by Jeff Skinner
The best female golfers in the world are at The Broadmoor today for The U.S. Women’s Open and Annika Sorenstam seems to have called out one of the highest profile ladies of the LPGA Tour. In an interview yesterday and again on “The Morning Drive” today, Sorenstam challenges the way Michelle Wei approaches the game and says she hasn’t fulfilled her potential.
“I think really her focus, in my opinion, should be more on the golf,” Sorenstam told reporters. “She’s very distracted with school, doesn’t really play as much full time as I thought she would. I think she needs to come out here and compete more regularly.”
“When she came out there was a lot of buzz, a lot of potential from this young lady,” Sorenstam said. “She probably has one of the best golf swings in the game today.”
“I would say she has not performed to her expectations or her potential.”
“When it comes to major championships she has not preformed to her potential.”
There is no more accomplished female golfer in the modern age than Annika Sorenstam. 72 LPGA wins and 10 majors, including a U.S. Open at The Broadmoor, certainly give her a unique perspective on living the life of a professional golfer. But she’s off base here.
She is right that Wei has amazing talent and immeasurable potential but that also comes with immense pressure. I’ve criticized Michelle on numerous occasions early in her career. Her overbearing parents, the entourage she travelled with, her failure to close out a win, her putting and yes and her failure to win more have all been subjects that I beat her up about. But I disagree with Annika on this one.
Wei’s decision to attend Stanford full time was the best choice she’s made since she has picked up a driver. Attending college has enabled her to grow and mature as a person and get out from the death grip that her parents had on her. Michelle is a more independent person than she was before college and is enjoying her life as a full time student and part time LPGA player.
Here’s a clip for Michelle Wei’s website,” Michelle has a whole other life outside of the ropes where she studies communications at Stanford University, loves her dog Lola, draws, writes and paints, blogs and bakes, follows music and movies, hangs out with her friends, and is a serial Tweeter and Facebooker.”
Annika is missing the point here. Michelle Wie is still only 21 years old. It may seem like she has been here forever because she was making cuts on the LPGA at 13 as an amateur. But she is still a kid, still growing up and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Lexi Thompson has made the choice to play professional golf full time as a teenager and that is fine for her. Michelle has chosen to get an education, and graduate, not like many golfers that just use college as a stepping stone to the tour and she should be allowed to do that without criticism from the greatest women golfer in the modern game.
It should be noted that Wei failed to win before she started college and her two wins have come while she is a college student. College has been a blessing to Michelle as a player and a person.
I certainly would like to see Wei win more for the sake of the LPGA but there is time for that. The weight of carrying the LPGA shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of a young, college student.
Michelle Wei made the best decision of her young life when she elected to attend college. She shouldn’t be criticized for it.