Zach Johnson smiled after teeing off on the seventh hole yesterday during a practice round with Michelle Wie.
Wie's 'Silent Partner' speaks up
SILVIS, ILL. » When eventual-champion Brittany Lincicome beat Michelle Wie at the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship last Saturday, Lincicome said Wie did not speak to her at all during their match, even when Lincicome would tell her "good shot."
Wie's other opponent that day, Se Ri Pak, also said Wie didn't talk to her during their match.
Yesterday, at her pre-tournament news conference for the John Deere Classic, Wie spoke about not speaking.
"I don't talk when I'm in match play. I just try to focus on my own game, and it's very different," she said. "It's a lot more intense in match play than stroke play."
Zach Johnson said there is no set etiquette for verbal interaction in match play.
"There may be less words spoken," said Johnson, who tied for 36th at the 2005 JDC. "It's a different game in that your opponent is not just the golf course, it's also the guy or person that you're playing against."
At any rate, it had some calling Wie the "Silent Partner" after last week's tournament.
Wie times: Wie will tee off at 3:44 a.m. Hawaii Time in tomorrow's first round, at the No. 1 hole. On Friday she starts at the 10th hole at 8:44 a.m.
Her playing partners are Jeff Gove and Daisuke Maruyama.
Gove contended for the Honda Classic championship before falling off in the last round and finishing seventh. He tied for sixth at the Booz Allen Classic.
Maruyama is coming off a final-round 66 that bumped him up to 19th place at the Cialis Western Open last week.
He said at first he was nervous about playing with Wie.
"Then I remembered Dean Wilson played with Annika Sorenstam and he got famous," Maruyama said.
Wilson, the Castle High alumnus, is grouped with David Peoples and Robert Damron. They start at 8:15 a.m. at No. 10 tomorrow and at 3:16 a.m. at No. 1 on Friday.
Odds and ends: Bodog.com set odds how many rounds Wie will shoot under par this week.
The odds of her not hitting par at all are 2 to 1 while the Web site has it even money that she will finish one round below par. The odds say she has a 7/2 shot of going under the mark in two rounds, 8/1 in three rounds and 10/1 that she will be under par in each of her four rounds.
Fame game: Zach Johnson was asked about his name being recognized by the public more.
"I think Jack Johnson is more of a household name than I am, the singer," he said.
Listen up: In the never-ending quest by some to know everything about Wie, she fielded a question about her musical taste.
"I really like alternative music," she said. "I'm really into like Korean music these days and alternative. ... I really like the Black Eyed Peas and Bon Jovi."
Which she listens to on her Sony Walkman, of course.