How Good Is Michelle Wie?

I keep hearing male sportswriters put the knock on Michelle Wie because she hasn’t won any tournaments.

But she finished in a tie for third at the Women’s Open yesterday, and that gives her six top 5 finishes in her 11 majors.

So how good is that? I think it’s amazing. She 16 and inexperienced and doesn’t yet have her top game yet. The question, I guess, is how many others on the womens tour have had that many top 5 finishes in the past 11 majors? Put her into perspective.

She’s a phenomenal golfer.
And incredibly hot as well.
(Too bad she’s between my 2 daughters’ ages!)

I don’t understand why folks say she should “learn to win” on the amateur tour.
If she played the LPGA tour regularly, she’d already have a couple of wins.

Golf is such an interesting game. Even the top players lose (Tiger missed the cut for the US Open) and I think Wie is pushing herself too far too fast. She’s pro now, let her stretch her legs on the LPGA before trying to horn in on the PGA.

I heard somewhere that golf is the only sport where the players don’t use steroids, but the equipment does. :smiley:

I would say that she is right now the second best female golfer in the world. At the three majors this year, she has lost by 1, 2, and 2 strokes. I think people would only rank her lower because she “doesn’t know how to win”, and they don’t consider several high finishes to be as impressive as a single win.

I dunno about Michelle Wie, but I do know you don’t mess with Adam We.

OK, you stumped me.

Are there any stats about results in majors that would answer my question about how well Wie ranks against others in majors?

She’s a golfer of tremendous potential, buit it has to be remembered that she’s still growing, and will need to be truly assessed when she’s full time on the tour and has built up a record of wins. At some point in time, her relationship with her father will need to change, and that will present some kind of a cross-roads for Michelle. My guess is that she’s good enough to go a long way, but the acid test, as others have pointed out, is whether she has the necessary mental strength to overcome bad breaks and grind out wins.

“My name isn’t ‘Adam We’. Or is it? Who is this, how did you get this number?
Haha…Nobody messes with Adam We.”

It’s a reference to a line from Family Guy.

She’s very good, and has great potential… though as Casey Stengel liked tosay, “Potential is a Latin word meaning you haven’t DONE it yet.”

As for the OP… maybe some sportswriters have criticized her, but mostly, she’s gotten fawning press. She’s been treated as a much bigger story than she is, solely because she wants to play against the men. That makes her a freak show more than a golfer, in my opinion.

Now, I concede- if I were a sponsor of a minor PGA tournament, I’d DEFINITELY give her an exemption for the same reason I’d give Michael Jordan and Alice Cooper exemptions: they’d bring attention, spectators and TV viewers to my dinky tournament.

But my feeling is this: Annika Sorenstam has clearly established herself as the greatest female golfer ever, She has proven EVERYTHING a woman can possibly prove on the LPGA tour. So, at this point, if Annika wanted to step up and try her luck against the men, I’d say “Go for it- you’ve earned the right to try.”

Thus far, Michelle Wie hasn’t proven anything. She hasn’t (yet) proven herself on the LPGA tour. I think she has an obligation to do that before jumping into the men’s tour.

You know she did that already? Played pretty well too, IIRC. Almost made the cut.

2003 Colonial

I know she did, but that was a one-time thing. She clearly had no intention of playing regularly on the men’s tour.

I merely say that if ANY woman has earned the right to move to the next level, Annika has. But Annika hasn’t tried to play in a men’s tournament again. She didn’t embarrass herself by any means. She played respectably. But I think she knows that, if she couldn’t make the cut on THAT course (which was tailor made for her strengths), she wasn’t likely to be a contender anywhere.

I think the same is true of Michelle Wie. However, I recall something Justin Leonard once said- back when he was a high school and college player, he was given exemptions to play in some PGA tournaments, and he says that, while he never made a cut in any of them, he’d find himself at high school or college tournaments the following week thinking, “Man… I can’t believe how EASY this is!”

I don’t see Michelle Wie making any kind of splash on the men’s tour… but even if she never makes a cut, playing with the men may very well make her a stronger player on the women’s tour.

You guys and your logic. Come on.

Anna Kournikova isn’t a star because of her stats. She’s hot.

Michelle Wie isn’t a star because of her stats. She’s hot.

Guys watch golf. Guys like hot young chicks. Lots of guys like hot, young Asian chicks.

Apparently there is some amount of “golfing” involved. Let’s let them blather on about that, shall we?

Gabrielle Reese was the best female volleyball player ever. And so forth.

The results are excellent. What the experts are asking, basically, is “can she make the transition from phenom, where her achievements are always relative to her age, to a champion golfer?” One win would be more impressive than a bunch of second- and third-place finishes. If she comes in second, it’s great because she’s only 16. Wins speak for themselves.

Skip Bayless just did a column about that. I’m not a big golf fan, but I thought he made some really good points.

I for one and shocked, shocked by such statements. And not just because I think that hot young Danica Patrick is the best race car driver, or Lauren Jackson is the best women’s basketball player, or …

On second thought, nevermind. It’s a fair cop. :smiley:

You’re absolutely right. I rank her lower because I don’t consider several high finishes to be as impressive as a single win. If she burns out before ever racking up a win, I’ll roll my eyes every time someone calls her a “has-been” rather than a “never-was”.

In an effort to try to answer the OP, here are some very quick stats from the majors this year, with Wie and the three major winners:

              US Open       Nabisco       LPGA Champ.    Total   Avg. Finish

Wie           +2 (T3)       -8 (T3)       -6 (T5)        -12      3.7
Annika        E (1)         -2 (T6)       -5 (T9)         -7      5.3
Karrie Webb   +15 (T37)     -9 (1)        -8 (2)          -2     13.3
Se Ri Pak     +2 (T3)       +10 (T45)     -8 (1)           E     16.0

Average finish is a fairly useless stat really. Probably a better one would be total prize money. In any case it’s a bit strange that Wie looks like the most consistent player, which is not usually how you think of younger players playing.

She just turned 16. She placed in the top 5 in the last three majors. She’s got some putting woes, but that could just be her downfall.

Like John Daly and how, if his control is on, he can dominate any given weekend, if Michelle Wie’s putting gets hot for a weekend, she will win. She’ll also win much sooner, rather than later.

She’s also a relatively witty little thing as well. She poked fun at an interviewer when she missed the cut in the Sony recently.

She’s still in high school and isn’t playing a full schedule. Therefore, any and all moronic blatherings about “disappointment” and “not playing to her potential” have absolutely no merit and should be completley disregarded.

Can’t play with the big boys? Hasn’t proven anything yet? What-freakin’-ever. If she still hasn’t won anything at 30, maybe I’ll be a bit concerned. Getting on a high schooler’s case about not winning an LPGA tournament is like harping on a college basketball prospect for not having any NBA rings.

Good lord. Doesn’t anyone at all remember what it was like to be 16? The constant pressure from virtually every aspect of life, all the changes, all the commitments, all the strange new rules. And she’s not only making cuts, she’s getting top 5 finishes. Don’t start that “winning is everything” garbage with me. The measure of a champion is how he (or she) does the rest of the time. There’s a reason nobody’s talked about Ian Baker-Finch in ages. She recently finished tied for third…third…in one of the toughest tournaments in the world. I don’t care whose side your on, that’s pretty phenomenal.

I suppose I could rip on the various parts of her game that need improvement, but I always remember that she’s, oh, still in high school and not playing a full schedule yet, and she has all the time in the world to work on her game, and I could barely deal with a pep rally when I was 16, much less one of the four most important golf tournaments in the whole bleedin’ world, and as far as I’m concerned, anyone at all who feels the need to tear her down for any reason has absolutely no damn life whatsoever.

No. No argument. Not this time. Screw it. I’m getting nauseous just writing this post.

(Just to keep this in perspective, I can’t stand all the hype, either. For the same reasons.)

The argument is that her handlers have been setting her up for failure since she was 13, and they continue to do so.

Also, being 16 doesn’t mean you must be fragile. Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon at 17, for example.

That last sentence is a bit over the top, as Wie is an actual pro, full schedule or not. But the rest of the paragraph is spot on. How long did it take Phil Mickelson to win a major? (Of course, he won his fair share of non-major tournaments, but I think there’s still a correlation to be drawn.)

The what now? That statement needs some serious qualifiers. Wie failed to even qualify for the toughest tournament in the world it, much less finish 3rd.

Her mechanics seem to be mostly fine; the issue is her mental toughness. I [post=4110814]complained on this board years ago[/post] that she was being set up for failure, and sadly my words have so far seemed to have come true. Hopefully, she’ll get things turned around.

And was anybody other than me more than a little creeped out by the ancient craggly-faced Skip Bayless droning on and on about how hot the 16 year old Wie is? (From the article linked upthread.) Take a cold shower already!