Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bring Michelle Wie to Texas

On Monday, it was announced that teen phenom Michelle Wie will be playing in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in July. The tournament offered, and Wie accepted, a sponsor's exemption.

Which leads me to something I've been saying for two years to anyone who will listen: The Texas Open should be doing everything it can to bring Michelle Wie to Texas. The tournament desperately needs an injection of excitement, and right now Wie is the biggest draw in golf other than Tiger Woods.

Every year, the Texas Open gets lost in the shadow of the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. The fields are weak because PGA Tour pros don't care for the golf course (a Dallas Morning News survey of touring pros several years ago found that the Resort Course at La Cantera was the least popular course on tour), which is a bear to walk. Crowds are weak because the fields are weak, and because out-of-shape golf fans particularly don't care for the course.

So now that Wie has shown she's willing to play additional PGA Tour events (outside of her native Hawaii), it's a no-brainer to go after her. She's even likely to do well at San Antonio's La Cantera, whose wide fairways, short length made shorter by many downhill holes, and bermudagrass greens (more similar to what Wie plays in Hawaii than the bentgrass greens that give her trouble) all suit Wie's game.

The folks who run Golf San Antonio - the group that organizes and markets the Texas Open - are out of their minds, just plain nuts, if they aren't working the phones today trying to woo Wie.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Woo Wie? Tee hee hee.

    The reason they don't make a serious play is that no matter who they run out there, nobody in Texas will raise an eyebrow because it's football season. The Longhorns, Aggies, Cowboys, Texans ... they own the spotlight come September. Add in all the other factors you mentioned, and it's a lame duck tournament. Michelle Wie might sell a few tickets in San Antonio, and get a few more seconds on the local TV news, but that won't lift the Texas Open any higher in the PGA food chain.

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  2. Wie would liven up an otherwise dreary event. No, she won't raise the level of the tournament, but she'd at least raise the level of interest.

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