July 06, 2010
As I was preparing to write a post about Michelle Wie and her always inflated expectations, I was mulling around, researching the young star. When I came across a simple fact, her age, I was dumbfounded. "She can't be 20, can she?" I asked a friend of mine if I had came across an error online. I asked another friend. It turns out, Wie is just 20 years of age, a number that seems preposterous for how long we've talked about her and had her in our golfing lives.
Still, Wie is the name that continually pops up when we speak of LPGA stars that haven't won majors.
The problem lies in the same mold as Tiger Woods, a type of golfer that shares similarities with Wie. Tiger came on the scene as quickly as anyone, stealing the attention away from the tour. Still, Woods didn't claim his first major until he was 21, yet we expect Michelle to have many under her belt.
This week she will compete in the U.S. Open, an event she has only played well in once. That was back in 2006, when Wie finished third as Annika Sorenstam was wrapping up her third win at our nation's championship.
Sorenstam is long gone, as is Lorena Ochoa, and we are left with a group of golfers that most regular golf fans couldn't pick out of a lineup. That is one of the reasons people keep putting their hope in Michelle.
Her year has been pretty fair for a talented golfer. Three top 10s and nary a missed cut. She seems poised to win again after she broke through in 2009 with her first LPGA victory.
While the LPGA continues to produce great talents, it still is looking for that one superstar that will get the likes of "Pardon the Interruption" talking about women's golf. It appears Wie is that lady, and while she still is only 20, the expectations will continue to grow until she can take one of these down.
While that isn't very fair to Michelle (think about the PGA Tour stars in their mid-20s without a major title), it is the truth.