Michelle Wie, the target of non-stop criticism from LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and others during last week’s U.S. Women’s Open, took to Twitter yesterday to defend her decision to put school before golf.
In five Twitter blasts (golf clap for Dan Spears for the heads up), Wie made it clear that her priority was to finish her studies at Stanford University before going full-tilt on the LPGA Tour.
“I saw comments last week that attending Stanford will somehow interfere with my golf,” Wie tweeted in defense of her decision to complete her degree. “I believe in the importance of education for all young people.”
Before the Open began and Wie had hit her first tee shot, Sorenstam opined that the 21-year-old had not fulfilled her potential and suggested that the distraction of school was partly to blame.
“I think really her focus, in my opinion, should be more on the golf,” Sorenstam told reporters last Wednesday. “She’s very distracted with school, doesn’t really play as much full time as I thought she would. I think she needs to come out here and compete more regularly.”
Former LPGA star and current golf analyst Dottie Pepper chimed in the next day, saying Wie had not come close to performing “up to her physical talents.”
That was not the end of the poor reviews for Wie, who will return to Stanford for a fifth year to finish her studies. In a Golf Digest column wrapping up her observations about the Open, Sorenstam called out Wie yet again. The big-hitting Wie “was the biggest disappointment of the week for me,” Sorenstam wrote. “She seems to be going backwards.”
Wie, who had a decidedly lackluster Open (she barely made the cut and finished with a share of 55th place), was polite but pointed in her reply to unnamed critics. She noted that golf would still be there when she finished college.
“I’m 21 and almost at the finish line for my college degree, a goal of mine my whole life,” she typed. “After that (graduation will be in march 2012), I will have the chance to focus entirely on winning trophies for the rest of my life.”
“I respect other people’s personal goals…both in golf and in life,” Wie concluded. “Just ask for the same in return. Thanks for your support everyone!”
It’s her life, LEAVE HER ALONE!
Photo – Christian Petersen/Getty Images