FanDuel - WFBC

January 13, 2007

Michelle Wie Hits the Green: Golf's sixth-highest earner in 2006, Michelle Wie made $19.5 million in endorsements and $800,000 at tournaments. Though she drew less fanfare as she made her fourth failed attempt at the cut in this weekend's Sony Open, the 17-year-old continues to chase success outside women's golf. She earned more in 2006 than the event earnings of the top 20 LPGA golfers combined.

posted by rcade to golf at 09:48 AM - 24 comments

What is weird about this to me is that I can't remember ever seeing a Wie endorsement. Clearly they exist, but I've never seen one of them that I can remember. (I do remember seeing a Sorenstam ad, though for the life of me I can't remember what she was shilling for.)

posted by tieguy at 10:46 AM on January 13

For those not in the know, she missed the cut (wasn't even close). Come to think of it, I have never seen a Wie endorsement either. I think she has brought more recognition and ratings to golf than the top 20 LPGA golfers combined; therefor marketers probably think she is well worth the money.

posted by danjel at 11:38 AM on January 13

Wie gets rapped for pursuing the long shot of PGA success instead of the much more realistic chance of success in the LPGA. (I've thought she should work on her game, win some LPGA events, and take things easier to avoid becoming a twentysomething burnout.) But whether she's doing it for happiness or for money, though, her critics should answer one question: Wouldn't you do exactly the same thing in her shoes? $20 million's more than Jack Nicklaus earned last year.

posted by rcade at 11:58 AM on January 13

Oh, absolutely the right thing to do for her- she could quit tomorrow and still be set for life.

posted by tieguy at 12:29 PM on January 13

I don't know. I'd rather be a well off success than a filthy rich whore. (I use whore in the non-gender specific meaning of the word). She could obviously be very well off and a very good women's professional. I guess it's more important to her to be a mega-rich laughing stock.

posted by carolinared at 06:14 PM on January 13

I would rather be a filthy rich whore (and I also use the non-gender specific meaning of the word).

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:57 PM on January 13

She could obviously be very well off and a very good women's professional. Please show some evidence to back up this statement with some facts. The only reason she gets noticed is because she is the only women's golfer who looks somewhat close to... well ... a woman. No offense intended either. Facts are facts and they often hurt but the truth must be told. If she was an ugly, fat, bull dyke she wouldn't be making shit for endoresment money; and since she can't win an event (or even make the cut) she would be making about $50 - 80 K a year (not bad for a regular Joe). If anyone is offended by what I have said, please attack me with facts. I would appreciate it. Thank you.

posted by yay-yo at 07:10 PM on January 13

The only reason she gets noticed is because she is the only women's golfer who looks somewhat close to... well ... a woman. I don't know about that, Natalie Gulbis surely isn't going to require a pants check any time soon! ...ugly, fat, bull dyke: The new generation of women golfers are getting farther and farther away from that statement. I'm definitely not offended but, yes, facts are facts.

posted by t money at 08:00 PM on January 13

Facts are facts and they often hurt but the truth must be told. The truth is you sound like a sexist ass. If you can't discuss women's sports without trotting out insults about how the women look, go back to Hooter's and leave the grownups alone.

posted by rcade at 08:23 PM on January 13

First, no offense intended, but the truth must be told: yay-yo you are an embarrassment and I would be happy if you went away from here forever. Now, as for the attack of facts, let's see. The statement you want defended is: She could obviously be very well off and a very good women's professional. How about this:

She has played 15 events on the LPGA since 2004 with six top-10 finishes -- three in majors. She was fourth in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in '04, and last year was second at the LPGA Championship and tied for third in the Women's British Open.
[source]

posted by Amateur at 08:34 PM on January 13

She could obviously be very well off and a very good women's professional. Please show some evidence to back up this statement with some facts. The only reason she gets noticed is because she is the only women's golfer who looks somewhat close to... well ... a woman. No offense intended either. Facts are facts and they often hurt but the truth must be told. If she was an ugly, fat, bull dyke she wouldn't be making shit for endoresment money; and since she can't win an event (or even make the cut) she would be making about $50 - 80 K a year (not bad for a regular Joe). If anyone is offended by what I have said, please attack me with facts. I would appreciate it. Thank you. Michelle might have not made the cut in her last PGA tournament nor posted any wins yet. However, she has made over 700k in career earnings. That is not too shabby for a 17 year old who has yet to officially become a member of the LPGA Tour. She will have to wait until she turns 18. Her earnings are certainly enough to make a regular Joe envious. As for looks, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr are two more that won't require a pants check any time soon! And by the way, Playboy didn't think Carin Koch was all that bad looking either.

posted by danjel at 08:39 PM on January 13

If you can't discuss women's sports without trotting out insults about how the women look, go back to Hooter's and leave the grownups alone. Amen. Can we quote that in the guidelines?

posted by tieguy at 08:47 PM on January 13

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always thought that Annika Sörenstam (you know, winner of 10 LPGA majors and 59 other LPGA events) wasn't that bad looking.

posted by grum@work at 08:49 PM on January 13

I cant believe some of you. Wie is a young female athlete and sure maybe she is making all of this money and losing but who cares its her life. She is only 17. The language that some of you have used in your comments about this article is very much not needed just let the girl play.

posted by sbgrl_14 at 10:19 PM on January 13

I read Golf World about every week(and look at the pictures), and not that it has any merit on their skills, but the LPGA is full of hotties. Hotties that could golf me under the table anyday.

posted by cptdon at 12:41 AM on January 14

At the risk of offending some of you, i have to say that i find the Michelle Wie stuff a bit frustrating. I say this b/c i think that we are all missing the point on why she (in my humble opinion) shouldn't be playing on the PGA tour (yet). She obviously doesn't qualify for these tournaments, but rather the sponsers let her in to make $$$. Meanwhile, some man who has paid his dues, qualified for play, is for all practical purposes dumped so Wie can play instead. This is frustrating to me. I am not sexist, and i have no problem with her playing on the men's tour provided she DOES SOMETHING TO MERIT BEING THERE. Other guys have done what it takes; if she is good enough, then let her qualify how everyone else is, and then let her go kick butt. While no male golfers are starving, some of them don't make much, and when i try to put myself in their shoes, i can see why her free pass would be frustrating, especially if i could make a cut which she hasn't, and make some cash, which she still does. That's my take. I genuinely don't want to offend anyone; please accept my sincere apologies if i have. I hope the best for Wie, but it seems to me that she should have to earn her spot. If she doesn't then i'm confused as to why we are supposed to look at her like the male players, who did earn their spot.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:58 AM on January 14

While no male golfers are starving, some of them don't make much, and when i try to put myself in their shoes, i can see why her free pass would be frustrating, especially if i could make a cut which she hasn't, and make some cash, which she still does. I agree that it may be frustrating for a qualified male golfer to lose a chance to play to Michelle. But professional golf is a business that relies on tv revenue and other advertising revenue. Do you think those male golfers would draw as much attention to a tournament as Michelle Wie does? I don't think they can. I know I pay more attention and am more apt to tune into a tournament when Michelle is competing. Like it or not, Michelle is good for the business side of golf.

posted by danjel at 04:47 AM on January 14

I stated above that Michelle is good for the business side of golf. Although she did not make the cut at the Sony Open this week, she did not finish last. She was better than two players, David Chin and Abe Mariano. Chin and Mariano aren't exactly household names. I doubt there were many people buying tickets to the event or watching it on tv just to see them play.

posted by danjel at 05:04 AM on January 14

She obviously doesn't qualify for these tournaments, but rather the sponsers let her in to make $$$. Meanwhile, some man who has paid his dues, qualified for play, is for all practical purposes dumped so Wie can play instead. Sponsors give all kinds of exemptions. One is to give the public a player they want to see -- whether a prodigy like Wie or an older legend like Palmer -- to boost attendance, media coverage and TV ratings. All three of those things increase the pool of winnings available to dues-paying men.

posted by rcade at 07:41 AM on January 14

danjel, i completely agree with you. Bottom line here: businessmen want to make $$$, so if Wie gets them that, she will get in. I also realize that while this isn't her fault, it is still tough for the male players. I am not naive; i know that nothing will change the fact that some guys won't get to play as long as she is more profitable. I guess i was more lamenting than anything. Rcade, i see your point, but i guess for me the rub is that while they increase winnings for other players in the field, the players who are bumped off the event don't see a penny of that. That is the problem i have with it. Regarding having an older legend play, i guess that i would be consistent and say that i don't care for that either. I don't see why the pga doesn't relegate this type of stuff to charitable events or extra events outside of the tour that could still be for the golfer's profits. They probably already do this (like celebrity pairs), but i wish they wold keep it outside of the tour altogether.

posted by brainofdtrain at 10:56 AM on January 14

Bonds, Barbaro, and Wie. The trifecta. Grum, I agree, I always thought Sörenstam was cute.

posted by SummersEve at 06:10 AM on January 15

brainofdtrain - Wie getting an invite doesn't bump anyone off the bottom of the list. Each tournament is different, but the vast majority of them allocate spots in the field along the lines of (for example) top 150 players on the tour, plus five sponsor's invites. Wie getting one of those invites doesn't mean the 151st ranked player on the tour didn't get in. As rcade said, the invites are there for the sponsors to be able to attract media attention to their tournament and get exposure for their product. I'm pretty sure that is how it works - it's logical and it also explains why there has never once been any kind of outcry from the-guy-that-missed-out-on-playing-because-they-invited-Wie - and you just know the press would have loved to get hold of that guy (if he existed) and hear that outcry. They didn't because he doesn't exist. Her being there is only increasing prize funds and if it's at anyone's expense it's at the expense of a past champion or someone.

posted by JJ at 08:35 AM on January 15

I have defended Wie accepting exemptions for, and playing in, mens events in the past, but now I feel that she should not play in them until she has the game to at least have a realistic shot at making the cut. She is not doing herself, nor her own Tour, any favors by continuing to perform miserably in mens fields, and her post round comments Friday were incredibly lame. The novelty has worn off, and to see her struggle to break 80 is not good for her or the events she chooses to play in.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:44 AM on January 15

she sucks and gets uglier each year. That and the fact she has no short game, and apparently now no long game! Good! She is an insult to all the really talented female golfers like Anikka and Lorena Ochoa who go out and prove they are the best by WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS!!! Win something in the LPGA Michelle! Or get out!

posted by bluekarma at 05:58 PM on January 17

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