Everybody likes an underdog. Amazingly, Michelle Wie is now in that position. Once the can't-miss kid from Hawai'i who self-destructed with the help of relentless media and skeptical advice, has resurrected her image.
Enter IMG...the world-class uber-agency that guides the paths of great golf pedigree Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, will now guide Ms. Wie in her second coming-out party.
Now that she has undergone strength coaching to fortify her upper body to equal her lower body strength...she has now turned her sights to strengthening her media relations. Through IMG, she will have the greatest sports agency in the world directing and cajoling her "new" position as rookie on the LPGA Tour.
What great timing for her and the LPGA. With sponsors dropping faster than Charles Barkley swing hitches...the LPGA is in no shape to fight itself out of it's mess alone...then Michelle Wie qualified through Q school to get her card, and asserted her readiness to play by taking a second place in her first LPGA-sanctioned event. The LPGA will look back on her getting her card as the most important event in women's golf since the dawn of Nancy Lopez.
Michelle Wie, already the 5th highest paid female athlete in sponsors, still carries high-dollar cache...cache that will be required to lure sponsors and big money into the LPGA that will determine its survival. She has more American 'likability" than Ochoa or other current top 10 women golfers that have not been able to break through American sponsorships, sad...but that is the cold reality of women's sports.
This week when she tees it up with the ladies at the LPGA International, she will be stepping into a role that she should have already accepted and thrived in. She will however be more prepared because of her past failures, and her future Agent/Media relationship. She is still only 19 years old...still just a sophomore at Stanford University...but more mature and confident than she's ever been....and she's the underdog...
And everyone loves the underdog. Don't bet against her this time.
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,