October 17, 2005


Wie's disqualification put in motion by reporter (Associated Press, 10/17/05)

Michelle Wie's pro debut made her look like an amateur Sunday when she was disqualified for taking a bad drop from the bushes in the third round of the Samsung World Championship. [...]

[T]he 16-year-old Wie no sooner had signed for a 74 to finish fourth -- $53,126 -- that LPGA Tour officials took her out to the seventh hole to discuss a drop she took the day before.

Nearly two hours later, she was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Because Wie dropped the ball closer to the hole -- by 3 inches according to her, by about a foot according to the rules officials -- she should have added two strokes to her third-round 71.

"I learned a great lesson," Wie said, her voice choking with emotion. "From now on, I'll call a rules official no matter where it is, whether its 3 inches or 100 yards. I respect that."

Wie hit a 5-wood into a Gold Lantana bush Saturday and was barely able to find it. She told her playing partner, Grace Park, she was taking an unplayable lie, dropped away from the bush, then chipped to 15 feet and made the par. It was a critical par save, and Wie steadied herself to get within five shots of the lead.

Michael Bamberger, a reporter for Sports Illustrated, told tour officials Sunday afternoon that he was concerned about the drop. Rules officials Jim Haley and Robert O. Smith reviewed tape from NBC Sports before taking Wie and caddie Greg Johnston to the seventh green after the tournament ended Sunday. [...]

Johnston was bothered that Bamberger, who was at the seventh green when Wie took the drop, waited a day before raising it with tour officials. Had she been notified Saturday before signing her card, she would not have been disqualified.

Bamberger said he paced it off after Wie, playing in the final group Saturday, finished the hole.

"I did it in crude way -- 'Let's see what she has to say.' I was hopeful she could convince me," in the Saturday interview, Bamberger said. "I thought about it more and was just uncomfortable that I knew something. Integrity is at the heart of the game. I don't think she cheated. I think she was just hasty."

Asked why he didn't bring it up before the third round ended, Bamberger said, "That didn't occur to me. I was still in my reporter's mode. I wanted to talk to her first."

I believe in the integrity of golf, but I don't think reporters or viewers at home should affect the outcomes of tournaments. If the player and her playing partner were ok with the drop (and if there was no immediate intervention by an on-course official), that should be that...

Posted by Glenn Dryfoos at October 17, 2005 1:43 PM

I smell a lawsuit.

Posted by: obc at October 17, 2005 1:55 PM

Girls' Golf. Say did you see the Ohio State Michigan State Game? That was wild.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 17, 2005 2:03 PM

Unable to influence the outcomes of national elections, this is what the American press has come to...

Posted by: M. Murcek at October 17, 2005 2:04 PM

Michael Bamberger has written a lot about the history of the game, and written well - this is a cheap stunt, wrapped up in sanctimony. He should be smacked over the head with a 5-iron, especially for raising the issue only after the round was over, ensuring that DQ was the result.

I smell toadying behavior towards the other female pros, some of whom have disdained Wie in the past.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 17, 2005 2:19 PM

We kind of lost the idea that nothing off the field/course should affect play when the instant replay rule was adopted for football. TV is part of the rules, and if some people have their way, it will be part of major league baseball's rules in a few years. Not quite the same as what happened to Wie, but it is a situation where an outside authority (depending on the camera angle) can change an on-field call.

Posted by: John at October 17, 2005 3:02 PM

I smell toadying behavior towards the other female pros, some of whom have disdained Wie in the past.

They should be afraid.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 17, 2005 6:54 PM

I don't think that he will get many interviews from her and she will be around for a very long time.

Posted by: danw at October 17, 2005 7:21 PM

Bamberger is lucky Wie's caddy isn't Stevie Williams.

Posted by: Foos at October 18, 2005 1:45 PM

Bamberger is lucky he didn't tattle on Danielle Ammaccapane.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 18, 2005 7:54 PM