SBD/Issue 175/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Sponsors Reportedly Complain About Michelle Wie

Tournaments, Pro-Am Partners
Upset With Wie’s Recent Actions
Michelle Wie’s pro-am partners at last week’s LPGA Ginn Tribute “were less than enthused with her hospitality and tournament organizers were left feeling the sponsor’s exemption they extended to her was not appreciated,” according to sources cited by Ron Sirak of GOLFDIGEST.com. Then, at this week’s pro-am for the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, sources said that Wie’s playing partners “complained that she would walk off by herself after hitting a shot and had little interplay with any of the four amateurs.” The complaints “annoyed McDonald’s officials and reached the office” of LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. A spokesperson for Bivens confirmed she “had a conversation with the Wies but declined to divulge its nature.” Sirak added that on Tuesday, LPGA rules official Doug Brecht ordered Wie’s mother and father, as well as her physiotherapist, “off the practice range, citing the LPGA rule that only coaches and caddies are allowed on the range with players” (GOLFDIGEST.com, 6/5).

WRIST SHOT: These reports follow Wie’s withdrawal at last week’s Ginn Tribute when, after being 14 over par through 16 holes, she withdrew citing a wrist injury.  Some have speculated that she withdrew because of an LPGA rule that states any player shooting 88 or higher is barred from competing in another event for the rest of the season. With Wie pulling out of the tournament on Thursday, but practicing at Bulle Rock, site of this week's LPGA Championship, on Saturday, LPGAer Annika Sorenstam said yesterday, "It’s a little funny that you pull out with an injury and then you start grinding.” But Wie said of speculation that she withdrew because of the rule of 88, “I don't think about 88. I mean, that's just ridiculous” (WASHINGTON POST, 6/6). Read Wie's full explanation for the withdrawal (ASAPSPORTS.com, 6/5).  For a link to Wie's full explanation of her withdrawal, visit SportsBusinessDaily.com.

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