Grouchy Golf Blog

Sunday, August 06, 2006 at 8:42 PM

Michelle Wie Losing Was a Sure Bet

If you had heard about a 16-year-old boy who placed 3rd at the Masters, 5th at the U.S. Open and 3rd at the PGA Championship within the same year, you'd be pretty amazed wouldn't you?

Well that's the male-equivalent of what Michelle Wie accomplished this year. Unfortunately, has effectively numbed people to her achievements, no matter how impressive they may be. Some have even been critical. This kid could cure cancer while walking on water and it still wouldn't satisfy some people.

But sometimes, you can use such irrational expectations to your advantage. Earlier this year, my online bookie took action on the number of majors that Michelle Wie would win in 2006. The Wie hype actually convinced people that she could win majors already! While I think Michelle is a tremendous talent, I just think that it's too early for her to win in the big leagues, let alone the majors.

Back in February, my bookie offered 1-2 odds on Wie not winning any majors. That was just an offer too good to be true. In my mind, that was a guaranteed 50% return over about 6 months. With the stock market going sideways and the real estate market topping out, was there a better investment? I just wish that I had bet the farm instead of a measly 20 clams:

It just goes to show you that it pays to still listen to Public Enemy's classic, "Don't Believe the Hype!"

P.S. FYI, I've added the video of the to the original post. Enjoy!

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Blogger John B. said...

The one difference between Tiger and wie is in their development / upbringing in the sport.

Wie needs to learn how to win...and yes, you have to 'learn' how to win, how to pullit out in the end, how to finish it off. No doubt she has the talent to win, but she is still lacking the ability to mentally win, at least for now.

Tiger was allowed to come up through the amateur ranks, to win and dominate at that level. He probably could have played on the PGA tour sooner, but he was allowed to learn how to win and dominate at a lesser level...the mentality was instilled that he would dominate at every level he went to, and he eventually did.

Wie shoul have been given a year or two at a lesser amateur level to learn how to win, to acquire that killer instinct that could later be transferred and applied to the LPGA level.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reiterating what I said last week... winning is a skill every bit, if not more, as important as hitting certain shots. She should return to Amateur status, finish high school, play a couple of years of college golf and THEN, if she's winning at those levels, go for the tour. Has she won anything since age 13? I count it a fluke given her performance since. There are many great golfers but few great champions  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:
How could her being able to compete at the level she has, been a fluke? Just because she has not won yet, doesn't mean hse never will. To all those people that are critical of her...step in her shoes for one day! SHe has more talent at 16 than any of us will at any age...winning will come! Everyone follows a different path in life, maybe hers is not conventional, but does that make it wrong? BY THE WAY, HOW MANY TOURNAMENTS HAVE YOU WON?  


Blogger John B. said...

I never said that she won't win...she will eventually win her share. She willjust have a lot of 'competitive 2nds' until she acquires the mental instincts to beat and not just compete with the big girls.

Some of the most talented athletes in many sports don't win it all as often as theie talent indicates...they never learn how to win, don't get the winning confidence and attitude.

There is a difference between competing talent wise and actually winning, and then a difference in winning consistently. It is a mental edge rather than a physical edge.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many tournaments I have won is definitely not the point? I am not receiving millions of $$$ in endorsements based on hype.

Talent does not equal winning...

She should not be filling HER own shoes, the ones she's been sold are way too big for her right now.  


Blogger Miranda said...

She won the local qualifier for the US Open this year. Doesn't that count as a win? And as for learning to win - how much can she learn by beating amateurs? There's no way you can expect her to come so close to winning in the majors and then take a step back to play in the amateur ranks. If she takes a step back now, she will be labeled a quitter and everyone will be yammering on and on about that. Her only option is to continue on the path she's chosen and 'learn to win' there. She will become a tougher competitor by learning to win against the pros. And quite frankly, for someone of her talent to play against amateurs to get her wins is the easy way out.  


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