July 11, 2005

Michelle Wie misses men's PGA tournament cut by only two strokes.

This is the second time in three tries the 15-year-old girl has nearly qualified to play the last two rounds in a men's PGA tournament. She shot one under par and matched or outscored 62 of the 150 men entered over the first two rounds. Granted, the John Deere is a second string tournament (a lot of the top golfers skipped it to get over to St. Andrews early to get read for this week's British Open), but, still ... LPGA supremo Annika Sorenstam was much praised for coming within four strokes of making the cut a couple of years ago, but now Michelle has bettered that twice.

Indeed, she's ahead of where Tiger Woods was on making the cut for a PGA tournament at the same age, and he was the most famous golf prodigy since Bobby Jones. Wie almost became the youngest player of either sex to make the cut in a men's tourney in decades. The youngest male to make the cut at any PGA tournament since 1957 was 16-year-old Ty Tyron in 2001. Golf is a hard game emotionally because the ball isn't moving, so it's easier to get overcome by nerves than in a sport where you react. So, male players typically peak later in golf than in just about any other sport -- for example, Vijay Singh peaked last year at age 40 -- which is another reason why Wie is so remarkable.

I really don't know how to explain how good she is. My theory is that she's the first top golfer to grow up playing 21st Century clubs and balls, and that her game is better molded to the new technology than anybody else's. But I just made that up.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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