Sometimes friendly banter among Evening Sun reporters lends itself to a discussion we call “Point/Counterpoint.” In this forum, staff members battle wits and ideas on a variety of subjects, and today, Evening Sun Staff Writer, Michael McGuire, and Evening Sun Sports Editor, Patrick Newell, discuss Michelle Wie’s long-range ambitions. Wie’s grand design is to transcend golf’s long-standing traditions and play on the PGA Tour. Is this in the best interests of golf and more succinctly, women’s golf?
PN: Michelle Wie is probably the best thing that has happened to women’s golf – and maybe the entire sport – since Tiger Woods turned pro in 1996. Still, she hasn’t proven a thing yet – outside of the fact she can place in the top three of big women’s tournaments. PGA Tour events, those ones that probably need an attendance boost, have granted her special exemptions to their events. She has missed the cut every time. This is not a chauvinistic assessment, but she simply cannot compete on a four-round basis with the men. How about her cashing a few winners’ checks on the LPGA first?
MM: I’m not sure if Michelle Wie is the best thing to happen to golf since Tiger – but I am a chauvinist – and I say let her play. She hasn’t made a PGA cut in a number of sponsor-exempted invites, but she consistently finishes higher than a good number of card- holding professional males. She doesn’t have the LPGA track record of Annika Sorenstam, Kari Webb or Se Ri Pak, but her talent at her age has given Michelle a cash advance on a number of paydays most golf minds are sure she’ll earn in the near future.