Could 2009 be Wie's breakout year? We've been waiting
Michelle Wie was just a little more than 14 years old when when she missed the cut at the 2004 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu by just a single stroke.
To think that a teenage girl beat nearly half the field, including the likes of Adam Scott, Zach Johnson and Steve Flesch that week, still boggles the mind. Most folks just don’t realize how good PGA Tour players are. Wie’s near miss really does rank as one of the most amazing performances in sports history. (Annika Sorenstam at Colonial wasn’t bad either, but she had a little more experience and success under her belt.)
Well, we all know what happened after that. Wie soon turned professional, which was controversial in itself, then tried to play in more men’s events while seemingly snubbing the LPGA Tour. She eventually ended up angering Sorenstam at one point, and golf fans generally lost interest in her as Camp Wie seemed to make series of bad decisions for her. Many fans, in fact, resented her (although her galleries remain large) as did many LPGA players, hardly the return Nike Golf and Sony were hoping for when they signed her to mega-million dollar deals.
Still, we need to remember Wie is only 19 as she tries to qualify for the 2009 LPGA Tour. Her talent didn’t go away, and she could still have a great future, which is why it’s encouraging to see her playing solidly at the LPGA Q-School at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla. Only two off the lead after three rounds, her second-round 65 was reminiscent of early Wie, the same golfer we expected to have won eight or nine LPGA events by now and perhaps a major. (After all, she did win the 2003 U.S. Pub Links as a 13-year-old.)
Perhaps Wie will come out of the last three years and Q-School with a different perspective. It’s natural for us to tell her to grow up, when she’s making the kind of money she’s made, but how many of us could have handled the spotlight, instant fame and wealth any better? I always file that sort of thing under “Be careful what you wish for.”
Here’s hoping that Wie is a force in 2009. The LPGA and golf needs her to play well.
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It looks like Michelle is still having trouble with those nasty little five foot putts. Hopefully she will get that monkey off her back during the next two days. With her length I hope she becomes more aggressive with the par five holes. Laying up on 490 yard par fives does not make the champion golfer. Of course, there is always those last six holes for her to think about.
I've told you this before, but Bubbles will never live up to her potential, which, admittedly, is impressive. Her problem is between the ears, and there's a very good chance she'll end up being the Davis Love of the women's tour.
While many of the Wiebots have come down to Earth, and are merely optimistic concerning Bubbles' chances, Wie-wee Ray Jeske is not one of them.
No, Ray perceives Bubbles' monumental T7th finish in a tournament of no-names and nobodies as an achievement for the ages, one which assures her entry into the Hall of Fame in ten years, the minimum number needed to enter the Hall of Fame.
Future Wiebot posters will have difficulty topping that bit of fantasy.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Me too hope for the same that this year would be a break-out of course...