Golfer Wie Makes Pro Debut in Samsung Tourney
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:
Sixteen-year-old golf prodigy Michelle Wie is playing in her first professional tournament, the Samsung World Championship in Palm Desert, California. One of the many journalists following the 6' tall Big Wiesy, as she's known, is Tandaleya Wilder. Tandaleya is host of Shegotgame.com, an Internet radio show devoted to women's sport.
Ms. TANDALEYA WILDER (Host, Shegotgame.com): Hey.
ELLIOTT: How did young Michelle handle the big time this weekend?
Ms. WILDER: Well, you know, play was suspended until tomorrow because of the weather, but I think Michelle played well, especially when you consider she's just 16 and the tremendous pressure she must be under as the cameras are clicking every time she makes a drive or a putt. She's probably not gonna win this championship. Defending champ Annika Sorenstam is at the top of the leader board with a five-shot lead over Wie, but young Michelle could finish in the top three. Right now she's in third place behind Gloria Park, which is not too shabby for a pro debut.
ELLIOTT: Were there any surprises this weekend as she was playing?
Ms. WILDER: Well, you know, actually not too much about Wie. I was actually surprised at just how dominant a closer Annika Sorenstam is. I mean, once she pulls away from the pack, that's it; she's so consistent. And if she wins, as expected, she will join Mickey Wright as the only other player in LPGA history to win the Samsung World Championship five times. So even with the Michelle Wie show, Annika has shown that she is the world's greatest female golf player.
ELLIOTT: You know, just a few months ago, she was the big news in the LPGA, and there's been all this talk of late about Michelle Wie. I'm wondering, how is Annika handling that?
Ms. WILDER: I think she's handling it pretty graciously, actually. I mean, Sorenstam is undoubtedly the best female golfer in the world, and it would take Michelle Wie a really long time to surprise what Annika has done. Annika thinks that Michelle is good for the tour because she's drawing positive attention to the LPGA. And, you know, she's personally achieved so much that no one can take anything away from Annika. I mean, she's proven that today. So I think that she's really handling it very well.
ELLIOTT: You mentioned that Michelle Wie is bringing a lot of attention to the LPGA. How do you think her decision to turn pro will affect women's golf overall?
Ms. WILDER: Oh, I think it's going to be great for women's golf. I mean, you know, there are a lot of people who wouldn't even be paying attention to golf on television. Now they're taking a look because they're intrigued by 6' Big Wiesy, as she's called. So it's good for the game, and I think that she's not going to find the type of resentment that Tiger Woods got in his early years when he turned pro by some of the players on the tour. I think, you know, a lot of the attention for Michelle Wie is very positive.
Ms. WILDER: She's going to make a big impact. She's already making a big impact. Tomorrow, she's going to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.
ELLIOTT: Tandaleya Wilder of the Internet radio show "Shegotgame," thanks for being with us.
Ms. WILDER: Thank you.
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