This Week at WorldGolf.com: Sept. 6, 2006
The Michelle Wie sideshow takes over Europe
The world's most dominate and talented golfer is preparing to take Europe by storm. But until Tiger Woods and his U.S. teammates show up to the K Club in Ireland later this month for the Ryder Cup Matches, Europe will just have to make due with Michelle Wie.
Yes, the Michelle Wie sideshow continues in Switzerland, as America's favorite 16-year-old export attempts to conquer Europe, or at least play against European men over the weekend at the Omega European Masters.
Still searching for her first victory against professionals, Wie has done more than enough to show she belongs alongside the best women golfers in the world. Her five Top-5 finishes in her last seven appearances at LPGA majors proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can compete at the highest levels of women's golf and, in fact, seems to have the potential to be the next dominant female golfer.
But how long will she be allowed and/or encouraged to play with the men? Her last PGA Tour effort, a withdrawal due to heat exhaustion at the John Deere Classic, was downright embarrassing for both her and the event. Will she fare better on the other side of the pond, or does that even matter for the teen's brain trust?
Fans of Woods often look in awe at his decisions to twice overhaul his swing to compensate for both injury, and a maturing body. The slings and arrows Woods took have proven to be more than worth it, as he has continually proven himself as the best in the game. His determination and work toward being the best is now legendary. Tiger was never a sideshow.
As she heads to her 17th birthday, questions about Wie will become more commonplace. Is she someone who is truly blinded by ambition, and believes she is following a path that will lead her one day to an improbable Masters triumph? Is she a marketers' and parents' dream cash machine, happily trading on her charisma and skill for boatloads of cash? Or is she someone who takes her skills, talents and place in history more seriously than anything, ala Tiger?
One thing is for certain, however: Her appearance this week at the Omega Masters won't answer any of these questions.
As always, WorldGolf.com welcomes your comments.
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The Americans are going to be hungry at the upcoming Ryder Cup Matches, with the Europeans taking four of the last five contests. The U.S. side has spent time getting ready at the K Club, the venue near Dublin where the event will be held Sept. 22-24. Here's what golf pundits are saying about the Ryder Cup and U.S. chances to bring it home.
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