July 13, 2005
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Even though I am a sports fan, I’ve never really had any interest in the golf. Never played it, cannot stand to watch it, and have never had any desire to get into it. However, being a sports fan these days it is hard to ignore the constant attention that 15-year-old golfer Michelle Wie is receiving as of late. Everyone agrees that she is full of potential and is an extraordinary talent for anyone, regardless of age.
But the big attention she has been receiving this month is for her play in mens tournaments. In golf there are separate mens and womens leagues, just as there are in most professional sports. However, golf is the only sport which has seen some crossovers between the leagues…well, at least in one direction: women trying to compete in mens tournaments. So last week Wie tried to “make the cut” in a mens tournament and almost succeeded in becoming the first woman in like 50 years to do so. Well, she’s back at it again this week, and some players are voicing their displeasure with it (read story here).
The quote that caught my attention was one player saying “I think she should play in the women’s tournaments because they don’t let the men play in women’s tournaments.” I really hope I don’t come across as a chauvinist, because I’m not, but I agree with this. I don’t see WNBA players trying out for NBA teams, or female soccer players joining the MLS. It’s like she is conceding that the women’s league is less competitive than the mens, so she needs to play in the mens tournament to be challenged. But the funny thing is that she has never even won a womens tournament! Just seems like a big publicity stunt that is making money for everyone…TV stations making more money with more people watching, the golf venues drawing bigger crowds, and Wie herself milking the old publicity train to build up her celebrity for when it comes time to go after some big advertising bucks.