Does Michelle Wie Deserve to be on the US Solheim Cup Team?
Guess who doesn't deserve to be a member of the United States Solheim Cup? I'll give you all a few seconds to think of a name. Here's a hint: it probably rhymes with "Rochelle Smee". If you guessed Michelle Wie, then you're right on the money. Much like the Ryder Cup on the men's side, participants of the Solheim Cup teams for the U.S. and Europe are initially determined by golfers playing the best throughout the season by way of a points system. After the top-ranked players are determined by points, each team captain then chooses their "captain picks".
That's how Wie was chosen to compete for the Americans. Not because she earned her way onto the team -- you know, since she hasn't won a tournament in over three years -- but because US Captain Meg Mallon wanted her on the team.
To be fair to Wie, she did have a strong showing at the last Solheim Cup in 2011 before the Americans screwed the proverbial pooch and lost to Europe. The loss was by no means Wie's fault; she was actually one of the bright spots on the 12-player squad.
But since that time, Wie has remained below-average at best in terms of on-course performance. In fact, the once overly-hyped young superstar hasn't come close to playing to her potential since turning pro in 2005 as a 15-year old.
In eight years as a pro, Wie has managed merely two LPGA Tour wins (she officially joined the tour in 2009). Yes, she has had a smattering of strong showings in major championships (T-3 at the Kraft Nabisco, US Women's Open and Women's British Open; second place in 2005 at the LPGA Championship); however, Wie herself will tell you that much more was expected of the girl who once astounded golf fans by blasting 270-yard drives as a 12-year old.
I know what you're probably thinking: didn't Tiger Woods make the 2012 Ryder Cup team as a captain's pick? How is this any different?
Yes, fellow Nike Golf athlete Woods was one of Davis Love III's captain picks last year. He didn't come close to earning his spot by way of points. That's where the comparisons to Wie end, though. That should be pretty obvious.
Still, Wie is on the team and now has a monumental task ahead of her. While captain Meg Mallon will want Wie to think of herself as "1 of 12", the fact remains that Wie will be under a massive microscope this week in Colorado.