Stewart Appleby, not a guy to mince words, on the future of Michelle Wie in PGA Tour events.
“She should just let it go for now and come back when she has a more accomplished game,” Appleby, who is seeking his fourth consecutive Mercedes-Benz Championship this week in Hawaii, said on a media conference call. “She’s just not ready for it. She’s certainly not proving anything except that she can’t play with the men at her level right now.”
To be diplomatic, Appleby added:
“There’s no doubt she’s going to improve dramatically as a player and mature as a person, but right now it’s just the wrong time,” Appleby said. “I’m not sure when it’s going to finish, the saga. A couple times is nice. It’s interesting. But now it’s just getting to the stage where she’ll get criticized too much. I think she came five years too early to try to play the men’s tour.”
But the Ausie wasn’t the only voice on the subject:
“I know that she’s a big draw for the tournament and people love to come out and see her play, but it’s kind of hard for me to see tournaments giving exemptions to her when there are other guys out here,” said Chad Campbell, a three time winner on the U.S. Tour.
Regardless of what Appleby says, Wie will be in the field — and miss the cut, yawn — next week at the Sony. Unless, of course, you work for a newspaper in Hawaii — then you aptly hedge your bets.
That’s what Honolulu Advertiser columnist Ferd (yes, that’s right) Lewis had to say:
Not that it has dimmed her appeal even the slightest. She was the star of glossy ads this Christmas and will still command larger galleries and more media coverage than Appleby ” or anybody else ” at Waialae. Hence a standing sponsor’s exemption.
“A couple of times, it’s nice, it’s interesting but now it’s getting to the stage where she’ll get criticized too much,” Appleby said, “and she needs to pull the plug and come back when she’s 20, 25 (years old).”
Or, she could make the cut, grab a piece of history and make the whole controversy moot.