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Girls Will Be Girls
Rick Reilly
May 31, 2004
To find a grown man willing to be humiliated and embarrassed by the 14-year-old, par-5-gobbling female phenom golfer known as Michelle Wie, you need to find someone used to humiliation and embarrassment. You need someone with his own 14-year-old daughter.
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May 31, 2004

Girls Will Be Girls

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So she vaporized her balata exactly 307 yards, over the corner, to the middle of the fairway, 20 yards farther than the LPGA pro in our foursome, the damn-long Jill McGill, and 40 yards farther than the captain. (There were no more instructions given.)

The girls could use a little help with math, too. When I pointed out to Michelle that Tiger Woods is twice her age, she said, "Does that mean when I'm 28, he'll be 56?"

Tiger's coming down with a bizarre aging disease might help in her stated goal to whup him someday, head-to-head, same tees. "So I'd have to be like, 38 and he could be 52," she says. "I think that would work."

She's that way, saying things you just never thought would come out of the mouth of a 14-year-old girl. That day, a reporter asked her, "Michelle, what's the hardest shot for you at your age?" And she answered, "When the ball is behind the tree."

On the 13th hole of the pro-am she uttered, "I played with Jack Nicklaus and he outdrove me twice! That's amazing, don't you think, for a sixtysomething guy?"

And here's Michelle on Greg Norman and his declaration that women shouldn't be allowed to play on the PGA Tour: "It just proves he's old?

You play 18 holes with Michelle, you feel just slightly older than Tom Morris's niblick. Of the 12 drives she hit that day, six went more than 300 yards, and not one traveled less than 285. On most holes you could've built a Big K-Mart in the space between her drive and mine.

Her iron game is clean, her short game crisp and her putting stroke butter. It was a scramble, but if she'd played her own ball, I made her for a five-under 67, easy.

Yet when I was walking down the fairway with her, it was exactly like walking in the mall with Rae. Both are forever talking about what they'll buy when they're rich. ("I want a pink Audi TT, just like Suki's in 2 Fast 2 Furious? Michelle says.) Both never stop tugging at their skirts. And both refuse to date boys shorter than they are. For the 5'2" Rae, it's easy. For the 6'1" Michelle, it's a cruel rule. "That only leaves, like, six guys in my whole high school!" she says.

The only difference between Rae and Michelle is that every 10 minutes or so Michelle will suddenly morph from Gidget into Godzilla, swinging a driver so hard that small animals are caught up in the clubsuck. Spectators gasp and then whoop lustily. Then Michelle, suddenly Shirley Temple again, smiles primly and squeaks, "Thank you."

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