Friday, December 21, 2007

Tis the season to be jolly - NOT!

Ah, tis the season to be jolly! Forget about it. I might look like St. Nick, but that’s where it ends. Sorry, but with all that’s been happening lately, it’s a cynic’s civil duty to get all over these tidbits.

Word out of David Ledbetter’s academy in Florida is that Michele Wie will NOT play in any men’s events in 2008 with the exception of an Asian tournament late in the year. Did someone beat her parents with a smart stick, or something? It certainly looks that way.
It will be interesting to see if she has in fact lost her game or if her rapid decline was injury driven. This will be big year for Ms. Wie. Can she seriously compete with the best the LPGA has to offer? We’ve seen glimpses of enormous talent and we’ve seen glimpses of a 10-cent head as well.

Her success or failure will be critical for the LPGA as well. Annika Sorenstam is going for her last hurrah before she marries in 2009. There are questions as she’s setting up to morph into the business world. Her injury status and focus have to be questioned. While Lorena Ochoa is a fine player, there isn’t a lot of magnetism there.

The LPGA is in need of a true rivalry of the Mickelson/Woods level. The potential is there. Morgan Pressel, who can really play, has been openly critical of the advantages handed Wie by all of golf’s governing bodies. At the top of her list is the USGA who hands Wie US Women’s Open exemptions as if they’re a birthright. This could be interesting. Don’t think for a minute that most of the players will fight not to be beaten by Wie. No one likes a spoiled brat and that’s the perception Wie will have to overcome.

A half century ago, Americans thought that Republican Harold Stassen was stubborn when he ran (unsuccessfully) for president nine straight times. Nope. Stassen was just persistent. Stubborn has been John Daly’s refusal to seek help stopping the total erosion of his game. Now, it appears that a light has come on and there’s someone home. Recently, Daly enlisted the help of Butch Harmon formerly of the Tiger Woods and presently the Phil Mickelson coaching box.
If Harmon can capture the Daly’s flailing action and mold it into an effective swing, more people will visit him in Las Vegas than travel to Lourdes for a quick cure.

For the record, Butch isn’t going to try to cut down on the length of Daly’s swing, but he feels he has to reposition Daly’s hands at the top to provide a better angle of attack through impact. He will not touch Daly’s short game as he feels it’s one of the best in golf.

Daly admits to a stubborn streak in the past and realizes where it’s left him. The truth is, as popular; as he is, he can live just so long on sponsor’s exemptions. The time has come to earn them. It might also be advisable that when he receives an invitation that he refrain from withdrawing at the warp speed he’s used in the past few years. That wears a little thin after a while.

Congratulations to Chris Evert Lloyd Mills and Greg Norman who recently announced their wedding engagement. For some of us, it’s still too early to accept cute, little Chrissie Evert in the role of “The Other Woman.” It’s tough to find out that we were victimized by a powerful PR campaign.

Chris now adds a swashbuckling raconteur to her list that includes a doubles specialist (Lloyd) and a professional skier (Mills). Let’s hope that she doesn’t buy into the “third time never fails” garbage and shows up in the same dress for her third waltz down the aisle.

This should be an interesting pairing. She almost always won on Sunday and he—not so much.
Rather than raid the Greg Norman Estates vineyards for yet another bottle of merlot, bartender, in keeping with the spirit of the season, pour me another bowl of wassail with just a touch more of cinnamon, please.

Have a merry and a happy.

See you on the first tee,


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