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Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Comes Early for the LPGA

Well, I tried to stay up late and get the scores for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament. Friday came early in Malaysia, but not early enough for me! It's nearly 2am as I'm writing this, so I'm going to have to give up and go to bed.

But I can let you know (before the tape-delay coverage comes on Golf Channel at noon today) that this isn't shaping up to be the big battle we all expected.

I thought maybe Laura Davies would have a good chance at this tournament. She's played well overseas this year and since she only needs one major or two regular LPGA wins to get into the World Golf Hall of Fame, this seemed a prime week for her -- a 54-hole tournament in her back yard, with only 60 players to contend. Instead, it looks like she'll finish her first round +2, which isn't good with only two rounds left.

How about the race for #1 among the Top 5 in the Rolex World Rankings? Petterson's at -1; and Shin, Tseng, Miyazato, and Kerr all sit at +1. The leader is currently at -5 and the Top 5 are only 9-11 holes into their rounds, but they're going the wrong way.

Perhaps the big surprise here is Michelle Wie. Only 10 holes into her round, she sits at a bogey-free -4. (Not bad for a part-time golfer!) The other players around the lead are nearly finished. Less than half the field is at even or better; about a third are under par.

And there are big numbers out there. The worst I've seen hammered amateur Diana Tham, who carded a 12 at the par-5 12th. Ugh!

I'll be interested to see the TV broadcast just to see whether these scores are a function of bad weather or jet lag. But one thing's for sure... Saturday probably won't come soon enough for most of the ladies.


  1. I don't suppose Tham just read the card wrong and thought it was the par 12 5th ? (naaah) One of those holes you just have to laugh and let go or it will ruin your day.

    Michelle Wie...a part time golfer ? She's in school during the off season and practices all the time. I still really doubt her multi-million dollar sponsors are happy with her decision to not put more effort into her career instead of taking remedial English classes for 6 or 7 years. She's a house divided.

  2. Unfortunately for Tham, it didn't matter how she dealt with it... it ruined her day either way. That's rough for an amateur.

    I can't believe I'm put in the position of defending Michelle Wie, but I'm going to give it a shot:

    I agree she's played almost as many tournaments as, say, Cristie Kerr. However, Leadbetter says she isn't practicing all the time; she is doing schoolwork. And while the "remedial English class" joke is cute, you know as well as I do that she's not at Stanford on a sports scholarship, so she actually has to take a valid course load and keep up her grades. At least give her that much respect.

    As tired as everybody got hearing how Michelle was going to be the savior of the LPGA, the fact is that she got derailed by making a typical golfer's mistake -- she tried to play through some injuries when she should have just taken time off to heal. Between the injury time and the swing compensations she had to unlearn, she probably lost two full years... as well as having to put up with constant criticism from the media. You remember how sensitive you were as a teen; imagine having every criticism of you broadcast internationally on the internet! All things considered, I think Michelle has dealt with it better than most players. (Think about Sergio, and he's nearly ten years older.)

    For me it comes down to this: I think Michelle has actually chosen a smart path. Living your teen years in the limelight will screw up anybody's life, but she's decided she's going to enjoy being who she is and in maybe five years I think people will have a very positive view of her career direction.

    Admit it: You're just jealous 'cause she got a new Kia Soul out of the deal and you didn't. ;-)

  3. Constant criticism from the media ? WHAT criticism ? She was everybody's little darling. If you said something negative about her, you were immediately put in the "mean ol' white man" bin and dismissed. Even when she was in incredible brat, or putting herself above the rules, or (gag) doing an interview (I would rather listen to the worst English speaking Korean than Wie) - she was untouchable.

    She makes claims that she is a junior at Stanford - there is no way. A third year student isn't automatically a junior - you have to have a certain number of credit hours to move up that ladder. She goes for 2 of 3 quarters in the regular school year - and takes a lot of weeks off to play tournaments. There is no way a "regular student" gets away with that at a school like Stanford. Not with a full load.

    Wie is a cash cow to Stanford. They will let her do whatever she wants as far as a class load goes, and eventually she will be given a degree of some sort. (I'd guess art history) Eventually, she'll be writing big alumnus checks to the school. But for now, you can bet that there are a lot of professors cringing every time she opens her mouth.

    She made her choices - and she takes none of the blame for her actions. She lied her way through her teen years - then took all the money - then decided to behave like some spoiled rich kid (which she is) and ignore her responsibilities to the companies that are spending millions of dollars on her.

    She's SUPPOSED to be a professional golfer - not a part time student and part time golfer. She made the choice. She got into Stanford as a legacy - no way she got in on her own merits academically. The kid is dumb as a box of rocks.

    Personal opinion - she is an embarrassment to the word "professional", and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that a lot of her sponsors are wishing they hadn't signed her for so much money since she isn't as focused on her "career" as she should be. They didn't give her all that cash so she could relive her teen years - she's supposed to be representing those companies in the limelight on the golf course.

    And that Kia Soul is a pretty cool little car - but I'm guessing they had to modify one for her because you can't get a set of clubs in there sideways ! :-)

  4. (putting on my most sincere Dr. Phil face): "Now, Court, I'm sensing some hostility here. I think you just need to take a couple of deep breaths, give yourself a big hug, and remember that you don't need to flunk out of school to party 'til ya puke." ;-)

    Ok, the last bit came from the Dr. Phil quote generator at:

    in case you're interested. It's a very useful thing to have.

    (I agree with you about the interviews, though. Michelle really does need to learn how to use periods when she speaks.)

  5. LMAO ! Dr Phil quote generator. That's hilarious.