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Brent Kelley

Michelle Wie Apologizes; Apology Not Accepted

By August 6, 2009

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The 12 members of the American Solheim Cup team have wrapped up two days of practice at the Solheim site, Rich Harvest Farms, 50 miles from Downtown Chicago. And at one of the press conferences, Michelle Wie admitted she's had a few screw-ups in her career so far:

"You make mistakes, you learn from them and you move forward. I definitely have not had a perfect career so far."

But it does sound like she had a pretty perfect couple of days with her new teammates. Even if she did feel the need to offer an apology. For what? For blocking her first tee ball into the rough.

"I said, 'I'm sorry,'" Wie recalled.

Apology not accepted.

Wie's playing partners explained to her that life on the U.S. Solheim Cup team means never having to say you're sorry.

"They were like: 'You don't say sorry out here. You hit it behind a tree, your partner has your back. You miss a putt, it's OK. We have your back.' It's a team effort," she said. "That's really special."

There are many golf observers who have high hopes for the effect being part of a Solheim Cup team might have on Wie. But Wie fans and detractors alike need to keep in mind that many of the decisions in the past for which Wie was criticized were most likely not even made by her, but by her parents.

In the Chicago Tribune article from which the above quotes are excerpted, journalist Teddy Greenstein quotes book author Eric Adelson making note of that:

"Her reputation is not as a team player," Adelson said. "But I've spoken to a lot of the women on tour, and their frustration is more with her (omnipresent) parents.

"Most people have seen the press conference Michelle, which is muted and robotic. The real Michelle is bright, funny and fairly open. And she can take a joke."

I've noted in the past that since joining the LPGA, Wie has proved to be quite popular with many of her peers. Natalie Gulbis, Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Christina Kim - Solheim Cup teammates - all are good friends. Two days ago, Gulbis posted a photo on Twitter of herself, Kim and Wie with their fishing poles, heading off to a pond on the Rich Harvest Farms property.

"Being a captain's pick, sometimes you wonder, 'do I really deserve this?'" Wie said during one of the press conferences at Rich Harvest Farms. " 'Am I the right one?' But everyone's come up to me and said, 'I'm really glad you made it.' It's just nice to know these girls have my back."

A couple other notes from the Solheim Cup practice days:

  • The American players will stay in three cabins, four women to a cabin, during the Solheim Cup. Slumber party!

  • European team member Janice Moodie, a surprising captain's selection in my view, is known - at least to Beth Daniel - for match-play gamesmanship:

    "I have warned them about that already, and I'll continue to warn them," U.S. captain Beth Daniel said. "Because match play is a whole different animal."

    Stopping short of jingling her pockets or yelling, "NOONAN!" Moodie nonetheless is known to pump her fist or talk trash in hushed tones on the course. It isnít flamboyant, but it's something to watch out for.

    "This is not like your normal subdued golf clap tournament," Daniel said.

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