Monday, September 11, 2006

today : Rather surprisingly, I discuss golf .

The unfettered glee with which the golfing establishment greeted Michelle Wie's 'defeat' at The European Open in Switzerland was pretty pathetic, I think.

Wie appeared alongside men on the European tour for the first time. And do you know what? She didn't win. In fact she came dead last. I am not a particular golf fan, but know that she was a whole three shots behind any of the men and had to pack her bags and slunk home to Hawaii. Obviously she is a crap golfer, and by extension all women golfers are rubbish. In fact they are so rubbish that we don't even let them play on the proper courses. They have to have their own little joke courses - complete with helter-skelters, windmills and little bridges with gnomes on them.

Yet the gleeful journalists and the pompous administrators who've declared that she shouldn't be allowed to play again are conveniently forgetting two things. Since when does anyone in their debut really win, or even do well? Of course, occasionally sports people do. But I can't think of a job where your first day or two at work is a breeze. Also, by the way, just as an aside, she is SIXTEEN YEARS OLD.

She had a bad day, and admitted as much. She is a little out of form. She had an essay to do for her sophomore History class as well as practising her putting. What's a girl to do?

In every golf tournament there are those - even the top golfers - who have a mare and it is glossed over. 'It wasn't Woosie's day today'. People miss the cut all the time. English golfer Justin Rose joined the tour after a pretty good British Open showing as an 18 year old amateur and took 40 attempts to make a cut, coming last several times. There was a touch of criticism, but only after his 20th missed cut. Eventually when he did well, all the correspondants and commentators said : "I knew he had it in him". John Daley (who is the sort of Steve Earle of golf) has been allowed to be a blubbery alcoholic for years now with complete impunity.

Michelle even got criticised for being too sexy. It's pretty complex. In order to criticise her then you kind of have to admit that she is sixteen years old AND sexy. A dodgy admission to make from a group of older men in Pringle sweaters who are not averse to the odd trophy wife. It must be pretty threatening for them. Maybe that adds to their deperation to pull her down.

The fact remains that she is a remarkable sportsperson. To be only three shots away from a professional field at sixteen years old would be a pretty stunning achievement if she were playing in a womens' tournament. To do this against a mens' field is almost unbelievable.

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