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Review of this year’s “Best New Private” courses, Steve Czaban on Michelle Wie

We’ve already reviewed Liberty National. Later today I’ll have visited and reviewed its neighbor and rival, Bayonne Country Club, designed by Eric Bergstrol (the genius behind the $85 twilight fee and $125 public rounds at Pine Barrens, Twisted Dune and others.)

This time Bergstrol wisely skipped over having Roger Rulewich design the course. Perhaps its a good thing because early reports are we have more bifurcated fairways and lines of charm over sandy soil at Bayonne, the complete opposite of the boring nonsense Robert Trent Jones and his marketing team foisted upon us for far too long.

Indeed, the battle for the “Northest Regional” (to make an NCAA tournament metaphor) seems to come down to Bayonne vs. Seboneck.

Meanwhile, out west in what short-sighted folks and marketers call “fly-over” land, Ballyowen is mustering all its power to make its formidable run for the title. If Dismal River is ready, look for that to be a must-see match up.

Next, Steve Czaban rips Michelle Wie for blowing another late lead. He makes a great point in that this could have been a heck of a summer for her. I mean what a way to finish off “sweet sixteen” – clobbering all comers in the Women’s Amateur, moving up a few more ranks in the Mid-Amateur, hoisting a trophy at her last Girl’s Junior. But when it’s the Rolex CEO and the Sony rep making the decisions for you, common sense bows to the bottom line.

So much for sticking a dagger inn the heart of the competition. He also makes a good point about how the media slip in these little excuses every time you turn around. “She woke up with a stiff neck” coos one scurrilous excuse.

ARNOLD PALMER WON A U.S. OPEN WITH A HORRID CASE OF THE FLU. Winners win even under horrible odds. She has not yet won even though she’s been given legs up constantly…and what does it say when she repeatedly asks for special favors like favorable drops? It says she has the mental toughness of a 16 year old. That won’t carry the day.

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