“For Michelle Wie” Revisited

[Almost two years ago when Michelle Wie graduated from Stanford, I published a Post with the paragraphs and poem below. Given her play this year, I thought that it might be appropriate to reprint that Post for those that missed it.]

“Last Summer, at the time of the U.S. Women’s Open, an Internet headline read “It’s Open Season on Michelle Wie . . .”  The story included the statement that, “school [Stanford] was too much of a distraction for Wie . . . “ In fact, Ms. Wie has had her critics almost from the time she began playing competitive golf more than eleven years ago. Her detractors would have liked her to satisfy their plans. She had her own ideas and has carried them out exceedingly well.

Now that Ms. Wie is graduating from Stanford this month (fairness requires me to admit that long ago I earned two degrees from the university), I thought she deserved poetic recognition for her achievements and best wishes for a great post-graduate career in golf and otherwise.”


Michelle Wie, Michelle Wie,
Will your critics ever see,
That a Stanford ed has done for you,
What winning on the tour could  never do.

If you’re a star, the critics said —
Play the game — get ahead,
Full time’s required, if not more;
A degree from Stanford won’t help your score.

But a different scorecard you have kept,
Not just at golf are  you  adept,
Your student days deserves acclaim;
Golf, scholarship and fun have been your game.

But now Degreed, you can roll,
Through tourney gates in your Kia Soul.
Ready to play; give it your all —
Dispatching your critics with an educated ball.

Leon S White, PhD
Stanford, ’58, ‘59


A Masters Chip for the Ages: Tiger on 16 in 2005

 Tiger's ball at the penultimate moment


With Tiger absent from this years Masters, it is a good time to remember one of his most famous Masters shots which he made on the 16th hole in 2005. If you saw it live I would bet that you still remember it. But even for those of you that do and also for those that missed it, I offer my recollection as follows:

♦A Masters Chip for the Ages

From a difficult lie beyond
the steeply sloped sixteenth green

a steely-eyed Tiger sent his ball
to a spot far above the hole,

the ball coming crisply off his wedge,
flew low, bounced once

and rolled on a yard or two
until gravity took over,

causing it to turn sharply,
and start slowly down the slope

towards the hole, speeding up
then slowing again as it got closer.

“All of a sudden,” Tiger’s words,
“it looked really good.”

“How could it not go in?” and
when it stopped, a single turn short,

“How did it not go in?”,
“And all of a sudden it went in.”

It was as if Tiger’s will
had given gravity an assist.

“In your life,” the tower announcer’s voice,
“have you seen anything like that?”

While around him, the patrons’ roar
rose rocket-like, fueled by sheer wonder.

Leon S White, PhD

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