Monday, August 03, 2009

For Michelle Wie, a big achievement

It may be six years since Michelle Wie has won a golf tournament but being invited to join the U.S. team for the Solheim Cup matches later this month is among her most impressive achievements.

For all Wie has -- a ton of talent, striking looks and the the potential to be an enormous star -- it hasn't been easy for her.

She brought much of it on herself, insisting on playing against the men when she hasn't been able to win on the LPGA Tour while seeming sometimes to care more about being a star than being the best player in the world. It hasn't helped that her parents have been more hands-on than they should have, particularly on the golf side of things.

Finally, though, Michelle Wie may be arriving.

She still hasn't won on the LPGA Tour and there are days when her golf game is ordinary but there seem to be more days when Wie seems on the verge of delivering on her potential. She may never be the game-changing player she imagined -- playing in the Masters, winning on the men's tour - but she's just 19.

Wie's putting has bedeviled her at times, costing her the handful of shots that make the difference in winning and finishing third. But, again, there's a tempation to fast-forward everything where Wie is concerned, in part because that's the way she's been presented to us.

When captain Beth Daniel made Wie one of her two captain's picks -- veteran Juli Inkster was the obvious other choice -- Daniel could back it up with Wie's solid resume this year. She has three top-3 finishes this year and was 13th in the points standings.

This could be a big moment off the golf course for Wie, as well. For years, she was viewed warily, a teen star jumping in and out of tour events, getting the diva treatment whether she asked for it or not. There was, it's fair to assume, some jealousy and animosity.

As a member of the American team, Wie becomes part of the circle. It will be interesting to see who Daniel pairs Wie with during the matches at Rich Harvest Farm in Illinois. Think putting Wie with Paula Creamer or Morgan Pressel would get some attention?

At a time when American women's professional golf is struggling, Michelle Wie may be just what it needs. Beth Daniel thinks so.


Anonymous said...

"striking looks"

You're kidding, right?

Anonymous said...

She was a captains pick...which (in this case) means she really doesn't deserve to be there, they will probably sell a few more tickets and maybe get some more tv viewers because of her. This does nothing to prove her on the golf course though. A great majority of good players on the LPGA tour are Asian and therfore not allowed to play the Solheim Cup which means she's FURTHER away from the top. Why can't writers just leave the Wie band-wagon alone?

tigie woodz said...

she's hot