redux: Tiger and John Daly support Michelle Wie

mulligan, 30 June 2005, Comments Off on redux: Tiger and John Daly support Michelle Wie
Categories: Uncategorized

Both Tiger Woods and John Daly support Michelle Wie’s decision to play on a sponsor’s exemption at the John Deere Classic in 2 weeks with the men. Todd Hamilton expressed some question about the wisdom of Michelle playing men’s events, though. Story by The Golf Channel here.

Someone should tell that guy named “Big Dog” on the 19th Hole on The Golf Channel, who questions at every moment he can Michelle’s decision not to stick to junior events. Look, Big Dog, we know your opinion. Move on to other topics. Frankly, I’ll trust the advice of David Leadbetter (Michelle’s coach) over yours anyday. And the advice of Natalie Gulbis is not so bad, either.

UPDATE: Bob Harig has an article on discussing the question on Michelle Wie. Harig believes that Wie should stick to amateur events, where she will be a prohibitive favorite and be subject to other young players who are gunning to bring her down. Under Harig’s approach, “Go out every day facing an opponent who wants nothing more than to beat you … now that’s pressure. And it will only help Wie in the future.”

It’s a very thoughtful article and I love to read Harig’s writing, but I respectfully disagree. My point is not necessarily that Michelle’s current approach is the right way. I agree with Natalie Gulbis that there is no one “right way” of doing things: each person has to make the decision for herself, in consultation with her coach and support group. Any approach could backfire; every approach can be second guessed. We never know ahead of time. What happens if Michelle sticks to amateur events and loses a couple events to some unknown players due to the enormous expectations that Michelle should dominate those events? Might successive losses at amatuer events you are expected to win cause more loss to your confidence than placing second or in the Top 10 at LPGA events, where you are not necessarily expected to win?

People will point to Michelle’s 82 in the final round as evidence that she needs to stick to amateur events. But, hey, if Retief Goosen and Ernie Els can shoot over 80 in U.S. Opens, why do we expect a 15-year-old won’t? And, if Annika Sorenstam can shoot +12 at the U.S. Open, why are people clamoring so much about Michelle Wie shooting +12 at the same open? No golfer is immune from bad play or bad shots, even if they “learned how to win” before. Just ask Lorena Ochoa, Nancy Lopez, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, and every top tour golfer out there about the 1 shot that they would’ve liked a mulligan in a major.


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