Slowly But Surely, Michelle Wie Might Be Finally Figuring Out This Whole Professional Golf Thing
Michelle Wie’s game might be finally catching up to the hype that has surrounded her since she was a 14-year old prodigy, as she entered today’s second round of the Corona Championship one stroke behind leader Lorena Ochoa.
Currently, she is in the clubhouse and tied for first with four other golfers at -9, although there are many golfers still out on the course.
Making the transition from a teenage dynamo that was ordained to be the female incarnation of Tiger Woods to even be considered a competitive player on the LPGA has been a long and arduous journey for Michelle Wie, some would say even an unfair task to bestow on such a young person.
Since turning professional (technically, she was a pro but was not a member of any professional tour) at age 15 and testing her skills against the big boys of the PGA at events like the Sony Open in Hawaii, which she competed in four years in a row (2004-2007). She never made the cut but was a huge draw, which obviously was the only reason behind the PGA Tour granting her an exemption to compete. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view), the PGA has denied her the exemption the past two years.
But at what cost? Throughout her professional career, Wie has been an enigma – her big game and obvious world-class skills were often overshadowed by her horrible failures when it mattered most – during tournament play on the golf course.
Nevertheless, through it all, she has had one constant – golf. And finally, things may be starting to make sense to her. Golf career and celebrity – the dedication required to excel at her sport and fame – and how these things don’t always necessarily go well together.
Yet, things may be turning around for Wie. She made her way successfully through LPGA Qualifying School in December, 2008 and now can compete in LPGA events. She reportedly has left the William Morris Agency, not known for handling careers of golfers and allegedly has turned to IMG, an agency much more accustomed to dealing with professional athletes.
With her newfound focus and plans to play against her fellow women on the LPGA tour, maybe her career is finally on track, although she has said she still intends to play against the men – some day.
Patience, Michelle. You’re 19-years old, for Christ’s sake. You have all the time in world.
Ochoa lead Corona Championship [Associated Press]
Corona Championship Leaderboard [LPGA.com]
Hometown snubs? Michelle Wie, Tadd Fujikawa left off Sony Open invite list in Hawaii [World Golf]
Michelle Wie Player Profile [LPGA.com]
Handle With Care [Portfolio.com]
Wie Still Considers Playing in PGA [The Korea Times]