Is LPGA's Fate In Wie's Hands?
By Kickntrue on 7/29/09
It is looking more and more every day like the LPGA is in serious trouble. At first, it was articles about the economy and bad management, but as time goes on it is becoming more clear how dire the situation is. The 2010 season has just 15 events on the schedule, a number that could still go down- and is hemorrhaging money. Golfweek's Alistair Tait makes the argument that the whole Tour's future success is actually hinged on Wie.
Michelle Wie could save womenGÇÖs golf.

That sounds like an awful lot of responsibility to heap on the shoulders of a 19-year-old college student, but womenGÇÖs golf needs Wie more now than it did when she first burst on the scene five years ago as a 14-year-old prodigy.

...

Wie in contention would help bring the fans out, too. Tournaments in this neck of the woods are usually well supported. In fact, if the weather turns nice over the weekend, there is every chance for a better atmosphere than there was at Turnberry for the Open Championship.

A Wie win would give great succour to this yearGÇÖs Solheim Cup, too. She is currently not on the U.S. team, and needs either a victory here or a captainGÇÖs pick from Beth Daniel to play at Rich Harvest Farms.
A pretty tough argument to digest, especially with the failure Michelle has appeared to be since bursting on the scene 5 years ago. Still- she is just 19 (seems crazy) and has actually played very well this year. I'm sure some people would love to push her in the direction of being a full time player on the LPGA Tour in 2010, but how do you encourage a teenager to drop out of school without sounding like an jackass?

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[ comments ]
falcon50driver says:
Poor kid, first everybody's slamming her because she's doing too much, she needs to realize she's just an insignificant little girl. Now, If she doesn't do more, the whole LPGA is gonna collapse, she's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
7/29/09
 
Banker85 says:
thats too bad, i mean if they want i can put on a wig and play....
7/29/09
 
kidputter says:
The PGA needed Tiger to become a MAJOR sport. I watched the LPGA coverage last weekend and the quality of the broadcast was HORRIBLE. The camera shots looked like they were re-broadcasting a tourney from the 70's. Superior golf will draw fans. Wie is not the answer. Maybe a joint effort with the PGA IS the answer. Let ALL the ladies compete with the men for the same prize money.
7/29/09
 
mjaber says:
@kidputter. I had a similar idea. I think the LPGA and PGA need to do some co-branded events. Maybe a 2-person scramble, or a cumulative scoring tournament. Random partner draws. And not in the "silly season" after the Fedex cup is decided. They could even do a combination of individual and team scoring, so that there are basically 3 tournaments going on at once: men's, women's and combined.
7/30/09
 
Patrick McKay says:
Maybe we should look at the entire field of European and American players instead of just Michelle Wie?

If these ladies want to save their league, they need to step up and start playing better than the Asian players as opposed to bitching about an Asian invasion.
7/30/09
 
badgolfergreg says:
I really DO NOT, and never have, understand all the hooplah surrounding Wie. There are so many on the LPGA that have done, and continues to do, so much more. Anyone ever heard of Anika Sorenstam? Lorena Ochoa? What am I missing here? The LPGA's future is dependant on Wie? If that is true, you may as well go ahead and pack it up and go home ladies! Give me a break, if the LPGA lives or dies it won't be because of Wie, or any other single player.
I like some of mjaber's ideas above.
7/30/09
 
golfgirl says:
A) Michelle Wie is totally up to any challenge you present her with. Maybe not immediately but in due time.

B) The LPGA will struggle, as will all other tours, for the next few years, but will survive, and possibly thrive, if the right ideas are implemented.

C) Americans are playing well but will naturally be winning less tournaments as the field becomes more international. If Koreans and other foreign players were well marketed in the US they would have as many fans as the US girls do.

D) Women, in general, are just not sports fans, in general. There's too much competing for their attention. That's probably the main reason why the LPGA (and the WNBA, for that matter) has struggled so. Relying on a predominantly male audience, physiological gender differences have impeded the development of a higher profile for women in golf and other sports.

We'll see what happens, but in the meantime there are a hell of a lot of male golf bloggers writing/twittering about the LPGA.
7/30/09
 
ayparekh says:
LPGA is poor golf. The ladies need to raise the level of play. I dont mean they drive 340 yds everytime but they should at least hole in 10/12 footers on the green. Ive seen most of them miss 6/8 footers. Maybe a little more practice and less focus on putter grip matching their clothes. Good Golf will draw viewers. Wie/Ochoa etc will just help with their popularity. They WONT save the tour.
7/31/09
 
ToddRobb says:
ayparekh, I agree, I find it remarkable how bad they putt. Six to eight footers are missed constantly and a lot of them never have a chance of going in. If one of the ladies became a better than average putter out there, she could win on a regular basis.

I'm on record for saying that I think Michelle has peaked, she will be just an average player on the tour, making some cuts and missing some just like the rest of them. They are going to need much more than Michelle to save the tour, sponsors are dropping left and right. Golfgirl has made a great point, women in general are not big sports fans, certainly not of golf on television, without the television revenue and sponsors taking their money elsewhere, it could be a matter of time until they pull the plug.
8/4/09
 
GLB says:
WElllll.....I dont think anyone is really saying what the problem is.....now are we?
8/5/09
 
ToddRobb says:
@GLB- Why don't you enlighten us ;)
8/5/09
 
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