By Laura Pappano
Maybe I’m just a sucker for team sports, but I love the Solheim Cup. Where else do can you catch face paint, hard-slapping high fives, and I-got-your-back hugs – in golf?
In a sport that – this year, particularly on the women’s side – has been in disarray, the Solheim Cup competition in Sugar Groves, Illinois this past weekend reminded us why golf – no, women’s golf – is such a riveting game. For starters, it was fun. There was the get-the-crowd pumped animation of Christina Kim, and plenty of mano a mano competition from Paula Creamer and Angela Stanford to 49-year-old Juli Inkster (who earned a half a point for the US team).
And then there was Michelle.
Remember the girl everyone loved to hate because she insisted on playing with the boys? Recall that she only got a spot on the team thanks to a wild card pick by team captain Beth Daniel (neither Wie nor Inkster had earned enough points through LPGA play to make it otherwise).
Now Daniel looks like a genius. Wie went 3-0-1, helping the Americans win 16-12. The lesson here is that Michelle has always been good. She has not always played well. She has sometimes made choices that bothered other women because they viewed her eagerness for male competition – her father B.J. Wie famously said in 2003 that, “Tiger is her benchmark. Not women – Tiger” – as a dis.
But fact is, teenager girls (or – err – their dads) say a lot of stuff. As sportswomen, as competitors, we should give one another enough room to talk big, to even have a little swagger. Hey, it could be just what the LPGA needs.