Michelle Wie disses David Leadbetter

mulligan, 30 May 2007, Comments Off on Michelle Wie disses David Leadbetter
Categories: wie

As we reported earlier, David Leadbetter said Michelle Wie won’t play any more PGA events this year. Later, Michelle Wie agreed to play the John Deere Classic again this year (see here).

Well, today, Michelle Wie said, “I don’t think my coach is the person who could talk about what events I’m going to play in. He got misquoted. I learn so much from playing with the men. I’m going to do it as long as I enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, Retief Goosen offered his thoughts: “We all know with her playing in the men’s events that she is not going to get anywhere, so I’m not really sure what she is trying to achieve. If she thinks it is helping her development then fine, but so far I think it has been damaging to her game.”

UPDATE: A couple commenters have accused me of taking Michelle Wie’s comment out of context. I’m only reporting what the press is reporting, and I wasn’t at the interview. But the quotes from Michelle Wie really don’t seem to give much credit to David Leadbetter at all. I’ve found a fuller account from Wie below:

“He got misquoted in the media,” Wie explained. “I don’t think he was represented the way he wanted to. He knows definitely what’s going on my life. I keep him updated. Call him almost every week… It was unfortunate that he was misquoted. I don’t think it was his or anyone’s fault. If you have any questions it should be directed to my manager or my parents or my publicist or me. I don’t think my coach is the person that would talk about what events I’m going to play in.” (here)

Do you think Leadbetter really was misquoted? Here’s what the guy said: “”She hasn’t got any PGA Tour events planned at the moment. She’s going to commit herself to the LPGA and play a number of events, and next year she’ll probably take up membership. She just needs to get her confidence going and just go play. Now is the time to establish herself. My feelings are that if she plays week in and week out on the LPGA, she would win eight or nine times a year. She has the potential to be that good, so why not, if you want to fulfill your potential. Playing the 84 Lumber (in Pennsylvania) was just crazy. The course was 7,500 yards and wet. Talk about horses for courses. If I was a horse, I would have withdrawn. The thing I’ve tried to explain to (Wie and her parents) is that you have to work your way up the ladder. It’s all well and good to play a couple of (men’s) events as a novelty, now let’s look at a long-term plan.

This is more than just Leadbetter not knowing Michelle’s playing schedule, this is a fundamental difference in philosophy and strategy — whether Michelle should play full time on the LPGA tour, or whether she wants to continue to play on the PGA tour as a “novelty.”


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