In terms of "living up to the hype," very few young golfers have actually met the expectations laid out for them heading into their professional debut and beyond. Names like Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Natalie Gulbis and others may have had some success on their respective tours, but none have risen to the lofty expectations placed on them prior to turning pro.
In the case of Michele Wie, there may not be a better poster child for "falling short" in the game of golf.
Make no mistake; Michele Wie has had glimpses of brilliance during her career on the LPGA Tour, which started in 2005 when Wie was still a young teen. At that time she was showered with amateur accolades, endorsement deals from top product lines (including Nike and Sony, worth more than $10 million combined) and the proverbial weight of the LPGA's future on her shoulders. A lot of people had a lot of faith - and money - riding on Wie's success. Many believed it wasn't a question of "if", but more a question of "when".
Now 22 years old and very much a veteran in her sport, many people are still waiting for the "when" to come through. Wie has struggled mightily throughout her career, often missing multiple cuts during an LPGA season schedule that pales in comparison to the number of events available on the PGA Tour. Wie even dabbled with the men's tour by playing three events, including the Sony Open in 2004 and 2005, then the John Deere Classic later that same year. Wie never made the cut in any of her three attempts.
Fast-forward to present day, Wie is sitting on a mere two professional wins in more than 7 years of work, her most recent coming at the CN Canadian Women's Open in August 2010. Wie has come close to winning multiple other tournaments throughout the years, however seems to have a nasty habit of squandering 54-hole leads more often than not.
Now the former child golf prodigy often struggles to just make the cut.
At this week's Wegman's LPGA Championship, Wie is struggling once again. Playing Thursday's round with only 13 clubs after breaking her 3-wood on the practice range, Wie stated she felt like she was finally playing "more free" during Thursday's round. Despite that feeling of freedom, Wie still stumbled to a 74.
In her last six starts, Wie has missed five cuts and lost in the first round of the Sybase Match Play Championship. For her sake, one can only hope brighter days and more made-cuts are around the corner.