Gender isn't all that makes Wie's close call newsworthy

July 10, 2005|by MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

Do you remember what you were doing when you were 15 years old?

Don't worry, it's not a loaded question. And if you're my age, the statute of limitations has long run out on the kind of small-time mayhem we used to engage in.

At age 15, Michelle Wie is setting herself up to cash in on the dream nearly all 15-year-olds envision for themselves: Fame and fortune.

Over the last two months, Wie has proved herself worthy of the tremendous amount of hype that has surrounded her for the past two years.


She's played well on the LPGA Tour and been in contention in the last two women's major tournaments.

She was on track to become the first woman to make a cut in a PGA tournament since 1945 this weekend at the John Deere Classic before imploding on the final four holes and missing out on the third and fourth rounds.

Yet, while most people want to focus on the fact that Wie was a girl playing in a men's tournament this weekend, the more intriguing story is how Wie played for her age.

So I'll ask again: Do you remember what you were doing when you were 15 years old?

That's not to downplay the significance of Wie playing a PGA Tour event as a female. That any female player can tee it up with the men - from the men's tees - and finish ahead of 54 of them is an impressive feat.

In Wie, you have a 15-year-old female finishing ahead of 54 men and in the same neighborhood as players like Nick Price.

As John Davidson used to say, that's incredible!

How many 15-year-old male players can you think of who would finish ahead of 54 men?

There will be those who scoff at Wie's achievements.

"What achievements?" they'll say. "She hasn't accomplished anything yet."

Maybe so. But Wie sure gave the world something to look forward to for years to come.

And besides, what had you accomplished at the age of 15?

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears on Sundays. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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