by Jeff Skinner
The LPGA kicks back into gear this week with the LPGA LOTTE Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii. Ai Miyazato will defend her 2012 crown against a solid field.
Nine of the top ten players in the Rolex Rankings are in Hawaii including number one, Inbee Park and number two Stacy Lewis. Fifteen year old amateur and youngest winner in LPGA history, Lydia Ko will join the professionals and amazingly Ko has climbed to 22 in the Rolex Rankings.
One time teenage phenom Michelle Wie will be playing and trying to get her season on track. So far this year Wie has struggled with three missed cuts an no finish higher than her T41 at the Kraft Nabisco.
LPGA Hall of Famer, Annika Sorenstam had been critical if Wei in the past and once again has something to say about Wie’s difficulties.
In an wide ranging interview in May’s Golf Magazine Sorenstam talks about her life after golf and once again Michelle Wie can’t escape Annika’s sharp tongue.
From Alan Bastable’s interview: A couple of years ago you criticized Wie, who was then an undergrad at Stanford, for focusing too much on her education and not enough on golf. Do you stand by that opinion?
I never criticized her for getting an education. I said that I think it’s funny for her to go to Stanford when she’s at the peak of her career. I mean she’s almost gone backwards. She played more when she was younger and less when she’s older. Getting a degree from Stanford is something I applaud her for, but it’s funny to not play any of the high-school stuff and play against the men, and then she gets her [LPGA] card and she plays less than she did before. I thought that was strange.
She’s only 24. Couldn’t she still become the best player in the world?
She has a long way to go, let’s put it that way. There was a time when the LPGA really needed her. I thought she had a lot to bring to the table. Now she’s one out of many.
Do you feel it was her obligation to help promote and market the LPGA?
She didn’t want it early on. It was more about [playing against] the men.
Either she didn’t want it, or her parents or advisers didn’t.
Whoever—her team. I don’t know. I don’t know them. I don’t talk to them. What I see now is that the talent that we all thought would be there is not there.