“I’d be very surprised, just because of what happened last time,” Pressel said. “I don’t think she needs an exemption. I’ve been through qualifying.
“Everybody who doesn’t make it on the money list, other amateurs, other professionals that aren’t members of the tour, they all have to go through qualifying, too.
“I don’t see why she shouldn’t, or why she should be afraid, or expect an exemption.”
But the guy who matters, USGA Director David Fay, says that Wie is officially in limbo—and that its a possibility that she will get an exemption based on her performance in LPGA events prior to the Open.
Wie received an exemption last year because—if she had been a professional—she would have earned enough money in the LPGA events she played in to squeeze into the Open.
The top money winners on the LPGA get exemptions into the Open. But because Wie is not a member, her name does not appear on the money list.
For what it’s worth, I agree with Pressel. Last year, when she was an amateur playing at a professional level, Wie probably deserved a break. But since she has officially turned pro, I think all bets are off. If she earns enough money on the LPGA Tour, fine. If not, then she needs to qualify like everyone else.
What worries me most about this is that the Wie crew seems to be intent on taking every shortcut in the book. She didn’t go to Q-School (I know she’s officially too young for the tour, but so was Pressel. If Wie had placed in Q school, it would have been very difficult for the LPGA not to grant an exception to their rules). And she keeps playing in men’s tournaments, hoping that lightening will strike.
In the meantime, other top young players are honing their skills in amateur tournaments.
I’m frankly curious as to what Wie is going to do when her act gets old—and for me, it’s starting to get there.
If Wie had any integrity, she would simply save Fay the trouble and tell the world that she is prepared to go through qualifying like everyone else. If she’s as good as she pretends to be, she will breeze through and gain a measure of respect. And in any event, she will gain some of the mental toughness and competitive skills that will stand her in good stead.