Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The website for this week's 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa., features photographs of Clint Black, who will play Friday night at the resort; the Black Eyed Peas, who are scheduled to perform Saturday; and Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old who paints her fingernails black and who will take the stage Thursday and Friday and disappear on the weekend, if form holds.

Wie, an LPGA headliner, can't help herself when it comes to being a PGA sideshow. Maybe she really wanted to fly from Honolulu to Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland, after her first week of high school, to tee it up in a second-tier Euro tour event last week, or maybe she was doing her watch sponsor a favor, but whatever the case she shot 78-79 at the Omega European Masters to finish last. It was her 9th MC in 10 tries at competing with the men (she made a check at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea this year) and called into question whether she's getting closer or further away from achieving her goal of playing on the weekend on one of the world's premier tours, and eventually (ahem) making the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Kierkegaard said, "Purity of heart is to will one thing," but it's hard to fathom what one thing Wie is up to. Yet her peripatetic career is only the most prominent distress signal among teens and 20-somethings, especially Americans. You know there's a disturbing trend away from the precocity of youth when U.S. Ryder Cup captains keep turning to 40- and 50-something stalwarts like Scott Verplank (next week) and Jay Haas (2004) while onetime whiz kids like 27-year-old Charles Howell III stay home.

Cameron Morfit covers the PGA Tour as a Senior Writer for GOLF MAGAZINE. You can read his column every Monday on GOLFONLINE. E-mail him your questions and comments at

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