Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lopez on Wie

Let there be no question about where Nancy Lopez, the Tiger Woods turned grande dame of the LPGA, stands when it comes to Michelle Wie - - she should forget about the PGA Tour.

Check out these excerpts from Lopez's recent pre-tourney intervew at the Jamie Farr:

Q. Being a child prodigy yourself, to some degree, what do you think of Michelle Wie and the approach she is taken to being professional at the age of 16?

NANCY LOPEZ: I'm really always saying I'm kind of confused, I'm not really sure what she wants to do. I haven't really talked to her about it.I know if I had a 16 year old that could play golf the way that she did, or she does, I think I would have advised my 16 year old to play more amateur golf. I would have never encouraged her to play on the men's tour.

I think that, you know, we have a woman's tour, and I think the men, I would probably say that most of the players on the PGA TOUR probably don't want her to play on their TOUR. They probably don't say that, but I'm speaking for them and my opinion. You know, I respect the PGA TOUR. They have their tour. I don't want any of their guys to play on our Tour. If we did not have a rule, I wouldn't want them to be over here. If they did we would have no women Tour because we would have a bunch of men on our Tour beating us. I'm a little confused there because I know when I was a little girl I wanted to win. I just don't think Michelle can win on the men's tour.

I would think that her goal would be to win on the woman's tour and be the best she can be on the woman's tour. Because she is such a great talent and she is really a nice girl. To be the best right now, she is going to be playing against some of the best players that's ever played on the LPGA Tour. I think we have the best product we've ever had with all of the young players that are out here and they will be here for many, many years. Most of them are around 20.

So I would think that she would set her goals to be the best, and to beat Annika, and to win more tournaments than Kathy Whitworth. She can do that. But everyone says, ‘Well, she has finished second in that event.' There is a big difference second and first. There really is because I've been there. To win you know when you are walking down the 18th fairway, and you're either one shot behind, or tied, or one shot in the lead, that is pressure.

So, you know what it's all about if you've been there. She hasn't won for a long time. I mean it's been a while. I think it's going to be harder – I think if she would have played more amateur golf she would have already won out here. I truly believe that. Because she would have come out here with the attitude internally that she was the best and that she could win. I don't really know if she can answer that question to herself now that she can really win right now. I think she will eventually win for sure on the LPGA Tour, but I really think she would have won already by now.

Q. Do you think it would benefit the LPGA to get her out to a few more things? I know there are a myriad of rules because she is not a full time member, giving the attention that she draws.

NANCY LOPEZ: Definitely. I want the LPGA Tour to succeed. The PGA TOUR is already doing that. We need her on the LPGA Tour to bring those people in the gates to watch her play. That's why we are going to make more money for charity first, and then for the LPGA Tour for the purses to get bigger. I hope that she cares enough about the LPGA Tour to come out here and play with us and bring those fans out here to watch Michelle Wie on the LPGA Tour.

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