Signing Off

I'll admit: I am not a fan of professional golfer Michelle Wie.

She was driving the ball 300 yards of the tee at age thirteen. Throughout her teen years she's entered a few men's PGA events, despite never winning on the women's tour. Some blame an over-aggressive father for pushing her into this career path which cause many people to despise her. But, all in all, she's just a kid— only 18 years-old now.

Wie was entered in an LPGA event this past weekend and, after her round on Friday, she left the scorers tent without signing her scorecard. Anyone familiar with professional golf knows that this is one of the rules (in fact, a golfer lost the Masters in 1968 because he signed an incorrect scorecard). Even though officials immediately chased her down to sign it, she left the official roped-off scoring area which should mean a disqualification. But the LPGA let her go out on Saturday and play her round, waiting until she finished, before informing Wie that she had been DQ'd. At the time, she was in 2nd place.

Again, I'm not a Wie fan, but this is ridiculous. I love the game of golf but this antiquated rule has got to go. I can understand the need for such a rule back in the day: there was no television coverage or instant scoring. But with today's extensive coverage of tournaments, and with all the demands on the professionals, from catering to local events to dealing with media interviews, why can't they final take the signing the scorecard aspect out of the equation? Basically, what they're saying is that a golfer's score isn't official until the player signs his/her card. Then why even show the score during the tournament? What other sport penalizes you for not verifying your own score. Do they do that in professional bowling?

I understand the basis behind the rule, an ideal which accompanies all of golf: honesty. You're accountable to faithfully keep your own score. But just because hackers like me take an occasional mulligan doesn't mean that professionals are doing so.

By the way, the LPGA doesn't really like Wie too much, because she has at times shunned their league. Adding insult to injury, LPGA offical Sue Witters, who informed Wie of her DQ, (perhaps unintentionally) belittled the golfer's youthfulness with the comment, "I felt like I was telling somebody that there was no Santa Claus."

Additionally, if the LPGA knew they were going to disqualify her and let her play on Saturday, they are just cruel. I would suspect that they wanted to milk Wie for a few more television viewers before sending her home.

Overall, very bad form.

[insert no golf clap here]