What the hell is Michelle Wie’s problem? I mean who the hell does she think she is?
Wie ended the day at two under par in the (Men’s) US Open qualifier; good enough to be locked up at a massive tie in the 13th spot (one more struck and she’d be tied for 34th). Just so you know, the top 18 will qualify to play in the 2006 US Open; perhaps the most prestigious of all PGA Majors (The Master not included). This, by all accounts, should be a good thing; so what’s my beef?
I have a problem with Michelle Wie for a couple of reasons; the most important one being that she has yet to prove herself on the LPGA Tour. I realize that Wie is phenomenal talent; the kind of golfer that comes around once in a lifetime. She has the stature and body of a 26 year old; and she doesn’t come across as a 16 year old in interviews either (would it be inappropriate to say that I find her attractive?). She recently won the lottery when she decided to go pro. She signed a million dollar Nike endorsement deal and, regardless if she ever wins a professional tournament in her lifetime, she will be set (financially speaking) for life.
Unlike the male counterpart that most people think of when Wie’s name is mentioned, Tiger Woods, Wie has never once won a tournament on an amateur level (she’s been trying to qualify for and playing in professional men and women’s events since she was 14). Tiger Woods did the exact opposite. He dominated the amateur and college circuits for years before turning pro. I wonder how that worked out for him.
Michelle Wie is akin to a circus sideshow. She shows up at all these PGA events and makes a big scene. She’s the bearded woman; not as talented as the acrobats but more bizarre, so she draws more spectators. Many (lesser) tournaments simply allow her an exemption; taking away the spot of a hardworking unknown professional man (who makes a small fraction of what Wie makes). Is this fair? Probably not, but who’s going to stop it.
Michelle Wie has become a machine; a true lesson in attrition. She is the Kournikova of the PGA and LPGA (only younger with a bigger upside; just not as sexy but that has nothing to do with anything and is really more of a personal preference anyway). Wie is attractive, marketable and extremely young (by golf standards, she is still in the incubation stage). She has the chance at doing something that has never been done since the days of Babe Zaharias in the 1930’s: hang with the boys.
I just think Wie should beat the women first; is that too much to ask?