Female golfers unfair in criticism of Wie
Female pro golfers rap Michelle Wie for playing in a men's tournament.
Her wrist injuries fully healed, Michelle Wie has returned to the public spotlight, drawing howls of disapproval from women golfers for her participation in a men's event in Nevada while they competed in the Women's British Open. The criticism was unfair and Wie should not be deterred from playing in an occasional men's tournament while she focuses on LPGA events.
Wie now has played in eight PGA tournaments and failed each time to survive the weekend cut. She was poised to do so on Friday before disaster struck at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. Needing two birdies in her final nine, Wie scored a double- and quintuple-bogey and finished nine strokes from the cut.
Annika Sorenstam and other LPGA regulars sneered at Wie's decision to play in Nevada instead of a major women's tournament. However, Wie would have had to qualify for the British open last Monday in England, at some expense and preventing her from playing at Tahoe if she failed to qualify.
The women might be envious of Wie's popularity and her invitations to men's events. But none has the 300-yard drives that allow Wie to be competitive with men or the magnetism that results in decent TV ratings for tournaments that otherwise would be largely ignored.
Most golf fans this week tuned in on the 80 men who qualified to play at the World Golf Championship in Ohio; at Tahoe, the top golfer is No. 87 in the world rankings. The spotlight on Wie at Tahoe resulted in deserved attention paid to fellow Punahou graduate Parker McLachlin, whose splendid 10-under-par 62 on Friday put him in the lead going into this weekend.
Wie's fans -- and other women pros -- look forward to the day she becomes a regular on the LPGA circuit, boosting TV viewership, sponsors and, yes, prize money.
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