Michelle Wie's slow start the consequences of PGA Tour's willingness to sell itself
In the world of pop music, when Britney Spears caught everyone’s eye and made big bucks for more or less being naked and shaking it, it wasn’t too much of a shock to me. After all, it wasn’t as though she was a talented musician. She just seemed to me to be someone trying to make money the old-fashioned way. The really old-fashioned way.
But when someone like Jewel decided to go the same route, it was a bit more shocking, or more accurately, depressing. It was the type of thing that made me realize that yes, just about everyone’s in it for the money.
And over the past year, I’ve been feeling that same exact depression over the PGA Tour. This isn’t about appealing to the masses for Tim Finchem, it’s about squeezing every last buck he can from the game.
Michelle Wie’s lackluster performance at the Sony Open on Thursday by no means should be an embarrassment to her. She had a bad day. What should be more embarrassing is the PGA Tour’s willingness, nay, eagerness to sell out.
It’s not as though the Tour is putting out a bad product lately. Tiger Woods is every bit the charismatic champion his predecessors Jones, Hogan, Palmer and Nicklaus were. And guys like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh are just two of a fine supply of the quality players calling the PGA Tour home.
But there are higher ratings out there to get, and endlessly fiddling with the schedule, and inviting 16-year-old girls to play is obviously a way to get them. Whether it dilutes the game in any way is no reason to stop chasing cash.
This is by no means a slam on Wie. She’s ridiculously talented, ambitious and has a great furure ahead of her. But she’s Eddie Gaedel out there, or to go back to pop music, Ashlee Simpson. She very well could go on to do great things, but as of now, she’s a sideshow meant to sell tickets.
But Wie’s part in this is neither here nor there. All I can see is a proud game with outstanding players being dissatisfied with quality’s returns. And judging from many of today’s pop stars, it seems as though once the road to whoredom is taken, the accelerator endlessly needs to be pressed down further and further.
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I totally agree with your article...
God forbid a 16 year old girl in high school is not good enough to compete with professional men playing for years!
I badly wanted Michelle to make the cut, but I'm not really crushed that she did badly either, she's going to develop her game on her own time. Its not her fault the media and some over zealous fans and detractors are obsessing over her every performance.
For goodness sakes, Annika didn't get her game together until she was in her thirties!
What everyone overlooks as they tout or dismiss the abilities of Michelle Wie, is the primary reason that drives her to succeed, the blood that runs through her veins.
When we look at Michelle we see a talented young Asian girl from Hawaii. When Michelle looks at herself in the mirror she sees a Korean first and foremost.
Koreans by their nature, culture and heritage are driven to succeed in whatever endeavor they choose. Koreans bring to the table, a steely resolve and work ethic few American children could ever achieve as a teenager or adult.
When Michelle was interviewed at the Sony it was not golf or her bankroll that seemed most important to her. It was the fact that she had achieved an “A” on her mid-term in Japanese. This gave her more pride than succeeding in any golf tournament. When she says academics and someday attending Stanford University are the most important things to her, you can believe this is her priority, not golf.
That doesn’t mean she will not work harder than most at improving her golf game or give everything she has to doing well when she plays competitively. It only means that golf is not the most important part of her life or her highest priority.
Michelle may re-write the rules when it comes to Professional golf in the future. PGA and LPGA players must now commit to playing a minimum number of events to hold cards on their respective tours. Michelle might cause a change to these rules to include an academic clause in their bylaws, if they want her to join the tour and they will. When a Korean girl says that her dream is going to Stanford, you can deposit that goal in the same bank as her millions.
Welcome to Stamford Miss Wie. Will you be staying until you get your PhD?
After graduation from Stanford, what goals does she have to look forward to? She might have the goal to become the best female golfer ever or just maybe to become a junior Senator from Hawaii, who knows? I bet she does anything she wants and does it well. You can tell, it is in her blood.
Firstly, Michelle Wie is an American girl. She has Korean ancestry but she is an American girl.
Also, this rubbish about particular nationality's having a particular personality is completely false.
I know many people from many countries. There are all kinds of people in each of those countries. There is no set nationality mentalities.
Also, I think golf is Michelle's number 1 priority. Sure she had a bad day, but what golfer hasn't had a bad day on the golf course.
For Rya, Britney does, not dance and sing at the same time. She dances and mimes at the same time. She is a pop tart, and is not a musician by any means.
That is one of the interesting things about watching Wie's career. Generally immigrant parents focus on getting their children in to Harvard, or the NY Philharmonic, not the PGA.
I completely agree with this. I doubt Michelle will ever do anything very significant on the PGA Tour. Hell, it's not set in stone that she will do any good on the LPGA Tour, either (undebatable).
Also, I think Asia_Guy's post is a load of crap (I'll hold back from saying what I really think of it).
As Norman said, you can't refer to a whole nationality of people as 'hard-working,' or as anything else. Also, a nice stab at American teenagers. Sounds like Asia_Guy is trying to do himself credit.
Michelle doesn't actually sound too interested in going to university (how long will Sony and Nike allow her to fanny around in education while they're paying her millions?); and I don't think she's a particuarly talented student (people will //say// she is, just because she's famous ).
I can't really go on any further. Asia_Guy's post pissed me off so much and had so many things wrong with it that I'm scared I'll say something offensive. Also, I doubt have all weeked to sit here typing.
Professional sports depend heavily on sideshows. How many people can name the two players who both surpassed the single season home run mark in 1998? Now how many can name the two teams who played in the World Series that year?
As far as winning is concerned, if winnning is so important--why not give all the money to the winner, and not even bother to keep any records on the performances of the losers. After all they are all losers--if they lose a tournament by 1 stroke or 50, what difference jdoea it make.
Nope. Bob Seeger. "Night Moves," I believe.
Jim, your winning is everything debate, certainly is an interesting one. I agree with you that too much emphasis is put on winning.
Some people have said that Michelle Wie has not even proved herself on the lpga tour yet.
For me, if you finish 2nd, and 3rd in lpga majors, that means that you have proved yourself on that tour.
I can agree with people that she hasn't proved herself on the pga tour yet, if you take top class standards.
However I make absolutely no apologies whatsoever, for taking into account her being 16 years old and female.
To say that she should make a cut now or quit playing the pga tour is a bit harsh. I could be wrong, but I don't think that she will be washed up by 17.
Then, I went to a specialty high school in NYC; it was a school that you couldn't enroll in unless you scored a certain number on an entrance exam. Lots of kids take the test, and only the best of the applicants are accepted. Well, guess what? I passed by the school when I was about 25 or 26, and I found that about HALF the students were of Asian descent, a precipitous increase from my high school days.
Now, NYC doesn't comprise a population that is anywhere close to 50% Asian descent, so what do you think accounted for their predominence? It's not a statistical anomaly or "sample variance," I can assure you.
Moreover, I could give you numerous other examples of bona fide differences between groups.
Lastly, believe it or not, when one embraces such ideas unthinkingly he renders himself no different than Nazis or Communists in a certain regard. In that, he is merely espousing the precepts of a certain ideology without regard for facts that contradict the "party line." For instance, the Nazis had to believe that the Aryans were the master race, regardless of whether or not evidence contradicted the doctrine. Likewise, people who embrace the PC doctrine that "all groups are equal in terms of worldly abilities" are doing just the same. They are simply toeing a party line, and the truth be damned.
You should think very carefully about what I've written. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and lies, no matter how innocuous or even compassionate they may seem at a given moment, always lead to pain and destruction.
Among that political broadcast, you did raise an interesting point.
How many white guys are there in athletics. More specifically how many of them are there in sprint events. Should we not set up a seperate black and white olympics, if we go on ability?
As regards the immigrants doing well in education, I can explain to you exactly why that is, because we are undergoing similar things.
When immigrant population comes in from foreign countries, they are often coming from a poor background, and they are delighted the opportunities that a rich country affords to them. They are grateful, and they want to make the most of it.
In contrast, in the rich country, there are kids of rich parents, some of whom have everything handed to them, and they don't believe in the value of working hard.
Of course this is just in general and there are exceptions to this rule and all others.
You see, you once again were guilty of a sloppy analysis, which is not something I can abide. This is why I'm testy with you.
Try reading what I wrote again.
For entrance to high school Korean children take nationwide entrance exams and the ones scoring the highest are given spots in the most prominent high schools. Prior to these tests, the middle school students, who attend school six days a week, are enrolled in after school preparation courses (if the parents can afford them) and will study until midnight every night for at least a year before the examinations. The ones who don’t succeed are placed in vocational schools.
For Korean children who dream to enter college the bar is set much higher, but the same methods apply. You will find only the top academic achievers attending Seoul University or Ewa University. Korean children who do not make the cut in Korea often come as foreign students to the US (again if their parents can afford it) and easily place into the best universities we have to offer.
A friend of mine in Newport Beach who teaches at UC Irvine medical school told me they have changed the name to California Asian University (Wink). Most of the attending scholarship students are first-born Asian American students.
To understand Michelle Wie you will have to go back and study the Yi Dynasty when King Sejong (who developed the 24 character Hangul alphabet) ruled to ever have an appreciation of the culture and education history of Korea. He set the standards that exist today in Korean society.
I did the homework to know who I was dealing with when using Korean subcontractors.
Student selection is based on academic and non-academic considerations. Admission criteria include scholastic performance, test scores, and reports of demonstrated talents and interests. Characteristics such as initiative, independence, responsibility, self-discipline and creativity are desirable traits. Students willing to reach and push themselves to their limits are those most likely to benefit from a Punahou education.
This supports what I wrote above in my previous posts. Golf is an extracurricular activity to Michelle right now. She is just a little busy getting an education at the top private academic school in Hawaii.
Of course Ronnie will say Paula passed all her Japanese exams and still won every tournament.
Not an excuse for Michelle at all, just the facts.
You really are thick. What you asked was,
"since you think that getting in to elite schools is a sign of inate ability, how do you explain that the top colleges have to practice affirmative action to register enough males?"
Now, since I didn't say that getting into elite schools is a sign of innate ability, making your question a non-sequitur, I didn't think it begged a response. However, I'll be happy to blow your little point, which you obviously think is so clever, out of the water.
Like so many things, academic performance is a combination of nature and nurture. To place the issue your focusing on in perspective, it also has to be pointed out that the vast majority of students in classes for highly gifted students are boys. Why the contradiction?
It's very simple: there is very little discipline nowadays, so to a great degree kids are left to their own devices. When this happens, boys will tend to slack off more than girls because that is their nature. Girls will tend to follow the rules prescribed by society regardless, whereas boys are more likely to "write their own ticket." As far as boys' marked numerical advantage in classes for the highly gifted goes, it is explained by the fact that there are infinitely more male geniuses than female ones. For instance, it is said that the ratio of male to female math geniuses is 13:1 or 7:1 (depending on which stat you believe).
Another way to explain boys' greater willingness to slack off is that they are more willing to venture "outside the box," which is why men have been the impetus behind virtually all new developments, inventions, innovations and revolutionary changes -- both good and bad.
My point is that you have claimed that girls are not good at learning new things. That is contradicted by the fact that they do better getting in to top schools.
Moreover, I explained very clearly why the present patterns in academia are manifesting themselves.
The fact that you cannot refute what I said but, rather, can only try to ascribe positions to me and then refute those, is a tacit acknowledgement that you've lost the debate.
As Ben Franklin said, "You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." Go play with someone else. I'm way too smart for you.
The cut ended up to be +3 --if only she had done better on Thursday.
I also will point out that I never said she couldn't shoot a good score. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, which explains both Wie's good round and Norman's correct prediction.
At least they both saved a smidgeon of face, though.
Didn't you guarantee Michelle would score above a 74 ?
The pressure of "making a cut" was gone and her result was:
Driving Average: 300 yards
Birdies: 7 (Tied for first.)
She did have her share of bogies, but no doubles.
If she keeps these stats up she will be using a lob wedge on most LPGA par fours.
The only other player to shoot 68 residing with her below the cut line was Cory Pavin.
Only 17 players who made the cut shot 68 or better today.
She got a "D-" for yesterdays grade on the golf course and received an "A" for mastering the PGA course today.
Average grade for the two-day event "B-".
Yesterday she only scored better than one player in the field.
Today she played a round scoring better than 120 PGA professional male golfers.
I don't think a woman has ever played a round in a PGA event as well as Michelle did today period.
Hopefully she will gain some respect after her play today from some of her detractors in the forum.
Imagine your 16 years old, you just carded your worst round ever in a PGA event televised across the Planet and witnessed by a gallery the size of a small city following you around the course.
Hell at 16 and this had happened to me, I would have stayed home and hid under the bed or taken a bus out of town.
Not this girl, she does have some serious intestinal fortitude you don't find in many teenagers.
Give her some props alex and under par.
I also will point out that I never said she couldn't shoot a good score. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, which explains both Wie's good round and Norman's correct prediction
Michelle's round today was nothing near the "squirrel" analogy that you have presented with us today, Par. Michelle has shot under par in 8 of her rounds on the PGA (as stated before me)...Under Par, I myself was surprised at how Wie handled herself today and pulled together a miraculous round considering all factors (yesterday's score, wind, rain, pressure, etc, etc), and I'm sure you were surprised too, but to blast her and state: "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, which explains both Wie's good round and Norman's correct prediction" is just wrong. For a sixteen-year-old...I won't even mention her gender...to pull a round like this after her worst start on the PGA shows a new side of Wie. She has grown from the years before her, where she would have given up. Today, she has that "tiger-esque" fire in her eyes that many critics say she is lacking.
No matter what you say or post, this was an extrodinary round by Michelle and eveyone knows it...(Asia_guy has stated lots of solid stats)
Michelle Wie wasn't brought in up Korea - all this social 'harshness' you speak out is about as foreign to Michelle as it is to me. And hell, if you don't get into university in Korea, just come to America or the UK! Immigrants get everything on a plate when they come here.
Also, stop trying to make Korea sound special. We all know North Korea is corrupt, and about the only interesting thing to come out of South Korea in recent times is Dr. Hwang Woo Suk's fabrication of research data concerning the cloning of human embryos (if this occurs in S. Korea, who knows what's going on in N. Korea). Koreans are in general no harder-working or more intelligent than anyone else.
I think you're exaggerating everything. And don't tell me Michelle has had a tough, hardworking childhood - it's been cushy ($10 million cushy). It also doesn't matter whether she is good enough to get into Stanford or not (she's probably not - I also doubt Tiger Woods was); as long as she has golf and her worldwide celebrity status, she can get in.
Asia_Guy, your posts were neither here nor there, and wouldn't have been written if Michelle hadn't blown up once again.
What I said is that she's grossly over-hyped, and she is. I also said that she doesn't deserve to be on the PGA Tour, and she doesn't.
You shouldnt be working at travelgolf. Most of your colleagues are idiots. You might just catch the "Bald flu virus"
You transcend this genre.
"Michelle Wie wasn't brought in up Korea - all this social 'harshness' you speak out is about as foreign to Michelle as it is to me. And hell, if you don't get into university in Korea, just come to America or the UK! Immigrants get everything on a plate when they come here."
You're right David, but she was brought up in a Korean home where her Korean parents raised her with Korean values. In her home she speaks Hangul not English I assure you. If her parents wanted her to concentrate on golf they would have enrolled her in home study, not the best and most demanding private school in Hawaii.
So just where did you gather your vast experiences with Korean culture David?
Tan sang mati Ya! Megook pabu Ya!
What has Nike or Sony have to lose if they market Michelle the golfer or Michelle the University student and part time golfer? Crossing market lines and her worldwide name recognition is a boom for both.
I can see the possibilities, can't you?
Korean values? You mean knowing right from wrong, working hard, always trying your best, and trying to help others? All good parents teach their children these things.
Why do you think that these qualities are strictly Korean. If anything, Korean people exhibit these values less than most people. Just consider good old Hwang Woo-Suk. Hell, just look at the N. Korean government. Stop thinking Koreans are special; it's getting on our nerves.
>> In her home she speaks Hangul not English I assure you.
>> If her parents wanted her to concentrate on golf they would have enrolled her in home study, not the best and most demanding private school in Hawaii.
Oh, I see.
I agree with what you say about Wie, however, when you decry generalizing you are not only wrong, you are contradicting yourself. While you imply that you cannot deduce a person's characteristics based on his race, you also say that you grew up a "stereotypical" Korean child and that your parents always pushed the ideals of "hard work and conservative ideals" on you. Of course, if there are stereotypical Koreans, it means that they do in fact have different characteristic traits than other groups.
I'm not trying to criticize you and I like what you're saying -- I just want to debunk PC myths.
If it is Stephanie in fact...cause if it's not, there is no other person in Punahou who could be "condisdered" to be on "par" with Michelle...I just want to state that Stephanie, although she is an excellent player, is not close to Michelle. She has not done as much as Michelle has in her career, so for you to state your proposterous theory that Stephanie should be the one with $10 mil. is a bit flawed. For you also to state that the only reason why Michelle is getting $10 mil. a year is because she is 6'2 and can drive 300 yards is also flawed. Michelle IS the real deal. She is the only female who could be considered to play with the men of the PGA (Annika's showing compared to Michelle's is no where near Michelle's result), and she has performed in her LPGA events VERY respectively. She has placed 4 top 3's in the 2005 campaign, two of which were majors...and don't forget, she was playing these events as a fifteen-year-old. Whether you like it or not, there are only a few "teens" that you could consider to be as good as michelle...those being Ms. Creamer & Pressel...Stephanie is one of many top junior golfers who will get to the LPGA in the future, but not in the present.
I read that Michelle Wie wanted to study business at Stanford. Now that she is a pro I doubt she will go to college full time.
If that is so, you had better stop using the adjective 'Korean' to refer to the people of North and South Korea.
I'm not absolutely sure about her height, but i'm 6 feet tall, and I definetly have to look up to her a little, so maybe around 6'1" 6'"2.
Thank you for the kind words. I almost missed them as I was enraptured by the in-depth anthropological points being made up in this discussion thus far ;)
And Patrick, the Internet would not be the fabulous place it is if not for its ability to allow us to go on bleary-eyed, 3 a.m. rants ;)
"Asia_Guy, you also should stop talking about 'Korean values,' in that case, for N. Korea and S. Korea are completely different, right?"
First David people from Korea refer to themselves as Koreans North or South.
Your second points answer is absolutely David, the communist regime has bred personal values out of the population thru the leadership of Dear Father and now his son known as Dear Leader.
The only values allowed in the North are those that support the regime and their goals.
Children are segregated at a young age by intelligence and aptitude. The bright ones are sent to school for advanced training, fed well, sheltered and if they are good little communists they may become party members.
The less gifted children are left to fend for themselves and many starve or freeze to death with the chronic food or heating oil shortages plaguing the North.
South Korea actually has sent food and oil to the North out of sympathy for the children. This was recently turned down by the North and shipments stopped as a chip in the Nuclear poker game.
I know players get a five year exemption from qualifying for winning an event like the Weetabix, but what about the regular LPGA tour events?
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