Why Michelle Wie is ahead of schedule

mulligan, 31 July 2006, Comments Off on Why Michelle Wie is ahead of schedule
Categories: Uncategorized

So Michelle Wie finished second–again. But look whom she finished second to, the hottest female golfer this year, Karrie Webb, who has already won three tournaments, including another major. To get chased down by Karrie Webb, particularly this year, is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s just another lesson for the 16 year old phenom playing again in the last group on Sunday of a big tournament.

The way I see it, Michelle Wie is well ahead of schedule. Why? Because she’s 16 years old, and when compared to the closest thing to a peer she has on the LPGA tour, she’s head and shoulders above the competition.

Just compare Michelle to the other teen phenom on tour, 18 year old Morgan Pressel. Morgan has played in 14 tourneys this year, with only 4 Top 10 finishes and no finish better than tied for 5th. Her worst finishes include 2 missed cuts, and tied for 60th, 69th, and most recently, a tied for 54th at the Jamie Farr.

Michelle Wie hasn’t missed a single cut on the LPGA tour, and because she’s under 18, the LPGA does not allow her to play the full number of events. At the majors, she tied for 3rd (finishing one back) at the Kraft Nabisco (beating Pressel by 9 strokes), 5th at the LPGA Championship (beating Pressel by 15 shots), and 3rd (finishing two back) at the Women’s U.S. Open (beating Pressel by 14 shots). She finished 1 back and tied for 3rd at her first LPGA event at the Fields Open (beating Pressel by 5 strokes).

Maybe it’s unfair to compare Wie to Pressel. But Pressel was the No. 1 women’s amateur in 2005, having won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the AJGA Player of the Year (and a total of 11 AJGA events over her junior career). Pressel has “learned how to win” as a junior, but all of the young guns are finding it much more difficult on the LPGA tour.

Morgan’s time will come. But so will Michelle’s. And when Michelle’s does, she could dominate the LPGA tour like no other has before.


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