If you haven't read Eric Adelson's account of the disturbing antics that took place with Michelle Wie's Ginn/Annika withdrawal, you must. While Adelson clearly observed some disturbing behavior on the part of B.J. Wie and agent Greg Nared while making some sad observations about Michelle's state of mind, left unanswered are bigger questions about the LPGA Tour's behavior.
According to Adelson, both LPGA Chief Operations Officer Chris Higgs and Commissioner Carolyn Bivens were present at various points in the round, particularly Higgs just before the crucial moment when Wie's wrist magically became unbearable, coincidentally after Nared happened to have spoken to her!
Reader Four-putt brings up an innocent but vital question, namely, why was agent Greg Nared on a cell phone when they are not allowed? That leads to other more vital questions. Was Nared on the phone with someone clarifying the LPGA's rule Rule of 88 rendering 88 shooter's and higher ineligible for the rest of the year? Adelson writes:
Chris Higgs, the LPGA Chief Operations Officer, soon drove up in a cart and spoke with Nared. Higgs had been talking about the Rule of 88 in the media tent, but he said he came out to Wie's ropeline for "no particular reason."
Was Higgs informing Nared that he could not use a cell phone, or was he explaining the Rule of 88?
"No particular reason" doesn't cut it.
Furthermore, let's say Higgs was explaining the Rule of 88 ramifications, did he suggest that Wie should withdraw if she would like to play in LPGA events later in the year? And if so, was Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, who was on the course at points in her round, involved in this discussion?
There have been questions for some time about Carolyn Bivens' regard for the rules of tournament player, dating back to the events that led to Barb Trammell's ouster and to that bizarre Annika-Paula Creamer incident. But this episode may have more significant ramifications because Bivens and here COO were directly involved in the decision and were directly or indirectly communicating with a player on the course through her agent.
And were LPGA officials involved in the decision to explain the reason for the withdrawal so that Wie would not have to in the post round press conference?
This is of course why Tim Finchem gets the big bucks. He wouldn't have been caught dead within three states of such a debacle.
Anyway, I'm sure you all have more questions for the Commissioner, so please post them. Not that she'll likely step into the press tent to answer any.