"She actually plopped herself onto the grass and sat cross-legged in the middle of the fairway, fingering one of the dolls that dangled from her golf bag."
The Baltimore Sun's Rick Maese follows up on the Michelle Wie saga by following her at the McDonald's pro-am. Let's just say, not only is it time to get an agent and publicist who can help her remember which wrist she injured, but after reading this, it may be time to call in child welfare services.
Just four days after that wrist ached too much to play, Wie was matched with four amateurs yesterday for the pro-am tournament. There were more course volunteers than spectators around the tee box at 7:30 a.m., watching Wie wince slightly and flex her hand, trying to shake the pain from her fingertips. She walked to her trainer, who massaged Wie's hand and fingers.This is particularly grim...
Golfer officially injured and controversy over, right? Not quite.
The hand the trainer rubbed - the one with the tightly wrapped wrist - was her right one. In withdrawing from last week's tournament, Wie cited pain in her left wrist, which she hurt this year.
Wie teed off, and for 18 holes, a golfer who's usually full of expression and emotion didn't show any signs of pain. She didn't look at her wrist - either of them - didn't flex her hands, didn't try to rub away any pain.
Wie didn't answer questions after finishing her round yesterday, heading from the final green straight to the clubhouse. Her publicist later explained that the golfer still feels chronic pain in her right wrist from a previous injury and confirmed that it was the left wrist that forced her to withdraw last week. He said a final decision would be made today on whether Wie would compete at this week's LPGA Championship.
Wie played OK in yesterday's pro-am. Because it's a best-ball format, it's difficult to quantify her performance with scores or stats. While she hit some fairways and some greens, Wie also missed several shots, did nothing worthy of an ovation and failed to sink a single putt of any length.
Late in the round, Wie's energy level was nearly nonexistent, like a thermometer dropped in a bucket of ice. On the second-to-last hole, she actually plopped herself onto the grass and sat cross-legged in the middle of the fairway, fingering one of the dolls that dangled from her golf bag.
For a moment, Wie didn't seem to notice that her back was turned to one of her playing partners, who stood just a few feet away and was addressing his ball. She rose to her feet and the group continued the round.
Just as puzzling, on two of the last three holes, Wie didn't even attempt a putt, scooping her ball as soon as a playing partner sank his and walking onto the next tee.
Last week, at the Ginn Tournament, ESPN.com reported that she showed "little energy" and barely interacted with her caddie or playing partners. "I kind of felt bad for her," playing partner Alena Sharp told ESPN.com. "She didn't seem happy."
And Maese nails what bugs many about this...
If Wie feigned injury to escape a harsh Tour penalty last week, it's a slap in the face to a sport that relies on honesty, a game in which both the weekend hacker and the Tour money leader self-report their infractions. It's why this sport more than any other can reflect a competitor's true character.
But let's not assume that Wie orchestrated last week's mess. The LPGA, her agent and her parents were all complicit, and all deserve more than a wrist-slap for this wrist flap.