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Past her prime at only 23 years old?
Sorenstam assesses Michelle Wie: "The talent... is not there."
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/4/13
One of the more intriguing parts of Golf Magazine's interview with Annika Sorenstam (in their May 2013 issue) is her rather harsh assessment of Michelle Wie's career thus far:
"I never criticized her for getting an education. I said that I think it's funny for her to go to Stanford when she's at the peak of her career. I mean she's almost gone backwards. She played more when she was younger and less when she's older. Getting a degree from Stanford is something I applaud her for, but it's funny to not play any of the high-school stuff and play against the men, and then she gets her [LPGA] card and she plays less than she did before. I thought that was strange."
Indeed, since Wie turned professional and signing two endorsement contracts worth $10 million in 2005, still 15 years old, Wie had no success playing against the men at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in her native Hawaii. Despite several close calls on the LPGA circuit and going 3-0-1 in the 2009 Solheim Cup, Wie has won only twice: In 2009 at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the 2010 Canadian Women's Open in Winnipeg. In the four women's professional majors, Wie's best finishes were a pair of T-3s in 2006 at "the Dinah" (Kraft Nabisco Championship) and the U.S. Women's Open. Last year, she missed the cut at the Dinah and the LPGA Championship.

Responding to Alan Bastable's question about whether the 23-year-old Wie could still become the best player in the world, Sorenstam said this:
"She has a long way to go, let's put it that way. There was a time when the LPGA really needed her. I thought she had a lot to bring to the table. Now she's one out of many."
Sorenstam's logic is difficult to assail; we have already seen Lorena Ochoa (since retired), Paula Creamer, Inbee Park, Jiyai Shin, Christie Kerr, Yani Tseng, Lexi Thompson, and now Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis burst onto the scene, for all the right reasons.

How can Sorenstam comment on whether or not a female golfer has had success? Let's start with Sorenstam's 93 professional tournament victories: 72 on the LPGA Tour, 17 on the LET, and ten major championships overall — with three U.S. Women's Open championship victories over a 12-year span. Then consider her Solheim Cup record: 22-11-4 in eight meetings.

At age 23, some golfers are just learning how to contend and win on the various professional golf tours around the world. But with Wie's career track trending the wrong way, will Sorenstam eventually be proven right?

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Image via MichelleWie.com

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
Annika is right on with her assessment. Michelle Wie is done! Have you seen her putt lately??? Sh can hit the ball a long ways, however being a bomber does not make her a player!!!
Trip says:
Annika needs to lay off of this topic. She's beginning to sound as if she has a gripe with Michelle. Did she steal her prom date or something? Consider this horse beaten.
Banker85 says:
Just makes anika seem like the "see you next tuesday" she really is.
birdieXris says:
I think Annika's assessment is fine. She was asked about it in an interview and gave an honest answer. I applaud her for not pulling punches and giving a strait forward answer. Wie had her time, maybe eventually she'll get there, but as Annika said - she has a long way to go.
Coach Chuck says:
She was asked a question, she give her profesional honest opinon which is good enough for me. Most players would dance all over and never anwser a direct question like that.
RachelWill says:
Any player could approach what he/she might like and if she feels that she should be educated and a player as well, there is nothing in that and more like it’s going forward as well like thinking of the ahead. When you are young you have the energy to play and doesn’t have the clear sense of the future but later as you get older and get help with assignment from different expert around you, they will tell you which is the right future for you. maybe she wasn’t much into sports after getting older but with her natural skills she should approach that opportunity and continue to play more as well.
alvinaash says:
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