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« Shot Of The Day From Riviera: Luke Donald | Main | Hasn't This Ritual About Run Its Course? »

"Wie: A phenomenal talent stifled"

Provocative story and firsthand reporting from Peter Stone on the prodigy that was Michelle Wie and her ever-present parents.

Regarding her putting:

Through the years, Wie has been tormented by her putting. She’s tried half a dozen or so different putting styles and grips, she’s tried the belly putter. Now she is using a quite bizarre stance that sees her bending over with her back almost parallel to the ground. If Laura Davies should try it, she’d probably topple to the ground.

It was reported at a recent tournament in Dubai Michelle was seen on the putting green with mum holding her head down, her father adjusting and positioning the line of her putter addressing the ball, and just to complete the exercise the caddie was voicing his opinion of the stroke.

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Reader Comments (39)

Over parented, over coached, over hyped, under achieved! PERIOD
Her parents need to get lives of their own..... what a disservice to their young ADULT daughter..
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed Ray's Pipe
It's her life. She needs to take control
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
Mum and father. That's all you need to know
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve pike
Once you scramble the egg, there's no chance of recovering the yoke. Just sad.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Poor Kid. Somebody get it into her head that there's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball. I'm serious. Put some ""play" back into the game.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Zimmer
The "Yips" show up in many ways, shapes, forms...this is the severest case...the uncurable kind.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Oddly enough, Wie is kind of following Sergio (Hands of Stone, Stonebreaker) Garcia in terms of putting. Both should follow Bobby Jones' tip of pretending a putt is a modified chip. I think it would work wonders for both of them . . .

Hit the putt, quit guiding it!
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmitty
@Smitty...sage advice...but this goes much deeper than that.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
"Yips. Once you get 'em, you got 'em" Henry Longhurst
I never found her easy to cheer for, but I find this sad.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Poor girl went to Stanford, even graduated, but (probably) never once woke up with a headache and looked around and thought to herself, "Well, I didn't mean to do that!" Then shrug it off and move on with HER life. Too bad. Really too bad. Parents of grown children miss them everyday, and that is as it should be. Mr. and Mrs. Wie need to get a freakin' life of their own. About 6 years ago.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
She needs to tell here parents to take a hike for a while.
i know ''respect'' is a big deal in here culture, but it is a 2 way street as Americans.

She can overcome her putting woes. She needs to get down and boogie.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I hate to say this, as it is likely to embroil me with the PC police, but here it is: An American would have told her parents off by now. Unfortunately, Wie is Korean, I believe. One of the main cultural maxims is that, most of all, parents are to be treated with the utmost respect. Which is normally a good thing, but here, it is a problem insofar as Wie's golf career and life is involved . . .
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmitty
KLG, on the money. College is where you screw up and grow up.....if you survive. When I read that they lived fairly close by to her at Stanford I was amazed. It's up to the parents to say goodbye, not the kid to say take a hike because most kids won't do that. The parents have to be the mature ones and step up. I am constantly confused when time after time these familiar scenes just keep happening with young phenoms and the overbearing parents. Go to a college golf event if you really want to see parents up their kids' ass. It's almost like they want to be noticed more for being the parents of a college player than lay low in the background and spectate. Very sad. Thank God I had parents that got it.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
She had one of the best swings in the history of golf before puberty. You have to include puberty as a factor when you discuss her troubles.
Hey Smitty, FYI, Wie is an American of Korean descent. She was born, like our "kenyan anti colonial" president, in Hawaii, which has been a state since 1959. Hence, the whole American citizen thing.

I hope I don't run afoul of the PC police by saying you are a little bit of an ass on this one.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Holman
"The only thing American about Michelle Wie is her passport"
BJ Wie

Never could putt and never was better than Creamer Tseng Choi Lincicome Kerr Lewis and Ji Yai Shin to name a few. But she always got the press and the money. Didn't make sense to me then and doesn't make sense why some people still believe she has some untapped talent.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered Commenteraj
Point well made AJ. Perhaps I am the ass on this one.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Holman
I watched her play on Thursday - and she doesn't have the yips Bernhard Langer had the yips.
She can't hit the course with the driver - and off a massive block on 18 (her 9th) on Thursday she made 9. That was pretty much the end of it there. She shot 74 putting pretty well.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
As someone once said, good putters are born not made.
Since Ko doubled #1 and did not win today, when do the media start dissecting her relationship with her al.
I was criticized when I said the USGA wrongly gave her an exemption into the Women's Open a few years back. I think the national championship entries should play their way in and I believe it would have made her a better player to do so.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
"I watched her play on Thursday - and she doesn't have the yips "

Mike, with all due respect one round doesn't mean much...she has some real mental problems with her game that run the gamut...swing yips, putting yips...sadly, she's a headcase. Re: Langer...he had the mental toughness and tenacity to play through and overcome several bouts with the yips...Michelle does not. She still has time to prove me wrong, but the clock is ticking.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
- youngest to ever win a USGA National Championship.
- quarter finalist in Men's USGA Publinx as a 15 year old.
- Stanford University graduate.
- maintained top-20 World Ranking in 3 full LPGA seasons while attending Stanford.
- 20 top-10's and 2 wins in those 3 seasons.
- DESPITE constant interference from parents assimilated herself into regular student life at Stanford.

I find it absurd that anyone would ever use the word "failure" in the same sentence with Michelle Wie. Wouldn't any parent be proud of a daughter who had done all of the above (and that's the short list)?

When viewing all of that don't lose sight of the fact that Michelle has been saddled with the ultimate little league parents -- something she certainly had no choice in.

I'm a fan...
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I would like to some extent echo DTF's comments. For those that have been coming down so hard on her parents, I would ask you - If you had a daughter with a prodigious talent, whether it be golf or music, or anything, what path should you take? The history of these kids is certainly checkered at best - be it drugs or estrangement from family or either party falling under the influence of ill intentioned outsiders. It seems to me in that case, choosing to remain close - even to some outsiders excessively so - could be at least the path that causes the least harm. Is it one that would be most likely to "toughen her up" or create an indomitable champion (such as Tiger) ? Probably not, but is that really a goal that a parent should have for their daughter ? At what cost and to what end ? So that she can make a lot of money ? Seems that is based on greed. So that she can be the best ever ? Will that make her a good person and happy ? Maybe. Bottom line, they did their best in a circumstance that nobody can envision until it is upon them. Those that have done so successful can cast stones I guess, but they probably would not, knowing what a tightrope there is to walk by both the parents and the child. She is still quite young and may have many years of pro golf left. Or she might decide it is not for her and quit. As long as she is happy with it, that is all that matters.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Just like Michael Jackson's parents........

WE NEED MORE OF THEM in this world, not less......if Michael told his dad when he was still living with them that he wanted to sleep with kids because he was Peter Pan, I think dad would have slapped him into next week.....and say you wanna bet !!!!!

I agree with all of what you say - but if you want to say she has the putting yips then you are arguing there are degrees of yips. Hers are not catastrophic.
The driver yips are way worse than putting yips.
I know Peter Thomson would bemoan the seeming complete lack of self-reliance and 'working it out for yourself' - something he put great store in.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
There aee shitloads of Stanford grads who have made significant acheivements in life. Michellle Wie is just one of tens of thousands.

She is no big fucking deal.

I am noit a fan.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
"you are arguing there are degrees of yips. Hers are not catastrophic."

Yes...there are degrees of yips...putter and driver...curable and uncurable...some recover and some never do.
I hope her problems are not catastrophic...but it's not looking good...I see defeat in her eyes.

PS...I think she is a very good person and I am rooting for her.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Bobby D ---- Please rewatch this, keeping in mind that Wie vehemently claimed she grounded the club to avoid falling. And then tell me what a wonderful person she is.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor
Basically she doesn't play with any heart. When the going gets tough, she makes excuses and looks to blame others.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve pike
Doc that you? lol
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
The 2013 Anger Award is clinched and it's not even March yet! One more and we'll have to retire the trophy!!
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Is DTF confused by my use of Tiger-ese vocab?

@Doctor and @steve pike make much more incendiary accusations.

That said, what is Wie's exempt status? Didn't she need a sponsor's exemption to play HSBC Champions event next week in Singapore? When you take a look at all the rank-and-file nobodies who are exempt for the HSBC, how low is Wie on the pecking order now?

Should she really be playing at all after being pulverized by15 yr old am by 14 strokes over 36 holes?

Did she say she was working especially hard over the winter with Leadbetter? What evidence was there of this in Canberra?
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
I used to hear a lot about this Michelle Wie.

What's she up to these days?
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus Dupree
Another Leadbetter "young gun" bites the dust...this story is getting old.

I suppose I am a fan of Michelle Wie, in terms of seeing what happens to her next and such stuff. She seems like a normal, slightly spoiled, teenager trapped with hellacious parents and an over stuffed bank account. Much like Muffy and Buffy from the country club the difference being Wie can(could) actually compress a golf ball. Other than that, I see a superficial little girl who's in it for the pomp and bling and nothing more...deep down in her golfing soul she could care less about hoisting trophies these days, maybe not when she was 14-16, but I'm sure that's the case nowadays.

The proof was when I read an profile of her in some magazine years back (the one with her in Wonder Woman dressup garb)...she was quoted as saying that if her parents weren't around to make her practice, she wouldn't touch a club or even bother. Proof she just don't care as much as BJ or Bo about her own golf game. She's basically punching a clock the last 4 or 5 years.
02.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Her dad's name is BJ ... he he .......... he he he ............he he .......
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeavis
@ ADG: <<Did she say she was working especially hard over the winter with Leadbetter? What evidence was there of this in Canberra?>>

Looking at her play since she went to The Great Deconstructionist, there is nothing to see BUT evidence of his "work" with her.

A true pity...
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL

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