Grouchy Golf Blog

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 at 11:16 AM

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game!

The speculation about Michelle Wie turned into reality this morning as she announced her decision to turn professional. Already, I've read a lot of opinions about it. Interestingly, many of them are negative, especially on the golf message boards.

Quite frankly, it's a shame that people are so down on Michelle. Really, what has she done to draw such ire? Her public image is nice and pleasant. She's about as clean-cut as they come. She's a 15 year-old girl for crying out loud! People who bash a good-natured young girl who's a straight A student need to schedule some time with a therapist.

This is simply a girl who has big dreams - dreams of playing golf for a living. She's fortunate to realize those dreams at a young age and people hate her for it. It seems to me that much of the anti-Wie sentiment is rooted in jealousy and envy. If anything, these Wie-haters should redirect their animosity at the things surrounding Ms. Wie's pro announcement. While I don't think that it's deserved, go ahead and criticize Wie's parents, her agent, her sponsors, her coach, her dog, etc. - just don't hate on her.

Morgan "The Pouting" Pressel will have plenty to say about Wie turning pro. When asked about Wie's endorsement deals, Pressel exclaimed, "She's going to make something like $10 million? For what? For winning one tournament?!" This is just the latest in a long-running whine about Wie. At this year's U.S. Open, Wie shared the lead with Pressel after three rounds. After Pressel finished ahead of Wie, Pressel sounded off on Wie, "she's proven she can't win in pressure situations going into the final round...The biggest tournament in women's golf, she shoots 82...She falters at the end." When asked when Wie would join the LPGA, Pressel shot back, "Never. OK, maybe not never, but not as long as she wants to do her 'woo-woo' thing against the men." Meeyow!

But there are mature and intelligent individuals among Wie's peer group.

As Curtis Cup teammates, Paula Creamer became acquainted with Wie. "We are very good friends," Creamer said. "We have a lot in common. We both love golf and we are both young. We talk a lot, (but) on the golf course everybody is trying to beat everybody. It is all fun, I think, (but) for me I try to win."

When asked about Wie turning pro, Natalie Gulbis said, "I think it's very positive. The publicity that she [Wie] has gotten for herself and also gotten for the LPGA has been extremely positive because more people are talking about Michelle Wie in accordance with the LPGA. And she has raised the bar and also shown how much a female golfer can be paid from an endorsement standpoint."

Paula and Natalie are two of my favorite LPGA pros because they have great attitudes to accompany great games (OK, that's not the real reason I like Natalie). Together with Wie, the LPGA has nowhere to go but up. I know that I'll be watching.

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Blogger dave said...

Never sure what the negative ones are up to or why. I gave that up a few months ago.

I can only say it will make the LPGA tour more enjoyable for me.

I was excited when you first spoke of this and now it has happened. GREAT!

I still have fun trying to figure out what the little letters are in the word verification.  


Blogger Stacie said...

Good luck Michelle! I don't understand the negativity either. Maybe it's a jealousy thing. She could have a career ending injury tomorrow. Why not make the best of today?  


Blogger Miranda said...

I can't wait to see Michelle play on tour, LPGA or any other tour, it doesn't matter. The ones saying the negative things need to be careful. Sponsors don't like whiners like that. They like players who promote healthy positive images. Hopefully, Michelle and her people will take the high road and not respond to the criticism with words, but with exciting golf and victories.  


Blogger Golf Grouch said...

Great comments. Miranda, good point about the sponsors. I think Pressel will learn that lesson the hard way.

I thought it was nice that Wie pledged $500,000 to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Relief Fund. She sounds like a great kid to me.  


Anonymous Tom G said...

I'm still not convinced that Wie has been brought along properly (has she gotten a taste of victory enough?), but that isn't to say that I'm not extremely impressed with her and incredibly curious to watch her career unfold. I agree with the prevailing opinion that those who bash her are simply jealous, Pressel included.  


Blogger Evil Chasmodian said...

Tom said..."I'm still not convinced that Wie has been brought along properly (has she gotten a taste of victory enough?)"... HUH?? I guess Tiger and Wie have ruined it for everyone. If Tiger doesn't win a couple of majors in a season or if FIFTEEN YEAR OLD Wie doesn't take the Women's Open, they're slipping, not as good as we thought, lost their edge, don't know how to win, etc etc etc. CRAZY!!!

It amazes me that anyone could question Tiger's mojo or whatever they want to call it after a year or two where he didn't win the majors or Wie, who at FIFTEEN has shown that she will UNQUESTIONABLY be one of the more dominant players on the LPGA once she's got a few more seasons under her belt.

SHE HASN'T WON ENOUGH??? PEOPLE!! She's hanging with the world's best players and she CAN'T LEGALLY DRIVE A CAR!!!

It's a shame that players with the talent of Pressel cannot have some maturity to go along with their skill. She is OBVIOUSLY unable to handle the attention being given Wie (or other players) and quite frankly, if she cannot mature, I am not sure she'll do much damage on the tour. I have a hard time believing someone who's going to sit on the fringe, head in hand bawling over a bogey is going to be able to handle the pressure that's going to be applied by Wie, Creamer, Gulbis, Sorenstam, etc.

Michelle Wie (and others) playing with the boys once in a while will do good things for the LPGA (IMHO). I know it's certainly made me more likely to pause and watch some of their tournaments---if I can catch one being broadcast. I think it's PRESSEL who hasn't "been brought along correctly". Is no one teaching her how to act like an adult along with how to be a golf automaton??  


Blogger Bogey McDuff said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Grouch. Any pros or aspiring pros who say anything negative (such as Prickly Pressel) are speaking from jealousy. Tiger wasn't that popular with his peers early on, either. Then they all started seeing their bank accounts grow.  


Blogger The Complimenting Commenter said...

I think that was a great post about the whole situation. You come at it pretty objectively and note both sides. It'll be interesting to see how things go from here. Great job.  


Anonymous Tom G said...


I'm not saying she should have some Women's Opens and Men's PGA's under her belt. But I do think some victories in significant junior or amateur tournaments would round out her resume a bit. Don't get me wrong, I predict great great things for her, I'm just saying I think she could be a bit better prepared (yes, I'm splitting hairs, but sometimes its the little things that make the difference between a nice little career and an amazing one).  


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Blogger woundedduck said...

Now that Michelle has made her $10 mil, she doesn't need college to learn a trade to fall back on if golf doesn't work out--her retirement's in the bag. Even if her critics think her resume isn't up to snuff, it will be over the next five years, during which she'll probably make another $10 mil in endorsements. Only a fool would have remained amateur in her situation.  


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