FanDuel - WFBC

September 21, 2005

Michelle Wie to turn pro at 15: All those who think that teenaged millionaires are a sign of the apocolypse, here's another chance to moan. The ESPN article is mostly about Wie's endorsement potential. I guess she won't have to worry about those expense payments. See also: King Kaufman makes his opinion clear.

posted by Amateur to golf at 12:18 PM - 33 comments

I don't really have a problem with her turning pro. She's good enough to play pro and what would be the point of wasting her time in school when its obvious she's bound for the pros anyway? I'm just jealous of her abilities. I play golf like I sail, a long way in the wrong direction followed by several tacks back towards where I wanted to go in the first place.

posted by fenriq at 12:49 PM on September 21

I wonder if child labour laws are observed for young sports prodigies when they turn pro. I know that children aren't allowed to work on movie/TV sets for more than an X number of hours in a day, and that they need regulated breaks during that time.

posted by grum@work at 01:30 PM on September 21

Yep - if she's good enough - and by all accounts she is then she shouldn't be denied. Not a very fun way to go through being a teenager, though. A lot of pressure and work - no time for drive-thru and boyz. Do ya think the LPGA is excited? They can hardly wait to sexify things up around there. And they'll use the girl. How terribly predictable.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:33 PM on September 21

Considering the pace of play on the professional tours, I don't think breaks will be a problem. They were backed up 3 groups on a short par4 during the Open. Think the Dept. of Labor will buy that? On preview: I think most teenage girls can find some fun in 10 million dollars Weedy.

posted by YukonGold at 01:38 PM on September 21

fenriq, I lived across from a public golf course for a few years. Your sailing analogy is perfect: HUGE hook, followed by a HUGE slice, followed by a HUGE hook, etc., etc. The good thing is that I never had to buy golf balls when I lived there. We'd collect about a bucketful every year from our yard.

posted by dusted at 01:58 PM on September 21

Make That Money.. She is missing out on over ten million dollars. Everybody would take the money.

posted by ELWAY_FAN at 03:09 PM on September 21

Pics?

posted by StarFucker at 03:45 PM on September 21

Everybody knows the kid can golf. Shes better than most- if not all of the LPGA. Why stall her growth? At this rate she will be as good or if not better than Tiger whens shes 20. Why not? Shes an excellent golfer, and will get 10 mil. Sounds pretty dam good to me!

posted by redsoxrgay at 04:42 PM on September 21

At what rate she'll be better than Tiger? And how are you measuring that?

posted by yerfatma at 06:33 PM on September 21

WAIT! What about HS and college? Oh that right she can now pay everyone around her to read and write and make legal decision and all she needed to be able to do is add up a scorecard from the golf course. Damn! I wish I had paid more attention to my golf coach and not my Math teacher now!!!!! what a country and they wonder why these kids blow-up in the end!

posted by Rob at 09:05 PM on September 21

I am curious as to how her parents feel about this situation. I don't recall any information being brought forth about her parents thoughts. Is this a case of take the money now in the unlikely case of insuring against a debilitating injury? The one thing I am sure of is that money is the driving factor here. The LPGA will benefit, sponsors will benefit, tv networks will benefit, just about any organization tied to golf will benefit. But for every benefit, there is a cost. I just don't what is the cost. I am also amused that the LPGA will not allow her to obtain a tour card until she reaches the age of 18. But they will allow her to enter tournaments through a sponsors exemption. What would life be without loopholes, lol. I wish her well.

posted by panteeze at 09:49 PM on September 21

The one thing I'm sure of is that this girl deserves a web "countdown clock" far more than no-talent hacks like Christina Ricci and the Olsen Twins! Two years and 20 days before starting your engines, gentlemen! Keep it clean, and may the best man win! :)

posted by hincandenza at 10:00 PM on September 21

Hal Incandenza, I suppose you're waiting for someone to say "I'd hit it!" Well, NO SIR. I would NOT. So park that in your wicked pedophilic pipe and smoke it, you evil, evil man.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:10 PM on September 21

They said last night on sportscenter if she had already turned pro prior to this year, her tour earnings so far would have been over $700,000. Thats impressive, I think thats probably the answer you'd get from her parents who've been footing a big chunk of the bill for the travel and other related expenses thus far.

posted by jojomfd1 at 10:26 PM on September 21

I think it's great, she's a great golfer and good for the game, it is golf after all. The only people not happy right now are all the other ladies on the lpga tour who are going to be getting embarassed for the next twenty five years save annika sorenstam, good luck michelle, oh and by the way, I want to see a one on one golf match with her and phil mickleson, she'd kill him.

posted by bharr_77 at 12:43 AM on September 22

Michele Wie, thats all we hear about. Sure, shes only 15, but a very immature 15. Shes a whiner, always bitching how she doesnt get the breaks...just like a female Eldrick (Tiger). This little girl cant putt worth a damn and her course management sucks. Granted she could probably whip my ass, I'm a 3 handi. But until she learns how to putt and work a course and most of all, get her emotions in tact, she will never make it any farther than she is now. She will be thought of as a Tom Weiskopf with tits! PAULA CREAMER is the future of US Womens Golf....PERIOD!

posted by CountDracula58 at 02:28 AM on September 22

Shes a whiner, always bitching how she doesnt get the breaks...just like a female Eldrick (Tiger). This little girl cant putt worth a damn and her course management sucks. CountDracula, are you thinking of the same Michelle Wie as I am? The Michelle Wie who would have finished 8th on the LPGA money list this year, even only playing half the events everyone else did? The Michelle Wie who, even when there's an incident, doesn't complain or talk publicly about it? That Michelle Wie? And Tiger Woods is not exactly known for his whininess, neither. I agree, though, about Paula Creamer being the young golfer of the moment, but she's also older, as is Morgan Pressel. They (and more than a few others, I trust) should be dueling each other in major tournaments for decades to come. Yay them, and yay us. Wie can work it out. Life is very short. Oh, and Weiskopf has tits. He could fill an A-Cup easily these days. Maybe even a B!

posted by chicobangs at 02:47 AM on September 22

It's all very well saying "she would have won this much money" but it should be remembered that when you're playing in a field against people who are playing for a living there is significantly less pressure on you than there is on them. If you win, you make no money. If you miss the cut, you make no money. For the average player, the money is a big factor. It will be interesting to see how she copes with that new kind of pressure (albeit, fairly diminished when you've got $10m tucked away before you've hit a ball). As for stalling her growth - I think letting her join the tour (and whether she gets a card or not, that's what she's doing) is going to do exactly that. It will stall her growth as a person. The tour is a monumentally dull place most of the time. The notion that you get to see the world is risible - you get to see some pretty stunning golf courses and some very nice hotels, but the stamp on your passport is about the only thing differentiating one country from another if you're seeing it that way. It's an awkward situation in terms of who has the responsibility - should it be with the LPGA to not allow her to play until she's older? or should it be with her parents? I can't help but think there must be something wrong with the latter if they can't look at the example of someone like Jennifer Capriati and learn from it. I wish her luck, and I like watching her play, and for what it's worth, I reckon she will surpass even Annika if she stays fit and is surrounded by good people. The notion that Paula Creamer is the future of US womens golf is laughable - she may be the player of the moment, but without a major swing overhaul, she's never going to be anything better than a streaky confidence player.

posted by JJ at 05:02 AM on September 22

It's all very well saying "she would have won this much money" but it should be remembered that when you're playing in a field against people who are playing for a living there is significantly less pressure on you than there is on them. If you win, you make no money. If you miss the cut, you make no money. For the average player, the money is a big factor. It will be interesting to see how she copes with that new kind of pressure (albeit, fairly diminished when you've got $10m tucked away before you've hit a ball). As for stalling her growth - I think letting her join the tour (and whether she gets a card or not, that's what she's doing) is going to do exactly that. It will stall her growth as a person. The tour is a monumentally dull place most of the time. The notion that you get to see the world is risible - you get to see some pretty stunning golf courses and some very nice hotels, but the stamp on your passport is about the only thing differentiating one country from another if you're seeing it that way. It's an awkward situation in terms of who has the responsibility - should it be with the LPGA to not allow her to play until she's older? or should it be with her parents? I can't help but think there must be something wrong with the latter if they can't look at the example of someone like Jennifer Capriati and learn from it. I wish her luck, and I like watching her play, and for what it's worth, I reckon she will surpass even Annika if she stays fit and is surrounded by good people. The notion that Paula Creamer is the future of US womens golf is laughable - she may be the player of the moment, but without a major swing overhaul, she's never going to be anything better than a streaky confidence player.

posted by JJ at 05:02 AM on September 22

oooooops - sorry. None of that was worth repeating.

posted by JJ at 05:03 AM on September 22

I disagree. Thanks for the first one.

posted by yerfatma at 06:08 AM on September 22

It's amazing! I didn't read a single post about how her becoming a pro at an early age would hurt the game of golf. If this was a bball kid we were talking about there would be a lot more negativity about them skipping school and getting paid. Can anyone shed some light on that? Everyone is talking about she needs to play the best to get better and not just crush her inferior peer group, shouldn't that apply to all sports?

posted by Drallig9399 at 08:33 AM on September 22

Some of it's because golf doesn't necessarily interfere with getting a high school education. She can afford a tutor (even a travelling one) and has 3-5 free days a week. If you're asking if there's a perception difference here (to be explicit: that an Asian girl and her family are more likely to pursue an education than a black teenage male), well, there's probably some of that as well. If she starts rolling in a custom Navigator with a couple of pit bulls . . . that'd be cool actually.

posted by yerfatma at 09:11 AM on September 22

HEY JJ.........Did you say that Michele Wie would surpass ANIKA??? ARE YOU ON CRACK? I will take it that you are just another weekend duffer who thinks he knows the game. You also dont think Tiger is a whiner and bitcher? Do you watch the PGA on TV? Constantly crying about bad breaks and asking Stevie for his crying towel, not to mention he has to have set a record for cussing on TV. Trust me my friend, I worked 4 years in the True Temper Tour Van on the PGA, LPGA and Nationwide Tour, I see these athletes like nobody else does. But thats your opinion, and you know what they are like...everyone has one of those too!

posted by CountDracula58 at 09:16 AM on September 22

Trust me my friend, I worked 4 years in the True Temper Tour Van on the PGA, LPGA and Nationwide Tour, I see these athletes like nobody else does.

posted by YukonGold at 09:36 AM on September 22

Okay, dropping the education side, what about the game. How are rookies coming out of highschool and killing it, Amare and Lebron, hurting the game. But a chick that hasnt won a tournament of any worth is great for golf. Are we talking about just drawing people to the game, and not the actual skill? Someone please help me out on this one.

posted by Drallig9399 at 09:38 AM on September 22

I don't know how many people who will say that Lebron hurt the NBA, he obviously has the talent necessary. My point against early entry has always been the 15-20 players yearly who enter the NBA when they do not have the necessary talent. In this case I think Wie is more in line with Lebron, not Charlie Villanueva. But, if this leads to an onslaught of young players thinking they can make the jump then you have an issue. Also, I think it's important to remember that she is not a card-carrying member of the LPGA. She can't enjoy that until she turns 18, her turning pro ensures that she can make money in the professional tournaments she's already participating. The way I view it, her life isn't changing from the way it is today...other than the fact that she can receive prize money and endorsements.

posted by YukonGold at 09:53 AM on September 22

That makes sense. Its not like the LPGA is drafting her, and telling her to play here, here, and there. I get it.

posted by Drallig9399 at 10:12 AM on September 22

Plus a sport like golf is much more Darwinian. A player can linger on an NBA bench for a few years and either develop or wither. But you better be ready to earn as soon as you start on the golf tour. Unless you're still living at home. Or have a huge endorsement deal.

posted by yerfatma at 10:34 AM on September 22

CountDracula, I think JJ would see your four years in a van and raise you about a decade of actually playing professional golf but he's too much the gentleman for that. But I'm not, so go jump off, m'kay?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:40 PM on September 22

As for comparisons elsewhere, how is this different than Freddie Adu last year? Or 16 year olds like Michael Owen, Cesc Fabregas and IIRC Wayne Rooney starting in the Premiership?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:41 PM on September 22

Trust me my friend, I worked 4 years in the True Temper Tour Van on the PGA, LPGA and Nationwide Tour, I see these athletes like nobody else does. Yep - just it case you didn't get it when billy told ya - go clean JJ's clubs. Fuck me - that is funny.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:26 PM on September 22

*laughing* Go easy now - no reason the count would have known that I played a bit (and to set the record a little straighter, I was only a pro for about 18 months, and the last six of those were spent in hospital) - and just because I was at all wouldn't stop my opinions being akin to those of a weekend duffer. To qualify my comment about Michelle Wie surpassing Annika - if you consider the latter to be the best female player who ever lived (and I do), then she could be likened in the men's game to Jack. It would have been a rather bold statement when Tiger was 15 to say that he had a chance to surpass Nicklaus, but now, it looks like he might ( as he is staying "fit and is surrounded by good people"). In fact, 15 years ago, anyone suggesting that someone would one day surpass 18 majors in a career would have had the same crack-taking accusation levelled at them I'm sure. Wie is 15 - what she has done to this point in her career (I believe) is unsurpassed. If she continues playing as she has been, if she stays fit, and if she surrounds herself with good people, then I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that she has a chance to surpass Annika. [cheap shot] At the very least, she should be able to spell her name correctly. [/cheap shot] As for Tiger being a whinger - I don't believe I mentioned anything about that, but if you want my weekend duffer opinion on that too - of course he's a whinger. I've never seen the like of his whingng in fact. He misses from thirty feet and he looks like someone shat in his soup. But that's OK, because I want to watch people who expect to hole everything, and that's just his way of showing it. Not much he can do about it if he doesn't happen to react to things with the poker face Ernie is lucky enough to possess. (The fact that my temper on a golf course makes Tiger look placid is neither here nor there). I've actually just got off the phone with my Dad. I called to tell him off having just read an interview he gave to a newspaper back home in which he named Tiger as his favourite player. I don't have much love for the world number one. I admire him, but I don't like him much. I've had an idea that could be fun - I'll put the interview questions up in the locker room - if you play or watch a bit of golf, come over and answer them and give us all an insight. Hopefully WC won't think I'm stepping on his interview toes.

posted by JJ at 12:35 PM on September 23

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