Friday, June 8, 2007

Michelle Wie - Whipping up a controversy

The golfing world is abuzz with everyone discussing Michelle Wie's decision to withdraw from the Ginn Tribute, an LPGA tour event hosted by Annika Sorenstam. Wie who was recuperating from a wrist injury withdrew after playing just 16 holes. Wie was 14 over after playing 16 holes and she went to the tournament officials and told them that she had to withdraw. She cited a flare up in the injury to her wrist. You would be compelled to ask what's wrong with that?? Well, nothing really! The controversy really started when it was reported that Wie's agent came and had a word with her after which she went upto the tournament officials and told them that she intends to withdraw from the event. Just a couple of days later it was reported that she was practicing at the venue of the next event on the LPGA tour.

The question that arises is why would Wie just fake an injury and withdraw from an event? The reason to that is being attributed to the fact that there is a rule that says nonmembers of the tour who shoot 88 or higher are disqualified for the year. Therefore some players feel that to avoid being forbidden from appearing in any other tour event, Wie decided to withdraw on the advice of her agent. This act has certainly not gone down well with many players and they havent really made an effort to hide their displeasure.

After being told about Wie practicing at the venue of the next event Annika said " I just feel there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to kind of leave a tournament like that ". Quite clearly Annika was not thrilled by Wie's act. Annika in fact gave Wie a chance to apologise but Wie was in mood for reconciliation because in her opinion she has done nothing wrong. Wie is not yet a member of the LPGA tour because she is below the minimum age of 18. She will turn 18 later this year in October.

While Wie's act of withdrawing and just a couple of days later turning up for practice at the site of the next event definitely reeks of insincerity, the LPGA officials need to revisit the terribly silly rule which bans a non member from all other events for the rest of the year if they shoot a score over 88. Surely one bad day cannot be the sole basis on which a player is banned from appearing in all other events that year.

As for Wie, she will definitely have to make amends to regain the faith of the tour players. All eyes will be on her when she plays this week at the Mc'Donalds LPGA championship. If she plays well it is likely to whip up a storm and if she does not perform that will definitely not translate into any great press for her.

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