I just heard a good take on Michelle Wie - actually the best I have
heard so far - from Adam Gold on 850 the buzz. Gold pointed out two
1) the LPGA bars players who are under 18 from playing in their events. Exceptions are made for LPGA major events, and the occasional sponsors' exemptions. But, for the most part, Wie is barred from playing with the women. It's amazing that, in all the discussion about Wie, so much of which is focused on hammering her for playing in men's tournaments, little to none bothers to note that one reason she's playing so many men's events is that she can't play in many women's events.
2) the losers in this process are Wie and the LPGA. Wie is 16, a fabulous talent and, according to Gold, unable to compete with the men. There's a lot to be said for athletes (and people in general) pushing themselves to perform at a level that is perhaps only within their grasp with strenuous effort. But, such exertions probably become counter-productive when a performer faces failure after failure. For someone young, like Wie, we may be reaching the point. She missed the cut again today and finished dead last in the process. If she's not discouraged, then good for her. But, it's got to be getting to her.
The other loser, and the focus of Gold's ire is the LPGA. Gold notes that the LPGA is dying for sponsorship and, frankly, any publicity at all. And, here they have a fabulously talented 16-year old, a natural draw. Their inflexibility, though, is costing them a great opportunity as well as having a potentially adverse impact on her development. Wie's performance in women's majors - several top five finishes - makes clear that she is already fully competitive.
In any event, I commend Gold for putting the focus in the Wie situation where it belongs and dispensing with the chauvinistic resentments that drive so much of the conversation about her.