Friday, August 05, 2005

Morgan Pressel vs. Michelle Wie

OK--I'm not really going to the compare the two players in any substantial way as I know little about the mechanics of golf and only slightly more about their lives. But I know that Pressel, also an amateur, does not get nearly the amount of attention that Wie gets yet it seems Pressel has been more consistent. Pressel, of course, is not out there trying to break down the gender barriers that exist in professional (and amateur) golf. [SMALL TANGENT: Though I question if that is what Michelle Wie is really trying to do. I don't think she is attempting to make the game more accessible for other women players. I believe she is trying to make herself a more outstanding player. This is not unlike other athletes and I try to suppress the essentialist inclinations that sometimes creep in that suggest that Wie, and other female athletes, should be helping their sport and their fellow women players. I get especially angry when people like Frank Deford suggest that Wie is hurting women's golf by playing with men. It's all about Wie and has nothing to do with the male-controlled media that covers more men's events than women's or the years of male tradition--that still exists in various forms--at country clubs and other venues of the sport.]
But back to Pressel...She has been playing in the Women's US Open since she was 13 and was runner-up this year, finishing ahead of Wie who made a run at the title but faltered on the last day. And having watched her at the Open and now seen and heard from her as she plays the US Women's Amateur this week, she just seems like a very pleasant young woman. She shows some genuine emotion on the course. She is very complimentary of her fellow players and gives due credit to their play and abilities. She admits they played well rather than she played badly.
I am not suggesting Michelle Wie is a solipsistic, narcissistic player who is just no fun. But despite playing with men and women of all ages all over the world, she just doesn't seem to have the level of maturity (she is two years younger than Pressel though) and self-awareness that Pressel has.

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