Sept. 8 | 9:45 p.m. ET
My last entry on Michelle Wie prompted a lot of mail, and not much of it supports her quest to play on the PGA Tour before she’s won anything on the LPGA tour. Every time she doesn’t make a cut, or worse, finishes dead last, she not only loses credibility, she loses fans. The curiosity factor is fading fast, and once it disappears, she’s not going to be worth the money she’s being paid.
Here’s what some of you had to say:
C. W. of Prescott, Ariz:
I think there are some golfers who may be afraid she'll beat them. Insecurity. Let her play, and best of luck to her.
Lane of San Pedro Sula, Honduras:
The problem with Wie is she is too young to see her own shortcomings. Example of that is she is not good enough to play with the big boys and maybe not good enough to play with the big girls ... I played my best golf when I played with guys that were better than me, but I often wanted to play with someone I could beat.
Kevin of Salisbury, N.C.:
Yeah, why doesn't she stop trying to make it on the PGA tour when she can't even win on the LPGA tour? I mean come on. She is a Poster Child for multi-million dollar companies.
Roy of Newport News, Va.:
When she decides to move to the women’s tour it will show that she is growing up. She definitely is talented, but all this hype may be generating revenue for her sponsors and not really of any help to her. The sooner she plays where she can exhibit her talent the better for her.
Ginette of Columbia, Md.:
Is Michelle trying to tell us something? "Want to be a boy!!!” . . . I wish the sponsors, the parents would allow the child to be one, adulthood is close and hard enough. We are all contributing to Michelle ever so inflated ego (including me). Look at that face (Picture in the story) the poor thing looks like she could use a mother's hug. It's sad how we forget so quickly (Capriati, burnout) This young lady has great talent, let her cultivate it, enjoy it.
Joe C. of San Diego:
Tell her she needs to win women's tourneys like Sorenstam does, and then she will be ready to make a run in the men's events.
Bret of Olive Branch, Miss.:
I'll make this short and sweet. NO win means no average fan cares. The novelty of Wie has worn off because she doesn't win. At this point I'd rather watch two mules fight over a turnip, at least one of them would WIN!!
Pat of Roseburg, Oreg.:
What gives her the right to play in men’s tournaments? Michelle has done NOTHING on the LPGA level, and yes I'm aware she is only 16. I believe you should earn the right to play in the men’s tournaments. By playing these tournaments, she is taking the place of someone who may have earned the right to be there. Sponsors should not decide who plays and who doesn't.
Ed of Burkesville, Ky.:
Send her home to grow up. Then in a few years let her EARN her way to the top ... I for one am sick of seeing so much of her inadequacies when I could be watching far better players.
Steve of Newbury Park, Calif.:
For Michelle to stink up the course, and then say, "I want to play on the Ryder cup" makes her look like a silly little schoolgirl (oops, I guess she is).
Michael of Harrisburg, Pa.:
You're all wet. Wie IS a sideshow attraction and welcomes every moment of it whenever she picks up a club. How else could you EVER possibly explain WHY she wants to play against the men? ... "I'm doing it for my own self happiness" ??? What sort of trivial self-serving trash is that? Michelle Wie is nothing more than a kid who thinks it's cool to strut her stuff in front of so many "adoring" media types, feeding them her self-entitlement crap by the spoonful and laughing all the way to the bank!
S. W. of Maquoketa, Iowa
I feel the pros who think she has no business in the men's tournaments are probably scared she might one day beat them. Gentlemen check your ego's at the locker room door. Golf is a great game and the word Macho died in the 80's.
John of Dunedin, New Zealand:
Should Michelle Wie eventually make the cut in a PGA event, would her supporters then say she is the equal of Babe Zaharias?
Chris of London, England:
I think your being totally sexist.
C. Williams of Florence, S.C.
This whole Michelle Wie thing is a JOKE !!! She's no different from Anna Kournikova. Both have gotten so much hype and haven't won jack ... I can see Sorenstam playing against men, she's EARNED it! It has been GIVEN to Wie.
Jerry of Queens, N.Y.:
It's really really tragic the way her career is handled. . .
John of Pittsburgh, Pa.:
If she were a 16-year-old boy she would be on the cover of Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated & a Wheaties box at the same time.
Hoang of Chandler, Ariz.:
Wie just needs to read your last 2 sentences: "She just wants to have fun. The system just wants her blood." ... then send you a big thank you note. This is the best warning "advice" ever for her career.
Richard of Aurora, Colo.:
It's not Wie as much as it’s her parents’ myopic viewpoint. The kid should be allowed to mature - rather than rushing her into the adult world.
Sept. 5 | 11:30 p.m. ET
I was going to start this by saying people should just leave Michelle Wie alone. But I realize that would make her sponsors, who are paying her as much as $10 million a year to be made a fuss over everywhere she goes. So I figured I may as well help her earn her keep.
She’s in Switzerland getting ready to play in the European Masters — a men’s event. For some reason, some people still think she doesn’t have a right to play with the men, so they ask her about it. Her answers aren’t terribly deep, but they don’t have to be. If someone offers a spot, why shouldn’t she take it? She loves golf and loves playing at the highest level. It’s like a Class A ballplayer getting asked if he wants to play for the Yankees, even if he’s not ready for that assignment. Is he going to say, “No, thank you”? I don’t think so.
This is what she told the European media Monday: “There are going to be people that support me and others that don’t but I feel people here have been very supportive and welcoming. I am not just doing it for the support I get, I am doing it for myself and my own self-happiness. I love playing men’s events and the challenge. I feel an adrenaline rush when I play these events and it is a lot of fun.”
So there you have it. Like Cyndi Lauper, this girl just wants to have fun.
She said that the most fun thing to do would be to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, which is preparing to do battle in Ireland with their European counterparts. She actually thinks that being one of the top 12 golfers in America and qualifying is possible.
Of course, to do that she’ll need to make a cut one day, something she’s done in a men’s event only once, in Japan. And she’ll have to win a professional tournament, something she’s never done. But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming — especially if it gets her name out there and sells those products.
I guess that’s always been my problem — she’s not being paid to win but to be something of a sideshow attraction. She’s just 16 going on 17 next month, and she’s cute and talented and reasonably articulate as athletes go. Her quest to play on the men’s tour and now make the Ryder Cup Team (Next week, at the 84 Lumber event she’s playing in stateside, the quest will probably expand to win the men’s Grand Slam.) generates headlines and attention. It’s a lot like the way Andre Agassi’s career began — all image, no results.
Agassi turned out all right, and few players have been more beloved than the man who bowed out of his final tournament, the U.S. Open, just the other day. I hope Wie will, too.
Just the same, I worry about her. The system is generous to cute young prodigies. But if you don’t win, it can turn on you in a hurry. I’d hate to see her chewed up and spat out and have nothing to show for it but a string of things she tried to do but didn’t.
In her golf game, time is on her side. She’s incredibly talented and has come close to winning major women’s events. If she doesn’t get sidetracked, she should be a presence on that tour for years to come — if she wants to be. Even now, without ever having won a tournament, she’s ranked seventh in the world by the LPGA.
Her best chance is to be allowed to develop without the pressure. But that’s not going to happen. She — or her father — made her deal and now she’s got to live with it. She just wants to have fun. The system just wants her blood.