Wie advanced easily last week to the final stages of the LPGA’s Q School, which will take place December 3-7 in Daytona Beach, Florida. She will be joined by the top 30 finishers from a second sectional tournament, to be played September 30-October 3 in Venice, Florida. The final qualifying field will also include current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their priority standing, and the 10 players finishing 6th through 15th on the 2008 Duramed FUTURES Tour season-ending money list.
Category Archives: Michelle Wie
Hmmm, maybe that Stanford education is starting to pay dividends. Could it be that Michelle Wie is actually making the right decision?
To try to earn her 2009 LPGA Tour card, Wie has entered the first stage of tour qualifying next week at Mission Hills Country Club
She should at least have a few good memories about the course because it’s where she played in the last group on Sunday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship . . . as an eighth-grader.
Note that even if Wie strikes out at Mission Hills, she can try again in Florida at the end of the month:
The top 30 players and ties [at Mission Hills] will advance to the LPGA final qualifying tournament December 3-7 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
They will be joined by the top 30 finishers from a second sectional tournament, to be played September 30-October 3 at Plantation Golf and Country Club’s Bobcat and Panther Courses in Venice, Florida.
The final qualifying field will also include current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their priority standing and the 10 players finishing 6th through 15th on the 2008 Duramed FUTURES Tour season-ending money list.
Sal Johnson lays it all out. Basically, she doesn’t have any–assuming she thinks things through rationally. Although let’s face it. It’s pretty clear that the real people calling the shots here are her parents (or specifically her father, B.J.), so perhaps the pleas should be directed towards them: Forget these sponsors exemptions. Forget playing the PGA Tour or random Asian Tour events. Focus solely on women’s golf. Go through Q School. And in the meantime, get a world class education at Stanford and have fun just growing as a young woman.
Johnson also (correctly) surmises that [commissioner] Carolyn Bivens and the LPGA have quite a vested interest in what Wie/the Wie’s decide.
No matter what, the LPGA could really use a figure like Wie. The Tour has a lot of dark clouds in the horizon, first in tournaments not being able to get sponsors, thus some are leaving the LPGA. On top of that it’s star base is also leaving, first with Annika Sorenstam retiring in a couple of months. The second is Lorena Ochoa, we hear that she is madly in love with a man and has hinted that marriage and a family will be in her future, look for her to possibly be gone in three to five years. That leaves players like Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis heading up the marquee list. Now Creamer has won three times this year, but the other two have struggled.
Another problem that is hurting the LPGA is winners from Asia that don’t have the appeal value that Michelle Wie has because of language barriers. Since the first of June, Asian’s have won seven of the ten events and this doesn’t help drive the LPGA bus in getting not only more fans interested but new sponsors and television networks. With the popularity of Wie, if she could get on tour and have success it would really help drive the LPGA in the same manner that Tiger Woods drove the PGA Tour in 1997. Just look at how much money the Tour earned in the Tiger era, network deals were fat and purses grew at the same time.
The minor difference between the pre-Tiger era and the current LPGA environment, however, is that the PGA Tour was never in the kind of dire financial straits that the LPGA currently finds itself. Simply put, the LPGA may need someone of Wie’s stature around if it hopes to maintain any form of relevance in the sports world, let alone “drive” the Tour in anywhere near the same manner that Woods did for the PGA.
It’s pretty much do or die time for Michelle Wie (death in this case being a trip to Q School, which I’d imagine isn’t quite as bad), whose exemptions have run out and whose play this week at the CN Canadian Women’s Open (assuming, of course, that she remembers to sign her scorecards!) will determine if she will get a 2009 LPGA card.
Wayne Scanlan wrote an interesting piece about Wie’s steadfast celebrity status on an otherwise “Which Kim is that again?” Tour.
Without winning a single LPGA tournament, Wie routinely outearns the top women in the game through endorsements.
Small wonder this six-foot beauty rubs so many golfers the wrong way. After a strong start in 2006, with six top-five finishes, Wie was set back by a wrist injury last season, after falling while running. This year, she has continued to struggle, finally piecing together three strong rounds at the State Farm Classic (67-65-67) last month, only to be disqualified after the third round for failing to sign her Round 2 scorecard. Wie was one shot off the lead when she was DQ’d.
Lori Kane, the Canadian veteran, says she hopes Wie will ultimately settle on the women’s tour. Fetching crowds.
“It’s unfortunate the way things have gone for Michelle in the last little while, but Michelle is a talent. We need that talent on our tour. I hope she can continue to be a kid at Stanford, and I’ll be selfish to say eventually become a good and important part of our tour.”
For the LPGA’s sake, “eventually” needs to happen soon. Like this weekend.
Michelle Wie’s 80 today leaves her far off the cut line, which continues to make the question of whether or not she’ll ever make a PGA cut apropos.
Well, at least that $20 million of William Morris negotiated sponsorship money got its wish. As did tournament director Michael Stearns. Right? Wrong. Apparently, both swing coach David Leadbetter and the William Morris Agency tried desperately to talk Wie out of the Reno event.
Thursday’s recap from Montreux, which is in Reno, not Switzerland.
Will Wie make the cut? Does anyone care?