Q-School is Now in Session!

Tour cards will be on the line in this all-or-nothing battle for one of twenty-four spots on the 2006 LPGA Tour.

Morgan Pressel at Q-SchoolFor five days this week 142 golfers will learn the meaning of the word stress. The LPGA Q-School finals can bring out the best or worst in a player knowing that all of their work might eventually be in vain. A player could either be heading back to the Future’s Tour with just a few unlucky shots or be on the roster for the 2006 LPGA season.

Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lang and Ai Miyazato are among the players who need more than just five solid rounds of golf. Keeping cool under tremendous pressure means no temper tantrums and a great amount of focus. Their future hangs in the balance.

Calling for a Comeback

Find out which golfers will be making a return to the spotlight in 2006.

Thrash TalkI hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving last week, but it’s time to get back to business. I wanted to write about Michelle Wie missing her sixth cut in six tries in men’s events. However, I have picked on her enough in past editions of Thrash Talk. Instead, I’m going to focus on something a little more positive this time around.

David Duval ultimately comes to mind after playing so well last week in Japan. Duval has played awful since the start of the 2003 PGA Tour season, making just eight cuts in 49 starts. That is shocking, considering Duval was arguably the best golfer in the world in the late-90s. Last week, Duval teed it up in the Dunlop Open in Japan, and the final results were pretty positive. Duval started off great, fizzled a little down the stretch, but still finished in a tie for eighth.

What’s In Santa’s Bag?

With just more than two months before the 2006 PGA Merchandise Show, rumors are flying about lots of new products. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggies.

Bag DropWith the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers finally polished off, The Bag Drop is ready to take a look at a few items that are likely on the wish lists of more than a few golfers out there. We have a collection of rumblings and rumors about new products that may be in the pipeline – and may or may not be out in time for Santa to put under your tree. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you’ll still want to check this list twice.

Volume Thirty-Seven

Left over turkey and cranberries goes well with this week’s links.

Hittin' the LinksI’m a Cincinnati Bengals fan, as well as a golf addict, so this weekend when I was watching the game and Chad Johnson scored, I was eagerly awaiting his end zone celebration. And, boy did he live up to the expectations. He used the pylon as a putter and did his best Tiger Woods impersonation in the end zone making a putt. I recommend watching Monday Night Countdown to see it.

Now, on to the links.

Wie Fails to Qualify Again

Michelle Wie misses her sixth cut in a men’s event but is getting ready for her seventh appearance at the Sony Open.

Japan Golf TourAlthough fraught with jitters on day one of the Casio World Open, sixteen-year-old Michelle Wie was determined to qualify this week. This is her sixth men’s tournament and the young girl had some pretty big shoes to fill since 1945 when Babe Didrikson Zaharias last qualified for an event on the PGA Tour. Annika Sorenstam and Club Pro Suzy Whaley entered the men’s arena in 2003 at the Colonial but also failed to make waves. Wie is also the second female to play on the Japan Men’s Tour since Sophie Gustafson missed the cut in this same event in 2003.

Big Mouth Mark Hensby Criticizes Greg Norman

Mark Hensby can’t keep his mouth shut: this week, he’s criticizing Greg Norman. To Hensby I have but one thing to say: put up or shut up.

Mark HensbyMark Hensby isn’t one to keep his mouth shut. First he ran his mouth about Michelle Wie, saying “I don’t think a 15-year-old girl who’s done nothing at all should get a sponsor’s invitation to a PGA Tour event.” A lot of articles start the same way this one does, “Australian golfer Mark Hensby has slammed (fill in the blank).”

This week, the tiny Australian’s target is none other than the gigantic Greg Norman. Norman’s fault, which Hensby can’t resist pointing out? The Great White Shark, recently voted Australia’s golfer of the century, apparently doesn’t do enough to support Australian golf.

The Oddball Out

The WGC-World Cup isn’t living up to the expectations set by the other three World Golf Championship events.

Thrash TalkThe World Golf Championships events have provided some great memories the past five or six years. The Accenture Match Play Championship is held in February, and the event is one of my favorites every year. It’s no secret I love the match-play events, and the Match Play Championship has provided a change of pace since its beginning in 1999. Tiger has won the event a couple times, and there have also been some surprises along the way (Steve Stricker and Kevin Sutherland).

Wie Wows Japan and Tiger Woods

Trying again for a professional win Michelle Wie travels to Japan to play in the Casio World Open.

Michelle Wie at CasioMichelle Wie is fine-tuning her language skills this week as she ventures to the remote island of Kochi, Japan to play in the $1.2 million men’s Casio World Open. She will be playing her first professional event since being disqualified at the LPGA Samsung World Championship over a month ago after signing an incorrect scorecard.

Several hundred people were at the airport to greet Wie as she stepped off the private jet flown from her home in Honolulu to Japan. “Konnichiwa, I am very much moved by your welcome,” the sixteen-year-old said in Japanese. “I will do my best and please cheer for me!”

Since her parents are originally from South Korea, Michelle is already fluent in Korean. The Wie’s settled in Hawaii in the 1980’s. The younger Wie is currently taking up both Chinese and Japanese as “Wie Inc.” expands into an ever-growing Asian market.

Golf World Scottsdale Invitational

If you’re looking for some golf and sun as the dreariness of winter sets in, check out the Golf World Scottsdale Invitational.

Golf World magazine has asked The Sand Trap partner GolfWRX.com for some help in promoting the Golf World Scottsdale Invitational, so we’re pitching in as well.

Golf World Scottsdale InvitationalRegardless whether your season has ended or is just about to peak, Golf World is offering an incredible and unique opportunity to shake the Holiday blues and get back into the sun through a special GolfWRX members only registration for the upcoming Golf World Scottsdale Invitational Tournament. This is the second year in Scottsdale and the event is hosted on four premier courses, including the TPC of Scottsdale, home of the FBR Open.