June 24, 2003

13-year-old Michelle Wie youngest player ever to win an adult USGA event.: How long before this 5' 11", 300-yd-driving prodigy gives Annika a run for the money? (In two weeks, at the Women's U.S. Open.) How long before she kicks Vijay's ass? (Looks like he's already a fan.)
She's next in my "13-year-old prodigies to watch" list, after Freddy Adu.

posted by worldcup2002 to golf at 12:10 AM - 15 comments

Here locally, we're very proud of Michelle. The main hope is that she is allowed to live a well rounded and balanced life. So far, it seems her parents aren't crossing the line as far as fanatic or overbearing. If she retains her interest, she has nearly unlimited potential. I wish her well.

posted by Scottymac at 02:37 AM on June 24, 2003

According to the fellas on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, she has no intention of giving Annika a run for the money; she's going to Q School for her PGA Tour card right out of college.

posted by yerfatma at 06:06 AM on June 24, 2003

she's going to Q School for her PGA Tour card right out of college. Good for her. If she qualifies, it'll definitely be a momentus occassion in the world of golf, much like the "arrival" of Tiger Woods.

posted by grum@work at 06:44 AM on June 24, 2003

According to the fellas on Pardon the Interruption... she's going to Q School for her PGA Tour card right out of college. Holy smokes. Is this credible? Did they have a quote from her on that or are they speculating? Even if she's good enough to Q and play on the men's tour, I'm sure doing so will cost her millions and millions of dollars annually in prize money. The endorsements will make up for it, and maybe she has pioneering spirit...but I would think that her ultimate goal would be to win majors, which she won't do on the men's tour.

posted by vito90 at 08:58 AM on June 24, 2003

Man, maybe all of this genetically altered food and force fed farm animals will produce a newer, better, faster generation. And never say never, vito. If she's hitting 300 yards with any accuracy at the age of 13, then who knows where she'll be after she finishes puberty and can build up some serious muscle to go along with a honed swing. I say go for Q school (a term I'd never really heard until the whole Annika thing).

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:20 AM on June 24, 2003

Michelle Wie's idol is Tiger Woods and not Annika Sorenstam. Michelle Wie doesn't want to become the next Annika. For her, that is a goal that is not much of a challenge. In fact, she is almost expected to become the next Annika... the golf world would be disappointed if she didn't dominate the LPGA. And this is a girl that is not playing golf for the money right now... read articles and interviews and you can quickly see that she loves the game of golf. Michelle Wie is looking to become the next Tiger Woods... and she's only 13 years old. Her game is only going to get better. Give her 10 years (since she plans on going to college)... at the age of 23, I would not be surprised if she's sitting on the leaderboard with the likes to Tiger Woods.

posted by jhwoo82 at 09:40 AM on June 24, 2003

Michelle Wie doesn't want to become the next Annika. For her, that is a goal that is not much of a challenge. Maybe so, but as of right now, Wie can't hold Annika's bra strap. If she is really as dismissive of Annika's accomplishments as this makes it sounds like, there is nowhere for her to go but down. Annika = 2003 OVERVIEW Starts: 8 Top 10: 8 Victories: 3 Earnings: $1,044,446.00 Wie = 2003 OVERVIEW Starts: 2 Top 10: 1 (tied for 33rd in the other) Victories: 0 Earnings: unknown Remember when Harold Minor was going to be the next Michael Jordan? We all know she's good, and likely going to get better, but don't start throwing her trophies just yet.

posted by vito90 at 10:11 AM on June 24, 2003

vito, vito, vito: How old is Michelle? And how old is Annika? How long has Annika been playing pro golf? And, um, how long has it been since Michelle graduated from Toys'R'Us clubs? If the numbers weren't as you'd shown them, then I'd be surprised. On to the U.S. Women's Open!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:15 PM on June 24, 2003

worldcup2002 - aHA! You took my bait! Her age is exactly my point. Everybody seems ready to anoint her the: "prodigy [who] gives Annika a run for the money" as "she [goes] to Q School for her PGA Tour card right out of college" and "she is almost expected to become the next Annika" and her success in Q School will be "a momentus occassion in the world of golf, much like the "arrival" of Tiger Woods" which is appropriate since she is "looking to become the next Tiger Woods"! My point is, hey, why don't we settle down and see how she does against her own gender first! Q School and the men's tour isn't going anywhere, they'll be there for her when she's 21, 25, 31, etc. The road to having notoriety more for being a better play-by-play or color commentator and not an actual performer is littered with the likes of youngsters who made unneccesary leaps before they were ready. Conquer the women first, then take on the men.

posted by vito90 at 02:43 PM on June 24, 2003

Well put, vito. But I still want to see her kickin' some ass, kickin' some ass.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:40 PM on June 24, 2003

Does she need to conquer the women before she even entertains the idea of playing with men? Says who? Basically, what you're saying is that since she happens to be a girl, she needs to be able to beat the other girls before she takes on the men. At the end of the day, golf is golf. If she can compete on the men's tour at her age or any age, why shouldn't she be able to compete with whomever she wishes? Would things be different if Michelle Wie was a guy who wanted to compete in the PGA?

posted by jhwoo82 at 05:57 PM on June 24, 2003

Well, yeah. Yeah it would. That's the whole point. Everyone's suprised that she's such a good golfer at age 13, but also because she's a girl. In a perfect world we wouldn't be wowed by the last part, but in our world generally men are better than women at golf (at least at the highest levels), so she's going to have to kick some ass playing against women before she gets a shot in the men's league. Maybe it's not PC, but you have to pay your dues before you can play in the best league, and right now the competition in the WPGA is pretty clearly a step down from the PGA.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:22 PM on June 24, 2003

She's 13 and winning tournaments already! Was Tiger winning pro tournaments at 13, against women or men?! I thought Tiger was starting to show real strength against the amateur circuit then, but isn't Wie winning pro tournies far earlier than Tiger did? By the time she's in high school, won't it be reasonable to assume she could compete at the same level Tiger did at the same age? As much as I normally like vito's postings, I think his "Vijay Singh" is showing- Wie may already be ahead of Tiger in development at the same age. And the hype about Tiger turned out to be very well-founded. I'm excited at the possibility this Wie could be a serious challenger to Tiger when she hits her 20's. I'm serious! As Samsonov hinted, if Wie was a 13-year-old guy doing this, we'd be all "Freddie Adu" about [him]. But just because she's beating up on other women golfer's, several of you see fit to roundly dismiss her accomplishments altogether. She's THIRTEEN, for god's sake! THIRTEEN!!! No one her age should be competing with ANY pro player!

posted by hincandenza at 10:25 PM on June 24, 2003

Hey, I was all for Sorenstam playing in the Colonial. Yes, I do think women's sports in general are a step down from men's. I'm also disappointed how many high school kids go straight to the pros in the NBA. So, my first thought is we should chill out about Wie's age. My second thought is the gender issue. Look, if she can qualify for the men's tour by doing it through Q-School (and she even gets to that point through whatever the rigorous procedure is to do so), then nobody of any gender will be able to have a legitimate beef.

posted by vito90 at 10:49 PM on June 24, 2003

By the way, as for my "Vijay Singh" showing, I dunno where you're from but that's considered lewd behavior in Washington State. And besides, I call mine "Steel Justice".

posted by vito90 at 03:37 PM on June 25, 2003

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