What is Michelle Wie trying to accomplish?

Brian Perry

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After yet another dismal performance playing against men, one has to wonder why Wie is even being given these opportunities. In her last three tournaments she has finished in last place or nex-to-last. In this week's tourney, she didn't make a single birdie.

The fact is she has never won a women's tournament (in 33 tries). When she competes in men's events she is often taking a spot that another man would have. If she were actually competitive, or had proven herself against women and needed a bigger challenge (like Annika Sorenstam did), I would support her. But this doesn't seem right.

Your thoughts? Should she keep trying against the men, or wait until she notches a few victories against women?
 

Chris

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I tend to agree. I don't have anything wrong with women playing against men, but Wie isn't the person to do it.. yet. She has the right form for it, but she needs a lot more experience and she needs to WIN a few to build up confidence. I have a feeling continually pitting her against men doesn't help her game, it encourages her to hit for POWER and she's not nearly as well controlled. I think Sorenstam could fair well in a men's round because her short game is freakishly good.

But Wie just hasn't built her talents up that far yet.
 

Eric Samonte

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I think its more of a publicity thing if not for money. She would be akin to the likes of that great looking tennis player that's all over the news but never for a win in her sport. Seriously though, I hope she does get to play in her "own" league and score huge points and respect before taking on the big boys. Now, like everyone here, I do not mean to put her down because she's a a cute girl..I just feel she deserves more.
 

TV555

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Unfortunately, that is all she is, a cute girl with potential.
 

JohnRice

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If you mean Anna Kournikova, she was a powerhouse as an amateur, winning on the level of Tiger Woods and won many doubles as a pro, but never had success as a singles pro. If you mean Maria Sharapova, she's won 2 Grand Slams before turning 20 and has spent time ranked #1 in the world.
 

Julian Reville

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Well, she's only 17.


I remember how hard-headed I was when I was a teenager. Nobody could tell me anything. Perhaps MW is just fixated on being the first female to make it on the men's tour?

As long as Nike/Sony keep giving her money and getting her sponsor's exemptions, she'll keep trying, especially since she can't play a full LPGA schedule yet.
 

Scott Merryfield

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The reason she's still playing in men's tournaments can be summed up in four letters... NIKE. They are paying her a lot of endorsement money, and these endeavors generate publicity and exposure for the Nike emblem.

I do agree that for her development as a golfer she needs to concentrate on playing the LPGA and learn how to win. She's not going to learn that playing against the men -- she has no chance to win there at this point in her development (and probably never will).

As for competing against the men, she may be able to hit the ball as far as a lot of the guys, but she falls far short in the area most top women golfers do compared to the men -- the short game and putting. After Sorenstam played in a PGA tournament, she stated that was the area of her game where she noticed the biggest difference with the men, too.
 

Brian Perry

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Two years later, and same old story...

She's making progress, though...missed the cut by a mile once again, but did beat David Duval.
 

todd s

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But, its not her. It's her parents (who also are her managers). They are the ones pushing her to the men's tour.

That being said. I think its ridiculous that she keeps doing this. If she was very good...it would be one thing. But, she really hasn't done anything. Also, she is possibly taking the spot of someone who deserves it.
 

RobertR

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Yes, her parents decided they were going to use her as an endorsement/money making machine, and they've been playing it to the hilt. The problem is, the girl has NOT lived up to the hype, and she sounds royally screwed up in the head about her game. If she keeps up this nonsense, she'll wind up being a "might have been" failure who no one will pay attention to. I'm tired of her act, personally. You make your statements about who you are on the playing field, not in the endorsement contracts.
 

Edwin-S

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Why would these companies keep endorsing her? She's not winning or even making the cut, so where is value in endorsing her. Being a female on the men's tour can only go so far. She has to start winning or at least placing high in the rankings if playing the men's tour is ultimately going to mean anything.

She should wise up and realize professional golf isn't just about how many shoe contracts you can sign. Guys like Nicholson, Norman, etc. aren't legends in golf because they could sign endorsement contracts. They are legends because they won tournaments: a lot of tournaments.

Playing the LPGA circuit may not be as high profile as the PGA, but if I was a woman golfer I would rather be know as the woman who won the U.S women's open, rather than the woman who signed the most shoe contracts because I played on the PGA.

She needs to fire her parents as her managers before it is too late. She needs to hire a manager that will care about developing her career as a golfer, not her career as a NIKE shoe saleswoman.
 

Clinton McClure

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This is like when Michael Jordan tried playing in the MLB. More of a publicity stunt than anything because he sucked on so many levels. But like has already been stated, if the rules allow it, I see nothing wrong with it.
 

RobertR

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I disagree. Jordan had accomplished a GREAT deal in basketball that gave people SOME reason to pay attention to him. Wie has done NOTHING. If she was a 5' 3" 21 year old, she would get ZERO attention. ALL she has going for her is her height and her youth at this point.
 

Chris Lockwood

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Any LPGA legends? I think Nancy Lopez would qualify. I've heard of her and don't follow golf at all.

So how many men have they let play in LPGA events? Or is equality just a one-way street?
 

RobertR

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This has nothing to do with equality. Wie isn't some feminist crusader. It's about publicity and MONEY.
 

Edwin-S

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Are there any that would roll off my tongue like from the men's league.....no. The ones that come immediately to mind are Se Ri Pak and Annika Sorenstam. But when I go over to the LPGA website and look at their hall of fame this is what I see

LPGA.com

and it demonstrates the point I was getting at. Are any of the women on that list household names like Norman or Nicholson? No. But when I pick a name off that list (e.x. Patty Berg) I can see she had sixty career victories. If I look up her stats I find out that she won 9 women's majors during her career. Amongst the hardcore golfing community I'm sure Patty Berg's name would be instantly recognized. The casually interested can meander over to the LPGA site, and boom there she is, Patty Berg, on the Hall of Fame list. Is Michelle Wie going to end up on that list? At the rate she is going I doubt it. Is she going to end up on the PGA Hall of Fame list? No, because the last time I looked they didn't induct you for signing endorsement contracts.

If I was a pro golfer I would want to be remembered for winning golf tournaments. Even if the golf tournaments are not as famous as the U.S or British Opens. I feel sorry for Wie. From what I have heard she is a talented golfer, but her talent is going to be wasted if she stays on the PGA tour. She is liable to end up being remembered as the "woman who couldn't cut it on the PGA and didn't have the smarts to realize it".

Sorry to say but, IMO, women will never be competitive on the PGA tour as it is presently incarnated. Not because they are less talented, but due to the fact that the PGA is long ball orientated. You have to be able to hit a long ball accurately in order to be competitive on that tour. That means being able to generate power without overhitting the ball. In a forum like that men will always be more competitive than women, because women are not going to be able to generate the power required to hit long without losing some accuracy.

Maybe what is required is more courses that are shorter but more technically difficult if the intent is for more women to transition to the PGA tour. That way the short game becomes much more important. Reducing the need for long ball striking would go a long way to evening up the playing field between men and women golfers. Maybe then we would see more women golfers become household names.
 

Lew Crippen

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LPGA stands for Ladies Professional Golf Association. One presumes that you need to be a Lady in order to qualify. However many events on the PGA (note the absence of a qualifier) are either open (meaning that anyone is able to qualify) or those running the tournament have a handful of slots that they can use to provide entries to anyone they choose.

Many of the groups that run tournaments are either the sponsors or are heavily influenced by sponsors. Sponsors like to do things that generate attention and attendance. Giving an exemption to one more anonymous pro who could not otherwise qualify is not exactly a way to increase either attendance or publicity.

I think that Babe Zaharias easily qualifies as a legend.
 

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