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Michelle Wie’s golf career has been defined as much by her boundless potential as by the fact that her parents have orchestrated her every move. B.J. and Bo Wie have been criticized for being too involved in their daughter’s professional life, drawing the ire of LPGA Tour vet Dottie Pepper, as well as Michelle’s swing coach, David Leadbetter.
Part of the issue is that Wie accepted sponsor’s exemptions to compete on the PGA Tour even though she had yet to earn her LPGA Tour card (much less win an event). This didn’t go over well in most golfing circles although it was clear why tournaments continued to extend invites (and why she continued to accept). Behind it all (or so the thinking went): B.J. and Bo.
Michelle appeared to gain some freedom when she enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 2007, but her parents were never far away. Of course, Wie’s still a teenager and it’s perfectly reasonable to think that she relied heavily on her mom and dad. The problem, though, is that somewhere along the way Wie’s parents apparently went from overprotective guardians to meddlesome busybodies with questionable intentions. I have no proof they were more the latter than the former, but, fair or not, that was the perception.
But as the Solheim Cup begins this week, 19-year-old Michelle won’t have her parents shadowing her every move. From Golf.com’s Jim Gorant:
Gorant points out that the last time something like this happened — the 2004 Curtis Cup — “Michelle played great.” (She was 2-0 in singles matches, 0-2 in foursomes.) No idea if there’s a correlation, although I am sure of this: should Wie play well, it will be offered up as proof that B.J. and Bo have been detrimental to her growth. Meanwhile, the pair was seen walking the course with Michelle Monday.