Michelle Wie Disqualified; LPGA Doesn't Want to Be a Major Player

J Pat DyerAnalyst IJuly 19, 2008

The LPGA doesn't want to be a major player in the world of sports. They are content to being the little sister of the PGA and Women's tennis ugly cousin.

Today, the boneheads who run women's golf, decided it was prudent to disqualify the only woman in the State Farm Classic who has enough charm and ability get spectators excited.

Eighteen-year-old Michelle Wie may be a few years away before we can feel guiltless about noticing she is cute, but her talent is hard to ignore.  The often-criticized Wie was only a stroke down after three rounds when the news came. She would be disqualified for failure to sign her scorecard. It's a rule whose origin came from players being their own referee.  There was a time when this game was played on the honor system because it was only you and your caddy watching. Those days will be back soon if the LPGA keeps up its nonsense.

On a weekend most of the big names like Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam took off, the LPGA needed a Michele Wie to step up. She did and they slapped her back down.  She didn't sign a card on time during a round where every shot was shown on ESPN2.  Was her card correct? Yes. Did she sign it? Yes.  Ladies golf needs to decide. Do they want to continue to be an afterthought or do they want to take advantage of Tiger Woods being sidelined to show there are some superstars in women's golf.  They have Michele Wie, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis, who combine ability with great looks. These are the kind of players that can do for golf what Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova did for tennis.  They can make women's golf a major force in sports.  But LPGA, you have to decide.  Is an outdated, ridiculous rule worth ruining a tournament and turning away viewers?   It is the question that will decide the future of your sport.  Here is what was written on the LPGA site;  "Michelle Wie was disqualified following the third round at the LPGA State Farm Classic for failure to sign her score card after Friday's second round, which is a violation of Rule 6-6 b. according to The Rules of Golf and confirmed by the USGA. 6-6 b. – Signing and Returning Score Card After completion of the round, the competitor should check his score for each hole and settle any doubtful points with the Committee. He must ensure that the marker or markers have signed the score card, sign the score card himself and return it to the Committee as soon as possible."   Wie was notified following the conclusion of today's third round in order to provide her the opportunity to give an account of yesterday's second round situation.

The LPGA first heard of the violation mid-morning today, but it was after Wie had begun third-round play, and action could not be further taken until she had completed 18 holes and been given the opportunity to recount the events of Friday's second round.  The 2008 LPGA Rules of Play define the scoring area as the roped area defining the boundary of the scoring tent. Supplementary rules of play stipulate that the scoring area boundary may instead be defined by a white line, which has the effect of decreasing the size of the scoring area.

The white line was not deemed necessary this week and was not put in place, and as a result, the boundary is the scoring tent. Prior to signing her card, Wie had left the defined scoring area according to item No. 3 resulting in her subsequent disqualification.

3. Returning Score Card Rule 6-6, page 31. (A player is deemed to have returned her score card to the Committee when she leaves the roped area of the scoring tent or leaves the scoring trailer). ClubHusband.com