What to do? Wie don’t know… yet.

11 06 2007

Michelle Wie’s problems – perturbed prodigy or product of pushy parenting?

So Michelle Wie finished 84th at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, pocketing the grand sum of $3,273. And at this point in time, it’s well overdue to ask – how has such promising potential gone so horribly astray?

Well… we could start with her father, BJ. He has surrounded her with a support group that offers very little actual support, and demands one helluva lot of the nearly-18-year-old prodigy. The focus on PGA events, competing against the men rather than winning at the women’s game in the LPGA first, was – in retrospect – a poor decision. Whether this was because she was pushed to do so, or wanted to do so of her own volition is a moot point – as either way, the failure to steer her towards better decisions rests on BJ’s shoulders. She’s a teenager, and that particular demographic is not known for excellent judgment. As a manager & as a parent, BJ needed to do a better job. Thus far the naked ambition he’s had for his daughter has gone somewhat awry.

That’s not to say that she’s done. Not by a long shot. She’s 17 years old, and still a prodigious talent. But Na On Min’s only 18… and Morgan Pressel’s 19… add to that a host of others in their early to mid-20s. Meltdowns like the withdrawal at the Ginn Tribute, and then sitting in the middle of the fairway, playing with dolls that adorned her bag during a pro-am earlier this week – should just not happen. If Wie wants to be matching it with beat those young women, she has a long way to travel. And at the moment, if she’s not mentally prepared to play, then she shouldn’t be playing.

But that’s not going to happen… there’s just too much money to be made.

Michelle Wie is due to enter Stanford in the Fall of this year (notably the same University as Tiger Woods). Let’s hope that exposes her to a different set of values than those her ‘management’ currently espouse.


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