Wie Washes Out in Hawaii

In only her second tournament as a professional, Michelle Wie battles the men at the Sony Open and nearly makes the cut. The third time at this event wasn’t much of a charm.

More people were following Michelle Wie on Thursday and Friday than any other golfer at the Sony Open. They were more intrigued with the 16-year-old girl who can drive a golf ball upwards of 275 yards than tried-but-true PGA Tour player Jim Furyk, the guy with the funky swing. Both battled the same windy conditions and both golfers live and play in Hawaii but today Furyk headed into the clubhouse in the lead while Michelle headed home.

Michelle Wie Sony OpenMichelle took issue with the weather and Jim played through it. The struggle took its toll on Wie at the beginning of the first round causing amateurish mistakes which, when Michelle replays the tape, should reveal that she has much more work to do on both the physical and psychological aspects of her game. It looked as if two different Michelle Wies came to play between the first and second days of action. I’m still wondering if the shaky, unsteady youngster who scored horrendously on the first nine holes of play is the same one who scored seven birdies in second-round action.

Will the real Michelle Wie please stand up?!

Nine Holes With Davis Love

Catch up on a little Love III trivia.

ProFilesIf we look at The Sand Trap .com’s list of “Best Players to Have Won Only One Major” we’ll find one Davis Love III. He is a consistent and fundamentally sound player whose overall success has been hampered by injury the last few years. Look for Love III to win again… soon.

This week, we walk half a round with “The Love Monster,” a nickname I’ve just now created for him. Join us…

LPGA in Numbers

The numbers on the LPGA tour show the same characteristics as the PGA Tour and in some ways is more consistent and telling. The data also proves the 40-30-20-10 rule once again.

The Numbers GameI’ve ignored the women too long. Sorry, its just a habit us men have. So far nearly all of my research has been based on the PGA Tour. This week, I’m going to look at the LPGA Tour and see if I come to the same conclusions.

Some of the first research found that Greens in Regulation (GIR) correlated closest to scoring followed by Putting (PA), Driving Distance (DD) and then Driving Accuracy (DA). Will it be the same for the ladies? Read on to find out. And, of course, check the “Numbers Game” archives for the original articles on these trends and numbers.

PGA Tour Finalizes Television Agreements

Starting in 2007 the PGA Tour is well positioned to increase its appeal to the Tour’s fan base with the help of The Golf Channel, CBS and NBC.

PGA Tour LogoOn Wednesday PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour announced the new television terms for the 2007-2012 seasons. The new PGA Tour schedule is a part of those changes, and many of the events will be seen on different networks than we’ve become accustomed to. Two new six-year deals were reached with CBS and NBC to provide weekend coverage of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup for the 2007-2012 seasons. What’s even bigger is an unprecedented 15 year agreement with The Golf Channel to be the exclusive cable partner for the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tours. The new agreements will also allow The Players Championship to move to a May date and air without commercial interruptions.

We are also delighted with the financial benefits of these agreements. We achieved our primary objective of securing continued solid growth in financial benefits to players. Under the new agreements, total prize money and other financial benefits to players will increase approximately $600 million over the term as compared to the previous six years, a 35-percent increase.

So let’s see how the event coverage will break down.

Big Wiesy Tries Again at Sony Open

Michelle Wie attempts to make the cut for the third time at the 2006 Sony Open. Is the third time a charm for the eager teenager?

Michelle Wie at the Sony OpenMichelle Wie is undoubtedly the most popular female golfer in Hawaii. She has been given her third sponsor’s exemption into the Sony Open and has created an atmosphere which resembles more of a circus than a traditional golf tournament.

PGA Tour Vice President Ric Clarson isn’t complaining. “We’re in the entertainment business, it’s more than just a golf tournament, so when a player like Michelle plays in the Sony Open, it creates national and international attention.”

So what’s next Ric? Maybe we should rename the Sony Open to the “Michelle Wie Open”?

Sony Open in Hawaii Preview

Vijay Singh looks to defend his Sony Open in Hawaii title this week in Hawaii and can Wie make the cut this year as a pro?

Sony Open in HawaiiNot much has changed from last years Sony Open in Hawaii Last year the big question was “Will Michelle Wie make the cut?” this year it’s the same question but with a twist, “Will Michelle Wie make the cut and is she worth the 10 million?” After making a disappointing professional debut by being DQ’ed at the Samsung World Championship, she is looking to make a statement especially in front of her home town crowd.

Vijay Singh is also looking to make a statement of his own by successfully defending his title at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Last year he won the event while ranked the #1 player in the world and it was the first win of his four win season. Now we’ll have to see if last week’s playoff loss at the Mercedes Championship has shaken his confidence.

New Products from Callaway and Nickent

Callaway has new hybrids and irons, Nickent has new putters and Jim Furyk’s got a new name on his bag.

Bag DropWelcome to the first Bag Drop at our new Tuesday morning home. Let’s get right to the good stuff. As expected, some new products are coming to light prior to this month’s PGA Merchandise Show & Convention. Last week, two new Callaway Golf products were unveiled – one introduction was intentional, while the cat jumped out of the bag on the other.

The cat, as it were, is a new line of hybrids from Callaway. The company will soon announce a line of Fusion hybrids to match the Fusion FT-3 driver and Fusion fairway woods currently in the company’s lineup.

2006 Mercedes Championship Recap

Stuart Appleby fends off a charging Vijay Singh for a successful title defense and three in a row at the 2006 Mercedes Championship.

2006 Mercedes Champion: Stuart ApplebyWow did I get my money’s worth this past weekend at the 2006 Mercedes Championship. This was my first PGA Tour event that I attended and luck have it, I had front-row seats to two fantastic finishes at the 18th hole on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Vijay finished the first time with a tap-in birdie to go eight under and force Appleby to also birdie the 18th hole to go eight under and force a playoff. The players were promptly shuttled back to the 18th for the first playoff hole where both players matched drives in the center of the fairway but their second and third shots are what really created the drama. Alas the playoff was won by Appleby when Vijay missed his crucial putt (again) and left Appleby with a two-footer for his third consecutive win.

Episode 008

It’s a new year, but it’s the same ol’ Jeff and Erik. While Everardo suns himself in freakin’ Hawaii, we tackle some of the first issues of the 2006 PGA Tour season.

PodcastErik and Jeff tee off in the new year on players skipping the Mercedes Championship, “mandatory play,” Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods (and his newly purchased fixer-upper $40M home in south Florida) in this, episode 008, of “Golf Talk Podcast.” You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 008 as an MP3 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.