2005-07-15

There's No Crying in Golf


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Michelle Wie is the big story in golf right now. The 15-year-old golf phenom just missed the cut last week at the John Deere Classic. So why all crying coming from the men's room? Because a girl is going to crash their party. At 15 she's already narrowly missed the cut twice in a men's events. It's not a matter of if, but when.

Still, many think a girl shouldn't be playing in a men's event. SHOULDN'T. Shouldn't? I'm not sure where you get the basis for "shouldn't." The neat thing about sports is that that kind of thing sorts itself out. You need rules to ensure fair play. After that, if you want to find out who should or shouldn't be there, check the score cards.

OK, so she got into the John Deere on a sponsor's exemption. Pro sport is after all, a business. Unless you're willing to give back the money you won (because that's what a sponsor brings), shut up. John Deere has the right to do whatever they want to make a go of their event.

Besides ... and I hate to keep bringing this up, but ... exemption or no, Wie still beat almost half the field and came within a back 9 of making the cut. You want to prove she doesn't belong, man up and beat her.

By early indications, Wie seems destined to dominate the women's tour. She's gifted and poised. You can hardly blame standouts like her and Annika Sorenstam for wondering how they would fare against the best in the world. And if they can, within the rules, the same rules that the men have to follow, let them.

It comes down to a choice, for it's not like they are ever going to dominate the men. With PGA venues constantly adding length to try to keep ahead of Tiger and Co, it is highly unlikely that a woman will ever log so much as a PGA victory. But it is likely that, given the opportunity, Wie and Sorenstam could hang with the boys from time to time. So on any given weekend, do you dominate the women ... AGAIN. Or, do you take your lumps and risk missing the cut to measure your stature at the very highest level?

Not that Wie has compiled a Sorenstam-esque resume. She is more about potential. So, it might be reasonable for her to slow down and develop her game before shooting for the stars. But, that's a personal choice.

And one more time for those who complain that Wie is threatening to take a spot from a hard-woring man, trying to earn a living on the tour ... work on your game! Get better. "I should have the spot because I'm a man," doesn't work. "I have the spot because I'm the better golfer," - that's how sport works.

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