Wie effort not talk of pros

Teen's Open pursuit draws scant interest from players focused on Bulle Rock course

LPGA Championship Notebook

June 06, 2006|By DON MARKUS | DON MARKUS,SUN REPORTER

Michelle Wie might as well have been playing on the other side of the world yesterday rather than more than a hundred miles up Interstate 95. The attention from the LPGA's rank-and-file members was minimal in what its famous non-member was trying to do at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Summit, N.J.

"I'm sure I'll hear the results, but I won't be looking into it," Grace Park said as she walked onto the practice tee at Bulle Rock golf course in Havre de Grace, where play begins Thursday in the LPGA Championship. "That's out of my league and out of my interest."

Three years ago, when Annika Sorenstam competed in a PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, many of her peers on the LPGA Tour said the hype was more beneficial to the best female player in the world than to the organization itself.

And what about Wie's impressive, if unsuccessful, attempt to make history and play in next week's Open at Winged Foot? To some it seems no different from Wie trying to qualify for a regular PGA Tour event, or even a Nationwide Tour event.

"It's just an ongoing thing," Park said. "Who knows when it's going to stop? Michelle is Michelle, and nobody lives the life such as Michelle. Let her be. It doesn't affect us. She's not an LPGA member."

Pro-am flap

Helen Alfredsson and Morgan Pressel might be at different stages of their LPGA careers, but they agree on one thing: The two-day pro-am format used at the LPGA Championship isn't popular among veterans or rookies.

"I don't think a major needs to have a two-day pro-am; it's tough as it is," Alfredsson said last week. "

Pressel, an 18-year-old rookie, was just as critical of the format, which was implemented when the event was moved last year from DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del., where two courses were used for the pro-am, to Bulle Rock, where there is only one.

"For two of our majors to have two-day pro-ams is a little ridiculous," Pressel said.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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