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43 comments

Comment from: Scott Walker [Visitor]
I have some strong disagreement with a couple of your points. We have talked extensively on my site, Digital GolfBlogger (www.digitalgolf.tv/community/) about Michelle Wie. My take has always been that Wie is just developing where she faces the only competition that can challenge her...the LPGA Tour.

As you can see now, her game has improved greatly over the past 2 years. She still putts like she is holding a skillet on the greens, but her game tee to green and her short game are improving.

Is she exploited? No. Nike is paying her millions. She has not (and I think will not) pander to men by taking vamped-up Glamour Shots. And, she is not on tour every week, grinding at an unnatural pace for a 16 year old.

As for the PGA TOUR...she proved that she can play from tee to green with them at the U.S. Open Qualifying. So, why shouldn't she try to play with them from time to time? I think, as Annika said, you can learn quite a bit about golf by playing on the PGA TOUR that can help on the LPGA Tour. These experiences on the PGA TOUR are what is making her the most talked about golfer in the world. Period.

You are right about one thing, though. It is disrepectful to Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, and Annika Sorenstam to call Wie a great right now.

She is a 16 year old that is testing herself. Let's see how she fares.

2006-06-12 @ 13:21
Comment from: Wayne [Visitor]
You call someone singing the praises of a young teenage phenom exploitation? Who's exploiting who here? If truth be told, millions of people would jump at the chance to be "exploited."
2006-06-12 @ 13:46
Comment from: mikeinhawaii [Visitor]
Obviously you don't know the family and haven't spoken to anyone who does. Michelle pushes Michelle. Until recently BJ provided the means to do it, but it's her choice. Oh and Milli Vanilli had 3 number 1 hits. A simple fact check on Wkipedia could have told you that. THAT is why Tim Dahlberg is a professional writer and you blog.
2006-06-12 @ 13:57
Comment from: jaypee [Visitor]
Dear Scott Walker in your comment you state that Wie has proven she can play with the PGA tour because she has proven it in the qualification. Putting the Tour and the Qualification on the same level is making a quantun leap mistake. A few years ago I was a scratch golfer, I could have entered the qualification. On a given course (Hawai for example), on a given lucky day I could have shot 4 under and made it to the US Open, a miracle. It does not mean I could play on the tour. My performance at the event itself would then have been ridiculous (something like 82-84, cut). M. Wie could not make it through qualification school and that's the standard by which she should be judged as far as belonging on the PGA Tour. Now, it's ok that she can go once in a while on a marketing exemption, in a minor event and with a field including 5 of the top 60 players. Then I agree that she will eventually make a cut in such a situation. But then we would have to endure the fatal conclusions..."..she has proven she is good enough to be on the Tour". However, I still consider that she will become one of the best LPGA players. There is no way she is going to be stopped when she is 18 or 20 years old (given a few hours of help from Dr. Peltz on putting).
2006-06-12 @ 14:13
Comment from: Kiel Christianson [Visitor]
Tiger is indeed shirtless in one TV commercial. Exploitation?

If we follow the logic of "What does X have to do with golf?" then corporate sponsorships of Tour players and events by AmEx, Accenture, Wachovia, Buick, Ford, etc., etc. should all be criticized. Actually a great deal of promotional activity has nothing to do with any sport, other than providing $ for events and players, in the same way that a self-promotional calendar does.

BTW, the LPGA does not have veto power over a player choosing to make a calendar. And as far as I know, no one has forced a player to make a calendar, either.
2006-06-12 @ 14:57
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
The ladies of the LPGA are fighting their way uphill for the attention, respect and rewards they deserve. It's hard to fight when the current media darling publicly relegates them to the status of second best. Pinup calendars may not best way but "partially nude " and "exploitation" are a little strong. I'm sure no new viewers have been attracted to the PGA tour by Tiger's knit shirts and Sergio's provocative commercials. Lighten up a little , Bruce!

The Wies may want her to compete against "the best" but she keeps accepting unearned invitations to lose to the also-rans. She's an amazing talent who has the potential to leave a legacy. What a shame that the legacy may be a golden opportunity for female atheletics squandered by greed and hubris.

Michelle certainly has the right, and probably the talent, to compete anywhere she chooses. A teenager is the center of their own universe. Guidance is essential but I admit that sometimes even a shovel upside the head isn't enough. We all seem to go through a self destructive stage. In this case, maybe the guidance she gets is equally self indulgent. As we mature, most people find that "It's what I want" isn't an free pass for bad decisions. Michelle could have been such a positive role model and inspiration for young atheletes. She'll probably still be a role model but is her lead what we want them to emulate? Humpty won't go back in his box.
2006-06-12 @ 15:41
Comment from: Fred [Visitor]
The reference to the "pinup calendars"--I'm assuming you're talking about Natalie Gulbis. What's wrong with that? This is America--she can do what she wants. The LPGA has no business in this matter.
2006-06-12 @ 15:52
Comment from: BOB [Visitor]
How many 16 year olds, girls or boys, can hit a 320+ drive in competition as Michelle did at the LPGA on Saturday and Sunday on the 600 yard par 5? How many LPGA players can do it? How many PGA players can ? (ok, there are a few pga players who can).

You say what has she done? well she's playing some spectactular golf. if she could put she'd have at least two women's majors and would be playing at Winged Foot.

Exploitation has nothing to do with this.

Michelle Wie is simply one of the best ball strikers in the world today - man or women.
2006-06-12 @ 16:27
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Bob,

Did you mean to say "put out" or "putt"?
2006-06-12 @ 17:18
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]
The one element missing from each of the comments and most of what I've read about Wie's projected greatness is consideration of psyche. The psyche of a professional athlete is a very delicate entity particularly when it comes to the game of golf. Combine that with the pressures on Wie, self-imposed, media, adoring-public, parents, etc. and her age--16, this has the makings of a disaster.

Yeah she can hit 300+ drives, great irons and so on, but a 16 year old under this much scrutiny is a heavy burden, I don't care how much talent she has. The mind is a powerful instrument. She's attempting to compete at the highest levels with little to no experience to draw on. Hopefully she wins something soon because the only thing the media and public enjoy more than hoisting a hero is destroying one. And to fall at an such an early age would be a disaster.
2006-06-12 @ 17:18
Comment from: Kal [Visitor]
Tony...you may think the psyche of a professional athlete is very delicate but you also need to consider their background, family value and their surrounding. Both Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods come from a very supporting family and that's why they will be successful in whatever they do. You look at all of the talented golfers: Phil, Annaka, etc. They all have that supports. But if you talk about those in the NBA, NFL, and baseball then I would agree with you. Golfers has better mind set and more level headed. BTW I too think Michelle Wie could be one of the greatest golfer but only time will tell....Therefore, I think everyone should just let her be and just watch.
2006-06-12 @ 21:53
Comment from: JR [Visitor]
Bob.... only a few pga pros can hit a drive 320 yards downhill????? give me a break. Yes, Wie played a great hole, 2 clutch shots, but still, "one of the best ball strikers in the game today, man or woman". That's a really bold statement. What gentleman in the top 125 for the PGA is a lesser ball striker than Wie. Please, go ahead, name some names please... with reasons.
2006-06-12 @ 22:09
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Michelle practices on Hawaiian greens that are different from Mainland greens. The greens at the US Open sectional were running 11.5 to 12 on the stimp meter. The same week Michelle plays at the McDonald's LPGA where they were measured at 8.5 to 10.5 depending on conditions. If you play golf at all you know this is a huge transition to make overnight.

When Michelle putts her club face is square at impact with good follow thru and her head is very still. Her line is good and the ball is tracking on the right path to go into the hole. Where Michelle has a problem is with sending the ball off with the right speed. Too hard and the ball stays on the high side or lips out and too slow it falls off before the hole or lips out on the low side.

Somebody mentioned they putt to have the ball die at the hole and I can imagine many die before they ever make the hole. When I putt the goal I use is to have the ball stay within twenty inches past the hole if I miss the putt. Hey it works for me pretty well and gives the ball a chance to fall in the hole.
2006-06-13 @ 07:11
Comment from: Bruce Stasch [Member] Email
A reader pointed this out. Her name is now spelled correctly on this entry: Babe Didrikson Zaharias. And yes, Milli Vanilli had three top-10 hits. It still doesn't mean that they were any good.
2006-06-13 @ 07:58
Comment from: Anne [Visitor]
Just finished watching her play 4 rounds at Bulle Rock.
She's different.
If she ever learns to put - WATCH OUT
The crowd is mesmorized by her, it's just what the LPGA needs.
2006-06-13 @ 10:20
Comment from: kimo [Visitor]
Hello, Bruce.

Do something about your "inside" sources for information about MW. They're embarrassing you.

It should not be so hard to understand that MW plays because she loves the game--it has nothing to do with BJ. Some of you would not talk to her when she was a "kid" and it's too late now because you don't believe anything she says now.

It should not be so hard to understand that if MW did not play with sponsors exemptions, she would not play competitively at all because she is only 16. If she played only with the women, the LPGA would let her play competitively only 6 times a year with exemptions, and you know how some of the ladies feel about exemptions for MW. The British Women's and the US Women's Open don't count, but they are allowed by the LPGA.

I don't know if the John Deere winner still has an exemption into the British Open. If so, that is reason enough for MW to be there, not the presence of the "also rans." The Lumber is personal for MW--has nothing to do with anything but being there for her friend.

Because you were so concerned about MW being a "flash in the pan," I thought of you when I saw this week's Rolex Women's Golf rating. Yes, I know that with the small number of MW's outings (15), high placements in tournaments have large plus effects on her average. By the same token, low placements in tournaments would have had similarly large negative effects on her average.

When the Rolex ratings first came out in February 2006, Annika had a rating of 18.47. Her current rating is 16.40.

When the Rolex ratings first came out, MW had a rating of 9.24. Her current rating is 11.60.

The season isn't over by a long shot but Annika has come down 2+ points and MW has gone up 2+ points.

Yes, yes, she hasn't won anything, but I'm enjoying her roller-coaster ride as she tries to win.

I agree it's too soon to tell, but public opinion seems to be swelling for MW.
2006-06-13 @ 16:42
Comment from: Boola Boss [Visitor]
Hello, everybody.....it ISN'T her putting that let her down.......it was her WEDGE shots.....did any of you watch the LPGA event?......She bogeyed the first, 10th and 16th.....ALL after hitting her tee shot to the middle of the fairway, leaving her 120 yard or less wedge shots.......on every one she hit it to the deep greenside rough and went on to make bogey......THAT cost her her first WIN......NOT her putting.......if she even gets a par on one of those 3 holes....she is in the playoff.....with a good chance to WIN her first tournament, as she birdied the 18th the first 3 rounds.....
2006-06-14 @ 03:05
Comment from: JR [Visitor]
One-Putt.... Fine, the greens in Hawaii and mainland US are different speeds.... but you didn't mention that she spent several days preparing for the US Open qualifier at the location of the event, then played 36 holes, then started her practice rounds for the LPGA Championship.... I believe that the men's greens are usually faster than the women's greens. So, are you stating that 5 plus practice/playng days on faster greens is not enough time to get some feel??? I don't know... if you're drawing on your own experience, that's one thing.... otherwise, it sounds like an excuse.
2006-06-14 @ 07:31
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
"Comment from: JR [Visitor]
One-Putt.... Fine, the greens in Hawaii and mainland US are different speeds.... but you didn't mention that she spent several days preparing for the US Open qualifier at the location of the event, then played 36 holes, then started her practice rounds for the LPGA Championship.... I believe that the men's greens are usually faster than the women's greens. So, are you stating that 5 plus practice/playng days on faster greens is not enough time to get some feel??? I don't know... if you're drawing on your own experience, that's one thing.... otherwise, it sounds like an excuse. "

The greens at this weeks U.S. Open are running 14 on the stimp meter and are giving some seasoned Pros fits in their practice rounds. Phil and Tiger spent at least a week playing at Winged Foot to prepare for their Open appearance. Par will be an excellent score this week considering the faster than fast greens and wrist breaking rough.

I've played on greens in Asia JR that equal what the Pros are dealing with this week and to put it in perspective when you hit a downhill putt with an inch to two inches of backswing (depending on slope) the ball falls off the other side of the green. That is what a fourteen green is to deal with. A green that runs at a twelve you might hold the green and have a putt with the same backswing.. On a 10 green you won't make it to the hole with the same backswing and slope.



2006-06-14 @ 15:09
Comment from: Joe Cool [Visitor]
Michelle,
Please leave your three wood at home...it has cost you along with your putter three wins and a chance to make the cut in a PGA tournament. The eighteenth hole during the LPGA Championship you managed to hit your ball into a two foot wide piece of rough when the fairway looked at least 100 yards wide! With your experience and after all, you are classified as a "golf phenom," I was surprised you did not hit your driver and leave yourself a pitch shot to the back left pin placement. You birdied the hole three straight days and when the screws were tighten, you bogeyed it.
The only pro that I have ever heard using the "A" game versus the "B" game (until your past comment) was Tiger Woods. Are your Father's plans preparing a "BATTLE OF THE SEXES" with Tiger Woods and you will give him two strokes a side!! Please wake up and smell the roses.
2006-06-14 @ 20:33
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Bob,

You asked how many 16-year-old boys can hit a 320 yard drive in competition. The answer is "lots." If you actually were out there in competition, you would understand that players who can hit it long are a dime a dozen.

Secondly, Bubbles DOESN'T legitimately hit ANY drive 320. When she does hit one in that range, it's because of the conditions (e.g., downhill and/or with the wind and/or with a baked out fairway). By the way, I hit one 356 the winter before last at the Ocala Golf Club in Fla. Impressed? Should you be?

Of course, being a hacker you wouldn't understand these factors.
2006-06-14 @ 21:48
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]
John D, the reference to her putting 'Did you mean to say "put out" or "putt"?' was insulting and a reflection on the level of your thinking. Michelle always acts professional and I for one enjoy watching her play in all venues. Heres hoping she practices putting with as much diligance as she has shown with her short game over the last year.

ps/ Anyone who calls her "Bubbles", shows their lack of class and makes their point look as dumb as they are.

Mike
2006-06-15 @ 11:27
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Mike,

Why do you defend Bubbles so?
2006-06-15 @ 12:30
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]
Judge, I defend Ms Wie, because she carries herself with a remarkable poise on the golf course. (granted during interviews her age shows.) I have enjoyed watching her play and improve her game over the last 2 years. Even in her interviews she does not badmouth other players or cry or bitch as I have seen some of the other young female (and male too) golfers do.
Mike
2006-06-15 @ 14:45
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Now I know why you're enamored of Bubbles.
2006-06-15 @ 20:46
Comment from: mikeinhawaii [Visitor]
Funny how you call her Bubbles when you don't know her at all. She was in the honors tract at what could be the toughest HS in America. She only left that tract this year to concentrate on golf. She was a finalist at our school for the national geography bee in 8th grade. She speaks English, Korean, Japanese and is currently taking Mandarin Chinese. I'd like to see how your kid performs in the same circumstances and what kind of nickname you have for her. Bet you call your wife Bimbo.
2006-06-17 @ 19:01
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Mikey,

Thank you for the presentation of Bubbles' academic resume, but such accomplishments don't impress me. This world is replete with individuals who are book smart but lack even a stitch of common sense.

Secondly, I really have to laugh at you folks who glom onto celebrities and then defend them as if they're the fruit of your loins. Why do you care so much? Is your life that empty, are you so devoid of true faith, that you feel compelled to deify and idolize other mortals? It's a fascinating phenomenon.
2006-06-17 @ 23:37
Comment from: mikeinhawaii [Visitor]
Maybe because I actually know the girl and you don't. I also work with her profs, since we don't have many plain 'ole teachers at Punahou, and I know what she is capable of accomplishing. Exactly how well do you know her? Her family? Or anything? You created your persona after a loser in a 2nd rate movie? Fitting. No wonder your wife wanted a teen to loofa her cellulite. Your kid had nice nipples. Obviously academics don't impress you. You sir, are a moron. I bet you like Morgan "I can't handle the pressure" Pressel. The graduate from some second rate private school.
2006-06-20 @ 03:19
Comment from: WCC-STEW [Visitor]
Mike & Brian,

It may be hard..... But for an idiot like smails you need to "shroud" him. Treat him as if he died. Ignore all his comments as his comments show lack of respect, class and knowledge about the subject, MW. Smails gets a kick by making a controversial comment and eliciting a response from you....so don't give him the pleasure.

However, I like his name for MW. She does have a bubbly personality.

Judge Smails
RIP
Deceased June 20, 2006
Here lies MW's biggest fan of her bubbly personality.
2006-06-20 @ 07:17
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Mikey,

No, academics, who are notoriously left-wing (95% of college professors are registered Dumborats), don't impress me in the least. I eat them for breakfast, by the way. I've done it before, and it will be just as easy next time.
2006-06-20 @ 21:02
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Let me see. Who would be the greatest woman basketball player? A woman who had a long impressive career in the WNBA, or a woman who was good enough to be one of the lesser players in the NBA? Let us not forget that Billie Jean King's major claim to fame had nothing to do with her wins against other women--but involved winning one match against a man in his 50s.
2006-06-23 @ 01:59
Comment from: Bruce Stasch [Member] Email
I think Jim is right on target. Unfortunately, there are numerous examples like Billie Jean King (which he cites) and Michelle Wie, that are not that unusual. Women that compete with men on the the same surface (court, course or track) get added attention, deserved or not, just because they are trying. Not, because they were necessarily successful. Another example is Danica Patrick, the female race car driver that was all the rage in 2005. She did well at the Indy 500 two years ago (finished fourth) and became a media darling. This year she finished eighth. Now everyone is probably asking: Whatever happened to 2005 rookie-sensation Danica? Has she actually ever won anything? Not yet.
2006-06-23 @ 10:13
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Jim,

You just mixed apples and oranges. Yes, King's claim to fame was vanquishing 55-year-old Riggs, but that did nothing to "prove" that she was the greatest female tennis player. Margaret Court and Chris Evert were both better than she was. Don't confuse fame with ability.

The greatest female basketball player is, guess what? The greatest female basketball player.
2006-06-23 @ 13:03
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Judge Smails said:
You asked how many 16-year-old boys can hit a 320 yard drive in competition. The answer is "lots." If you actually were out there in competition, you would understand that players who can hit it long are a dime a dozen.
****************************

At the Sony Open, Camillo Villegas and Michelle Wie both absolutely crunched their drives on a par 5 hole.
Camillo's went 333 yards.
Michelle's went 334 yards.

Camillo is 5th on the pga driving stats.

That is impressive.
No, it doesn't mean that she is as long a driver as Camillo. However, it does tell a story.
I sincerely doubt that Judge 350 yard drive Smails, could outdrive Camillo on any hole, where Camillo would find the fairway and hit it full smack as he meant.
2006-06-23 @ 15:46
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Johnny boy,

First of all, since I actually am a high level golfer, I've had more exposure to other high level golfers than you have. And I can tell you that my statement is absolutely accurate. Moreover, if Villegas and I played together enough, I can assure you that I'd out-drive him at times.

Secondly, I don't know what exactly happened on that hole but, in general, you could put a Wal-Mart between Villegas' and Bubbles' balls. One's driving performance on one hole means next to nothing.
2006-06-23 @ 22:19
Comment from: Jim COULTHARD [Visitor]
Bruce Stasch

I have a question. Could Morgan Pressel become one of the greatest women golfers ever? If you answer no, I would ask you what Morgan Pressel has done in her first 18 years and one month that would make you conclude that she could never become one of the greatest women golfers ever. If you answer yes, I would ask what is the difference between Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie that would cause you to acknowledge that Morgan Pressel could become one of the greatest women golfers ever-- but at the same time question the professional standing of any sports journalist who would make a similar claim with regard to Michelle Wie?
2006-06-23 @ 23:30
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Judge Smails,
I don't care if you are a major winner.

Michelle hits it long, she is one of the longest on the lpga tour, and is fairly respectable on the pga tour. She has already proved that she can handle it tee to green with the big boys. If she can putt better, she can already make cuts on the pga tour. That is amazing. With some development, she could be a pga tour regular.
2006-06-24 @ 17:59
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Johnny,

You really have drunk the Bubbles Kool-Aid. It amazes me how grown men will glom onto some teeny-bopper and then carry the torch for her cause. There certainly has to be some psychological reason for it.
2006-06-24 @ 22:53
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Judge,
I guess you have turned to insults because you can't think of any reasonable points to back up your points of view.

By the way as regards grown men, you are the one who spends inordinate amounts of time posting comments about a young girl, who is just playing golf.
2006-06-25 @ 10:01
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
Johnny,

And you spend an inordinate amount of time responding to me.
2006-06-25 @ 23:12
Comment from: Patrick [Visitor]
Just a simple nit... you correctly quote AP Sport Columnist Tim Dahlberg as saying that "Michelle Wie could one day become one of the greatest women golfers ever." Then you go on to list several other very great women golfers and state that claiming Michelle Wie "could be the greatest female golfer ever before this woman has won anything of consequence is absolutely ludicrous."

What language is your native language? Mr. Dahlberg did not state that Ms. Wie could be the greatest woman golfer, merely "one of the greastest..."

Please think before typing.

Thank you.
2006-07-04 @ 13:17
Comment from: Ahk Abdul [Visitor]
Listening to the latest criticisms of Michelle from her whipping at this week's match play, it sounds like she's turning into a real bitch.

Both her opponenents mentioned that when they would say "nice shot" to Michelle she would deliberately ignore them.

Obviously, everyone, even the lesbos on the LPGA, wants to have sex with Michelle Wie. But she's wearing an iron chastity belt and her dad has the key!
2006-07-09 @ 20:20
Comment from: MP [Visitor]
Look, she is still young; but she is a real contender. I have been golfing for many years but I could never dream of finishing (even) 56th in the US open. All the GREAT golfers have been in the business for 15 plus years. I think that if Wie keeps improving over the years..like all great golfer have to do... then she WILL be one of the greats. As far as being taken advantage of.... well in this world people (MEN AND WOMEN) have to do what they have to do. I say let her enjoy it while she can...
2006-07-30 @ 05:42

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