FanDuel - WFBC

January 13, 2006

A Wie bit of trouble: Michelle Wie shoots a 79 in the opening round of the Sony Open in Honolulu, putting her ahead of one male competitor after 18 holes. The 16-year-old high school junior said she "needed some chocolate" after the round. Two questions: 1) Should a 16-year-old be playing professionally and, if so, 2) Is it time for Wie to focus on winning on the LPGA tour before tackling the PGA?

posted by wfrazerjr to golf at 11:59 AM - 37 comments

im so tired of the over hype with this girl she cant even beat women,so what makes people think she can win in the mens pga. oh the same men who live for uconn womens basketball

posted by loumal at 12:06 PM on January 13

Your missing the point. She isnt trying to win, she's trying to make the cut. It seems like she just wants to beat some guys. Not win the tournament, but just beat some guys. That is a little trifling to me. Isnt she getting paid now? Shouldnt winning be a part of her mindset?

posted by Drallig9399 at 12:10 PM on January 13

Oh, man. We're going to be asking these questions every time she doesn't break par. That said, if she shoots 68 today, people will still tut-tut her. I'm not as convinced, but I suspect we're reaching the end of her little girl-among-men experiment. My concern for her is that she should be getting used to victory at this point, and not playing two-and-outs in her highest-profile events.

posted by chicobangs at 12:13 PM on January 13

my point is the media is such an over kill.shes on everthing and hasent provin anything,just like the indy car ndriver patrick .she didnt win a race this year but got more ink than people who won races

posted by loumal at 12:17 PM on January 13

i dont care what she shoots.if shes good enough to be there fine . but shes not .she should stay in the ladys pga until shes ready

posted by loumal at 12:20 PM on January 13

That's the answer-chocolate? I wish I would have known that years ago. I've been looking for something to dull the pain from my golf game. Beer, and lots of it, usually does the trick. But what the hell. I'll have some chocolate this Sunday when I double the 18th to shoot an 85. Chocolate. That girl is wise beyond her years.

posted by Desert Dog at 12:20 PM on January 13

Did you see her post round comments on ESPN ? She is just a kid still. I hope she isn't being ruined by the pressure her parents have exposed her to. loumal i'd like to see you and every other person who uses only chauvinistic logic to argue against her appearances on the mens tour tee it up against that kid.This is the 3rd year in a row she has played the Sony Open, and I daresay, no 14 year old boy has as much game as she did 2 years ago. She draws crowds, and despite her bad round yesterday, has shown she can compete. I DON"T think anyone has any illusions about her winning a mens event though. You are the only person i have heard mention that, and perhaps that was, uh, unwittingly?

posted by mjkredliner at 12:23 PM on January 13

my whole point is she shouldnt be in any mens event period.how come the women playing in the 70s and 80s didnt play with the men and some of those women were great golfers

posted by loumal at 12:29 PM on January 13

Well, Sony sponsors the tournament and they can give an exemption to anyone they choose. And, now that she's a pro, SONY is one of her sponsors. Plus, she's a local celebrity. If they want to invite her, I can't blame her for playing.

posted by mfdavis at 01:27 PM on January 13

She has my vote for most overated athlete in professional sports.

posted by vbgjr88 at 01:34 PM on January 13

Hell, I wish I could shoot a 79!!

posted by Buckfever14 at 01:39 PM on January 13

he is just a kid still. I hope she isn't being ruined by the pressure her parents have exposed her to. If Wie has to struggle to maintain her composure while talking to the press about a bad first round in a tournament, the pressure's clearly getting to her. Her parents should look out for her and take a break from this circus. She should focus more on the LPGA to build confidence before she takes on the harder task of competing in the PGA. my whole point is she shouldnt be in any mens event period The PGA is not a "men's event;" there's no gender restriction in the association. Women who have the game to compete against the men should be allowed to compete. It's not clear yet that Wie has the skills. But what she's doing at 16 makes me think she'll be more than a sponsor's exemption novelty at PGA events in the next several years. To put it another way, if Wie was better than 5 percent of the male golfers in a tournament, how can you possibly justify keeping her out?

posted by rcade at 01:45 PM on January 13

Lets face it, weather she is good enough to be out there or not, Sony pays her, and she is a big money draw for golf, I think she is a great golfer, i wish i could shoot as well, i just hope all the pressure and hipe doesnt get to the still, 16 year old, at 16 they have enough to worry about

posted by jlimm1959 at 02:06 PM on January 13

It is her home turf and she wants to play. If you are worried about the guy who got bumped from the tourney because Wie wanted to play. He would have shot a 10 over.

posted by tmart937 at 02:17 PM on January 13

Wie should not be on the pro tour. She has not even beat the women in a tournament. It disturbs me that we are so focused on Wie when golfers like Creamer and Pressel are tearing up the competition and they get none of the coverage.

posted by mcstan13 at 02:38 PM on January 13

If Wie has to struggle to maintain her composure while talking to the press about a bad first round in a tournament, the pressure's clearly getting to her. Her parents should look out for her and take a break from this circus. She should focus more on the LPGA to build confidence before she takes on the harder task of competing in the PGA. Word. Sounds like another Sad Sports Kid Story in the making, unfortunately.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:53 PM on January 13

I dunno, she seems fairly well-adjusted for her situation. However, I don't think any 16 year-old could handle constantly being interrogated by adults about why you suck. It would skew your outlook.

posted by yerfatma at 03:07 PM on January 13

The PGA is not a "men's event;" there's no gender restriction in the association. Women who have the game to compete against the men should be allowed to compete. I agree but what about men playing in the LPGA? Obviously the rules are set in both organizations but it does seem a little strange.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 03:29 PM on January 13

Shit, I wish I could shoot a 79 on the front 9! Good luck to her. I would like nothing better than for her to turn around and shoot a 66 and tell her critics to fuck off. I don't care if it's PGA, LPGA or the Hooters tour. She's 16 years old. Imagine what she'll be doing in 5 years.

posted by willthrill72 at 04:03 PM on January 13

I agree but what about men playing in the LPGA? Obviously the rules are set in both organizations but it does seem a little strange. Not more strange as the Senior Tour (sorry...Champions Tour, as it is now called). Tom Watson is allowed to participate in the British Open, but Tiger Woods can't enter the Senior British Open. How come no one seems to have a problem with that setup? Why is an age requirement "okay" but a gender requirement "strange"?

posted by grum@work at 04:23 PM on January 13

How come no one seems to have a problem with that setup? Why is an age requirement "okay" but a gender requirement "strange"? Now my head hurts...

posted by STLCardinalfan at 04:43 PM on January 13

It's all about the money. When is it going to stop? Millions of dollars are available for those that want it but one must know their place. She is talented but wouldn't it be nice if she won playing with the women before she declared that her goal was to play on the PGA tour. I'm sure the women on tour resent her and that arrogance but they love the money she brings in from the sponsors. Though they wouldn't dare say it loud. Someone is feeding that head of hers with some poor advice. If she doesn't win soon, she might need rubber wallpaper because there is way too much pressure put on her from her "supporting cast".

posted by tmparisi at 05:11 PM on January 13

interesting thing about golf, and all sports that have tournaments. Only one person can win each event. A lot of players never win, regardless of their sex or age. Should they stop playing too?

posted by drjimmy11 at 05:57 PM on January 13

As far as Wei being the most overrated athlete in professional sports, its actually michael vick.

posted by chuy at 06:09 PM on January 13

I don't really have a gender beef with Wie being on the PGA Tour. If you can play with the big boys, go for it. But she can't. Wie's been close once and regularly been mediocre to bad the rest of the time. And whether you want to accept it or not, she is taking the spot of someone more qualified to play in the tournament, someone who has busted his (or her) ass in Q School and mini-tours, not just been handed the Golden Ticket. A sponsor can give the exemption as they choose, but if it's just for publicity, is that right? Hey, how about one for Zippy the Pinhead and another for a fetus? I mean, we're just talking about getting more eyes on the sponsor's name, right? But I'm more concerned for Wie's well-being. Yes, I know she's already financially set for life, and she seems pretty damned well-adjusted for the life she lives. But for God's sake, people, she's 16 years old. Is it ever smart to throw what society considers a child into situations where the pressure is so great when it's not totally necessary? And how will this affect her five, 10 or 15 years from now? Is she going to be a better golfer and a better person for facing this sort of stuff now? Or will she just withdraw, get burned out or be resentful of her parents and everyone else for exploiting her? She's a kid. Let her go take exams and eat lunch with the rest of the 16-year-olds and be an adult when it's time.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:30 PM on January 13

Hey, how about one for Zippy the Pinhead and another for a fetus? I'd pay to see that, and I don't watch golf. (not that Zippy or the fetus would be golfing, anyway)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:50 PM on January 13

I agree but what about men playing in the LPGA? Leagues should be restricted to a single group to make a competition possible that would not be possible otherwise -- the LPGA limits to women, Champions Tour to older golfers, and the like. The PGA takes the best regardless of plumbing and draws significant prestige and money by virtue of that status. They'd be hurting themselves by excluding women and making the league the MPGA.

posted by rcade at 07:52 PM on January 13

S***, I wish I could shoot a 79 on the front 9! Good luck to her. I would like nothing better than for her to turn around and shoot a 66 and tell her critics to f*** off. I don't care if it's PGA, LPGA or the Hooters tour. She's 16 years old. Imagine what she'll be doing in 5 years. Hopefully what she will be doing in five years is giving up on her and her family's foundering publicity stunt and concentrating on actually winning some maddog tournaments among the people we know she can compete with: other females! The whole circus is all driven by her and her family's chutzpah in trying to make her a living legend before she is even an adult. She's being promoted as if she was The Next Jackie Robinson, breaking the barriers, etc. It's nonsense -- Wie's not even the next Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the last female to make a PGA cut. When Zaharias played against the men, she was already an all-around athlete nonpareil, the distaff Jim Thorpe; an All-America basketball player, a two-time Olympic track and field gold medalist, and had a Sorenstamesque dominance on the LPGA tour (which she helped found). Let's see now, when facing off against world class peers, what's Wie won? (Here's a clue: nothin.') "Imagine what she'll be doing in 5 years?" Ha! How many times has that question been asked about young athletes who are barely memories today? The more and more Wie fails to reach her unheard-of goals, the more she seems like she could potentially be the golf version of Mary Pierce. Think about it: Pierce, circa 1992, and Wie today have so much in common; they're young, attractive, around six feet tall, powerful, and underachieving, and they both have love-hate relationships with their fathers (Wie's father is much better behaved than Pierce's, but that really isn't saying much). By the way, don't make the mistake of comparing Wie with Danica Patrick. Patrick proved she belonged with the elite racers when she had the fastest qualifying time at the Indy 500 last year. In the actual race, Patrick actually led the race for a while, finally finishing fourth. Wie doesn't have any accomplishment close to matching that. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being promoted as a world-class athlete at a tender age. Just make sure that you live up to your hype. Kobe Bryant went from high school to the NBA amid ridiculous publicity. He got a video game named after him before he cracked the Lakers' starting lineup. But Kobe has lived up to his hype. So has Danica Patrick. Tiger Woods has exceeded his hype, if you don't count his father's prediction he would be bigger than Jesus. Wie is a multi-millionaire now because people are hoping she becomes the superstar they want her to be. The reality is that despite the fact she's being handed opportunities to shine, she's not delivering. Never mind the stuff they say Wie can do, let's see her -- as her sponsor Nike says -- just do it. And if she can't, get her out of the spotlight until she can.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 08:00 PM on January 13

Hopefully what she will be doing in five years is giving up on her and her family's foundering publicity stunt and concentrating on actually winning some maddog tournaments among the people we know she can compete with: other females! L.N., I read this and immediately started thinking you were going to be a dick about this. But the thing is - and here's the thing: you're right. That, backed by the rest of your post is completely, totally, 100% correct. I wouldn't want to be Michelle Wie. I mean, except for the part where sometimes I dress up like an Asian girl and dance in front of the mirror. If you do the eyeshadow just right, you can give the impression of epicanthal folds. But that's neither here nor there. The money for that poor kid, that's nice. But the pressure for that poor kid, that's awful. Give her a chance to shine before she goes against the best in the world. It would be very sad indeed if her career was destroyed because she was thrown into the shark tank before she can even swim.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:15 PM on January 13

loumal: im so tired of the over hype with this girl she cant even beat women,so what makes people think she can win in the mens pga. oh the same men who live for uconn womens basketball Not to derail, but enjoying watching a succesful woman's college team competing in a female only league does not equal thinking that Michelle Wie is going to win a Men's PGA tournament in the near future. I mean, unless you were just trying to slip in a totally unrelated slam on men who were so "girly" that they actually would enjoy women's basketball. Or women's sports. Since, you know, women aren't really atheletes. Like men are. Because men are, you know, men. Which makes them atheletes. And women are not men, so they're not atheletes. Was that what you meant? /snide derail

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:48 PM on January 13

If you can play with the big boys, go for it . . . But she can't. Well, other than yesterday when she shot a 68 that was bettered by only 11 people in the field. But other than that, sure. Even her 79 on Thursday didn't put her in last. I don't see how that means she can't "play with the big boys", which is a phrase better suited to a shitty t-shirt than a cogent argument.

posted by yerfatma at 09:24 AM on January 14

Is she playing this weekend or not, yerfatma? And can you point out the part of my argument that didn't make sense? She missed the cut despite shooting a 68 on Friday, which 1) shows how incredibly badly she played on Thursday in relation to the rest of the field and 2) shows the consistency players need to make it on the Tour. Am I saying she won't ever play on the PGA Tour? No. I don't think she's mentally ready to play at this level, and the 68 to me might mean she was relaxed and loose for the second round. She certainly wasn't that way in the first round, and I'm sorry, but crying in the press conference afterwards? Only Dick Vermeil can get away with that and seem mature. I think she'll be a permanent PGA fixture by the time she's 21. But for right now, Wie again proved that, no, she's not ready to play with the big boys. Let her go to the LPGA or compete on the mini-tour level and get her game, both mental and physical, in order. I believe both Wie and the game will be better for it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:09 PM on January 14

It's too bad that the gender red herring even exists. Ignoring gender altogether and considering her youth, you have to ask whether it makes sense for a 16-year-old to be seriously trying to break into the top league at this time in a sport where the median age of top players is a good bit higher. If it was a 16-year-old boy, seems like the answer would be the same, no?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:47 PM on January 14

LBB, you can't call gender a "red herring" in this situation. The talent in the PGA is a serious step above the talent in the LPGA. There's no fish there. "Ignoring gender altogether" is unrealistic.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:40 PM on January 14

Samsonov, do you not think that a 16-year-old boy would be in a very similar situation, i.e., facing legitimate questions as to whether he should be putting that much effort into trying to play in the top league?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:50 PM on January 14

Yes, I agree with that. It's still waaaaay more fucked up that for some reason she's playing against the guys. The "gender issue" is an issue in this case. Wie can hold her own in the LPGA.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:59 PM on January 14

LPGA. There's no fish there. Clearly you've never been near the locker room.

posted by yerfatma at 11:10 PM on January 14

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