportunity at a top 20 finish, which she will probably get since she will have little pressure on her tomorrow.
There is a good reason why Shin is called "The four round Queen." Once she is a front runner, it is nearly impossible to catch her. Today, there were at least four birdie putts that stopped on the edge of the cup...that would have given her a 63! Statistics for 3 rounds.
Shin will definitely break the tournament record set in 1992 of -19 by Inkster. Weather permitting, I think Shin will shoot a 66 tomorrow for a -22.
During the post round interview I was really surprised that Bubbles actually admitted that she played poorly, "front nine was a travesty",however, She sidestepped the question about not qualifying for the US OPEN, but, still is hoping to win next weeks tournament.
After watching her play for many years I am convinced that she has no idea how to read greens. Today, she was misreading greens badly. Like they say, "you drive for show and you putt for dough." I wonder how much longer Omega and Nike are going to hang on. I think they have grown tired of the "I shoulda, I coulda, I woulda, year after year.
Solheim Cup Captain Judy Rankin is watching Bubbles very closely and is hoping that she will finally get her game together so she can be one of the "Captain's Picks"...unfortunately, it is not going to happen in 2009. The saga continues!
Talent is a prerequisite for being a great player, but if you don't have it between the ears, it's all for naught.
Well stated. She certainly has the talent, I do not think anyone will disagree with that. I believe that the disconnect was with her development. Had she been focused on the LPGA at an early stage instead of worrying about the men's circuit and trying to hit the ball 320 yards, I actually believe that she would have had a victory by now. This nonsense about playing on the men's circuit and qualifying for the Masters has damaged her game mentally.
I do not think she would have ever been anything other than a "novelty" on the men's tour, but at least she should have started with her focus on the LPGA, and then considered a few men's tournaments AFTER she began to dominate (if ever) the LPGA.
As it is now, she is just good LPGA player who consistently makes the cuts, but never wins and is showing no signs of winning in the near future.
Bu88les just went bogie - double bogie - bogie to lose four strokes off her potentially strong round of 6 under par. It seems as if the moment I give her credit for something, she follows it up by doing something poor. I guess I need to compliment Bu88les more often.
I saw Bubbles' not very surprising stumble. I have to disagree with one element of your analysis, however.
I don't believe that Bubbles would be faring any better had she not entertained her ridiculous dreams of playing the men's tour. Now, I realize that what you expressed is a common belief, but I do think it's a misconception.
Bubbles once said in an interview that her father "chokes." I believe it runs in the family, so to speak. People have a certain degree of mental toughness, and this is determined by their psychological make-up. This, in turn, is at least largely determined by your upbringing during the first, let's say, seven years of life (and, who knows? Innate characteristics may be a factor, too).
For this reason, athletes are all over the spectrum as far as mental toughness is concerned. Every now and then we see someone with ice-water coursing through his veins such as Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, but these people are rare. Then we also see players who are quite mentally fragile, such as Phil Mickelson or Tom Weiskopf. They're more common and closer to the norm but still anomalies. Most are somewhere in-between.
Bubbles is much like Mickelson or Weiskopf, I would say — only worse. And I believe that when people attribute her problems to her forays into the men's arena, they have it backwards. It's not the fact that she played the men's tour that caused her problems.
It's her problems that caused her to play the men's tour.
That is, at least partially. And I know that seems like a strange statement, so bear with me.
Why is it that the only event of note Bubbles' ever won was that big women's amateur tournament when she was the tender age of 13? Why is it she came closest to making the cut in a PGA Tour event at the tender age of 14?
Because she had, as they say, "nothing to lose," so she felt little pressure. A 13-year-old playing against mature women and a 14-year-old girl competing on the men's tour? She wasn't supposed to have a chance. She could have shot 81-85 and people would have just said, "Hey, she's only a kid. It's amazing just being there at that age."
However, as she matured and the expectations increased, so did the pressure she put on herself. And here's how a person with a choking problem thinks (on some level): "Uh, oh, I'm expected to win now. All these people have these expectations. But what if I falter! I'll look bad unless I do really well."
Thus, it was a lot tougher to compete with grown women once she was a grown woman — and one who had been hyped to the nth degree.
So, this is one reason why, I believe, she wanted to play the men's tour: it was an arena in which she could be an underdog, where anything would be a plus . . . at least for a while. She was "just a girl," and if she faltered, so what? It was just amazing that she was there, at least in the eyes of the public. It was refuge from that horrible, dreaded pressure, that fear she felt relating to losing respect, diminishing your own self-image, and maybe some other factors as well.
Of course, even the men's tour wasn't a perfect refuge. After all, if she was in a position wherein she had a realistic chance of making a cut, her psychological demon would rear his ugly head. Yet, the pressure would be held at bay until then, and, regardless, she would still be lauded as a girl who almost made a cut in a men's event.
But the men's arena also is a refuge that diminishes over time, like a stock portfolio in Obama's Amerika. Because as the expectations grew even more, she reached a point at which, even there, she felt that she would look bad if she couldn't finally deliver. It was, "Uh, oh, they're saying I could actually pass muster on the men's tour; they're saying I might win a tournament one day! Even just making a cut isn't good enough anymore. I really can't mess up now!"
To conclude, I wouldn't even be surprised is this — the fact that the men's tour no longer offers her the relief from the pressure she desperately wanted — is one of the reasons why she isn't as interested in playing the PGA right now. I realize her poor play is a factor as well, but I wouldn't bet against the above being another factor.
I'm pretty sure about most of this analysis, by the way. Bubbles can't stand pressure, and she'll go to great lengths to avoid it. The problem is, her refuges are gone. There is no "Supermen's Tour," where the also-rans are as good as Tiger Woods and she can be congratulated for coming within four shots of the cut.
I am sure that Judy Rankin has already picked the last two players for the Solheim Cup and Bubbles is not one of them. There have been too many years waiting for the "gifted one" to win a tournament and everyone including her sponsors have reached their limits. Bubbles simply does not have the "right stuff" to become a winner, let alone a champion. Financially she is set for life and has no intention of forgetting Stanford and playing full time on the LPGA. Of course, we can not count out the fact that she may what to get her Masters degree also.
I think the remaining tournaments in 2009 will be very similar to Wegmans and Bubbles will finish between 20th and 30th place before returning to Stanford.
You reminded me of something I forgot to mention. Why is Bubbles so intent upon taking this anomalous road of staying in school and playing the tour only part time? Let's face it, such a thing is basically unheard of among prodigies today. The reason may again come down to pressure.
As long as Bubbles is only a part time player — distracted by schoolwork — she has a built-in excuse. But if she were to devote herself to the tour, her excuses would be gone. She fears such a scenario; she wishes to avoid it at all costs.
I strongly suspect that the more Bubbles devoted herself to golf, the more pressure she'd feel and the worse she'd do, just the opposite of what everyone assumes.
"Man, but she really does OK for a part time player, doesn't she!"
I completely agree that she does not have determination to win when it comes down to the final holes. While I was reading your post, I thought back to the 2006 John Deer Classic, where she was two shots above the cut line, but then went double bogie - bogie on 16 and 17 to miss the cut by a stroke. She missed a four-foot put at a men's event in Japan (Casio Open) on the final hole to once again miss the cut. Regarding the women's tour, she has come very close a few times, but just can not seem to get it done at the very end.
However, I do believe that her time at least would have been better served when she was 16 and 17 years old working on her short game instead of trying to put the ball in orbit from the tee box. And I think playing on the women's tour may have given her just a little more confidence that maybe...just maybe she would have finished a little stronger in some of those women's events that she finished in the top 3. But, you very well may be right. Perhaps it may not have mattered, she just does not quite have the mental capacity to be a champion.
Question for Judge Smails and Joe Cool: Do you think she will ever win a women's event?
I actually do think she will win one of these days, but not this year, or even next.
Bubbles is simply not hungry enough to win a golf tournament. She probably has around $40,000,000 in the bank and like she said, "I am here to have fun." I am not sure about how BJ set up Bubbles trust fund, but, she probably will not have access to the money until she is 21. For a 19 year old going on 20, Bubbles still has the mentality of a 13 year old whenever she does an interview. Her linguistic abilities are very immature for her age. This could be the fault of her parents who still monitor her every move on and off the golf course.I doubt seriously if she will play golf past the age of 25. The saga continues!
Those three holes cost her $123,332.00 or $41,111.00 per hole! But, she had fun!
Assuming that Bubbles continues playing long enough, there's no doubt she'll win events. Her psychological deficiencies don't preclude that. They simply ensure that she won't fulfill her potential, meaning, she won't win nearly as much as she would with a better head on her shoulders.
It's much as with Mickelson (only her case is more severe). He has won three majors, I believe, but it would probably be at least six by now, and maybe eight, if he were more mentally tough. Greg Norman is another great example.
So Bubbles will win given enough chances, no question about it. And maybe she'll back into her first win. Maybe she'll do her usual choke routine, but, in one event, it'll just so happen that her competitors will falter even more. That does occasionally happen.
Of course, Joe has a point, too. The easiest way for Bubbles to avoid that dreaded pressure is to quit golf. So maybe in five or six years she'll "conclude" that she doesn't really enjoy the game and that she'd rather devote herself to more intellectual endeavors, like teaching the nonsense classes her father teaches at his university. And she'd be telling the truth if she said she didn't enjoy it, too. After all, golf's not fun when you constantly put tremendous pressure on yourself. Fear — which is what nervousness is — isn't enjoyable to experience.
"Judge, excellent post! Once again, the dreaded back nine on Sunday did Bubbles in! If you are hitting golf balls .... and has no intention of forgetting Stanford and playing full time on the LPGA. Of course, we can not count out the fact that she may what to get her Masters degree also.
I think the remaining tournaments in 2009 will be very similar to Wegmans and Bubbles will finish between 20th and 30th place before returning to Stanford."
Maybe when she goes back to Stanford, she can major in Home Economics....maybe she can learn to bake cookies better than she can golf.
In answer to your question, no, I don't think she will ever win a women's tournament.
But she has defintite chance at a men's event.
Due to her immense popularity in Asia, Bubbles has received a sponsor's exemption to the annual Camel and Yak herders Wednesday afternoon shootout to be held in early September at the famous tundra course in Ulan Bator, Outer Mongolia,
Bubbles has been installed as an early favorite at this prestigious event.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Yes, I would like to go to the Camel and Yak Invitational as well. We could start our own fan group and chant "BUBBBLES...BUBBBLES...BUBBLES, every time bu88les tees off or hits a freeway shot. I can't wait...LR
Yes, Bubbles, a lot of ammunition for your opponents!
Bubbles better shoot her career low today or she will be watching the US Open on television.
Double Bogey=1...guess who?
Bubbles is already +1 after three holes. Parmlid shoots a 62 for a career low. The saga continues!
Plus two through six she is.
Enjung Yi shot a 61 (-10) today to put her at -18 for the tournamant. What a round, and Enjung does not even have a top 10 finish this year (if fact only 1 top 20) and was cut last week. It will be interesting to see if she is able to hold onto this tomorrow during the fourth round.
Bu88les scraped for a 1 under 71. She is technically not out of it, but it is unlikely that she will be able to make a successful run being 9 strokes out of the lead. Sorry Bu88les, but you will get the day off this year during the US Open.
I wrote that Bubbles shot a 71 instead of a 70. Sorry everybody.....last time I made an error like this I was accused to consuming weed.
Let not your heart be troubled. The wiser amongst us know that you function exceedingly well on that weed you smoke.
I am certain that Bubbles is thinking "if she can shoot a 61, then, I certainly can shoot a 56 and win the golf tournament." When she finishes around tied for 30th place, she will probably say that her game is still a work in progress.
Ochoa's head is not on the golf course, but, back in Mexico. If the US Open was not next week, she would return to Mexico for another three weeks. Ahhh, isn't love wonderful!
Bubbles, the ultimate optimist! We have been hearing this same statement for too many years. Alex is right when he says Bubbles is a good golfer, but, nothing spectacular.
Thanks for your support and your kind words of encouragement regarding my character......I think.
There is absolutely NO reason why anyone should feel that Bu88les could not shoot a 56 today. After all, she shot a 70 yesterday, and there is very little (if any) difference between a 70 and a 56.
That was just a friendly little joke. It was not meant to be taken seriously. Besides, I function much better on weed than you do.
Of course I did not take your comment serious and took it as a joke. I have enjoyed reading your posts.
A valient effort indeed from Bu88les in the final round, but to little to late. I thought she was going to finish outside the top 10, but played well on the back 9. A 64 is her best professional performance and I think she should be playing next week, but I am not shedding any tears. In her post-game interview, she said that it has not sunk in yet that she will not be playing in the Open (in fact, she made that comment about 8 times). So, Bubbles, if you are reading this...YOU WILL NOT BE PLAYING NEXT WEEK!!!!!
Also note that this was another situation where the pressure was off. When she started the final round, no one thought she had a realistic chance to win, so she had "nothing to lose."
And if it hasn't sunk in that she isn't in the Open, it's only because she is so used to having a red carpet rolled out for her. Maybe she has trouble processing the fact that no one offered her a special exemption just for being Bubbles.
Why does Bubbles sound like a second year amateur player? She has played in 50 professional events. Her main obstacle, which she has had since she was 12 years old, is her putting. Unless she can finally start reading the greens she will not win any tournaments.
The winless princess has never been told 'no' before.
How nice it will be when the comments will be something different from the usual "michelle wie this, michelle wie that". Of course, Bu88les name will still be mentioned more than the names of most who are actually playing... but still, it will be an improvement.
Great job by Eunjung Yi!
Looking forward to a Wie-free Open!
How nice it will be when the comments will be something different from the usual "michelle wie this, michelle wie that". Of course, Bu88les name will still be mentioned more than the names of most who are actually playing... but still, it will be an improvement.
You got that right!!!! It'll be a "Bu88les IF" weekend. --- " 'IF' Bu88les were here....."
28 Amateurs = 22%
46 Koreans = 36%
this comprises 58% of the entire field. It is no wonder that the odds are in favor for the Korean players. I understand that most fans are going to watch reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies instead of the US Open.
Carol Bivens...they need a caddy for the Adak Open...your plane is waiting.
As far as Bubbles is concerned, she had to play 126 holes in six days and the breakdown on the last five holes in the qualifier had to be burnout! Of course, you would think she should have known exactly what she had to shoot during those last five holes in order to make the cut...I guess we know why she is referred to as "Bubbles."
The LPGA a sixth-rate tour, and the only reason why people watch it is conditioning.
In fact, this can be said of all women's sports.
So far 30% of the field shot between 76 and 85 during the first round! The cut line will probably be at +8 in order to have enough players for the weekend. Wait, I forgot, this is America's Most Prestigious Golfing Event for women!
93% of the field shot over par
4% shot even par
3% shot under par
Like Smudge said..."the LPGA is a sixth rate tour."
Surprise! a Korean player is leading after the first day!
It looks like the "Iron Maiden" Bivens is finally getting her dues. Unfortunately, the decision to oust her has come too late...the LPGA is in dire straights for the future. The decision should have been made when 13 of her staff left because of conflict with her.
"I think for next week, my tee shots feel good, I've got to get that working," Wie said. "Get that groove back."
Bubbles, 9 bogeys and 1 double does not a champion make! It is amazing that after 60 tournaments and paying Leadbetter hundreds of thousands, you still have know idea where your ball is going to end up off the tee!
Comments are closed for this post.