Friday, January 13, 2006

Kane in Toronto; Wie falls apart; China claims golf


Had the chance to speak with Lorie Kane in Toronto yesterday about her new sponsorship arrangement with CN, though I think that was the least interesting part of the story. What is most interesting were her comments on the changing face of the LPGA that appeared in my story in the National Post this morning:

Looking slim from several weeks of working out in PEI over her Christmas break, Kane, an elder statesman in the LPGA at 41, admitted she has adifficult time relating to the teen sensations on tour. These new players come equipped with physical trainers, nutritionists, mental coaches andoften million dollar endorsement deals, a far cry from Kane, who broke ontothe LPGA in 1996 at the age of 31. Instead of heading to a large U.S. college on a golf scholarship like most of today's young players, Kane stayed in Canada for university and developed her came with help from herfather, Jack.
"They come with the full package," says Kane. "Which is a little differentfrom where I came from . I was not ready to turn pro when I was 18."
Asked about Wie's chance of making the cut in Hawaii today, Kane wouldn't commit either way, but added "I'm hoping she does, for her. And for [women'sgolf], because we benefit any time she shows up in the paper or in the news."Though the youngsters on the LPGA are generating a buzz, they are also under tremendous pressure. Just take Wie, for example, who sits next to last afterday one at the Sony Open, likely dashing any hope of playing of the weekend.
Kane said players like Wie and Creamer play the game with abandon and without fear, but she is unsure whether they can keep in up over theentirety of their careers."The younger players come with an unbelievable focus and I don't know if itis because they just don't know any better," Kane said.

As for Michelle Wie, there's no chance she'll play the weekend this year after posting a nine-over 79. AP's Doug Ferguson says the teen dream was a little shaken up by her dodgy play.

''Today it was like, 'Wow,' " she said. ''It's like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this bad.' "
And as the 16-year-old got up from her chair, she finally figured out what would make it better. ''I want some chocolate," she said.

The reality is that it'll take more than chocolate. She could redeem herself today, but if she finishes last — or near last — it will be interesting to see if that's the end of sponsor's exemptions into men's tournaments, at least on the PGA Tour. In my opinion she was always out of her depth -- and this is just proving it. Why not back away quietly and try again in a few years? Besides, it looked like she was going to break into tears after her round, and the last pro golfer to do that after getting spanked was Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie. He cried on his mother's shoulder.

Apparently China creates more than just products for Walmart -- according to an academic, golf was created in the Asian country.

"When golf was introduced into China most people naturally assumed that golf was
a foreign game. In fact this is contrary to the historical facts. Golf, as we know it today, clearly originated in China." - Prof Ling.


I'm sure there will be some debate about this. But what difference does it make? It isn't like Mission Hills is going to rival St. Andrews any time soon.

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