Pinned in a corner with only one true way out, the once heralded "next big thing" in women's golf will head to LPGA Qualifying School to try and earn her player's card the old fashioned way.
Michelle Wie, in a bit of poetic justice, will enter the first stage of Q-School next week at a golf course that made her a household name five years ago.
Wie now faces the biggest fork in the road of her career and it couldn't come at a better time. She has slowly become the punching bag for most on the LPGA tour because of her obsession with competing against men when she can't even produce against women anymore. She has made just $35,038 in seven tournaments, good enough for 140th on the Official Money List, and had a disqualification and more struggles with the men to boot.
Her father, B.J. Wie, had said at the U.S. Women's Open that Wie had "no other options" but Q-school if she didn't make enough money to finish the equivalent of 80th of the LPGA Tour money list.
"Nothing has changed since then," he said Tuesday morning from Palm Desert, Calif. "She will go to Q-school."
The first stage will be at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif., site of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Wie played in the final group of the LPGA's first major when she was in the eighth grade.
According to her father, the balance of professional golf and an elite collegiate education will continue as she plans to go back to Stanford for the fall semester. It just feels like Wie has never been able to focus on one thing and if she can get through Q-School, which most would assume she could, focusing on her golf game 100 percent might be more beneficial.
If she doesn't qualify, life will again get complicated. Wie will face the LPGA once more with just sponsor's exemptions, and that will continue until her name fails to brings droves to the course. Her own sponsors, who forked over tremendous amounts of dough to land the female Tiger Woods, might reconsider supporting a failed project. Her peers will once more look at her like she doesn't belong and until she can prove them wrong, that stigma will continue.
This is the time you either step up or shut up. Wie showed tremendous potential at the incredible age of 13, playing in the final group of a major championship after a third round 66. I think everyone can agree that under the confused brow, there is miles of talent just waiting to be unleashed.
After all the bad decisions that seem to be made with her career, it's nice to see that for the first time, a step in the right direction has been made.