Wie flies feminist flag as she drives the teenage bandwagon

Young generation flex their muscles but Sorenstam proves she is still the golfer to beat

The cheerleader in the clubhouse, of course, is Michelle Wie who is only 15 and is joined by Carlotta Ciganda, a European champion from Spain who is an even younger 15-year-old. They are about three Harry Potter books behind Paula Creamer, an American, who has so much confidence she can spell the word backwards.

When Creamer (the crop?) was 17 last season she won the US qualifying school and set about achieving a number of goals. She has hit the net more consistently than Artmedia Bratislava.

Last week Creamer won the Evian Masters, becoming the youngest player to win a European Tour event and, added to her maiden victory in a tournament in the Big Apple, she is a cert for the Rookie of the Year title and probably a place in America's Solheim Cup team.

If you are thinking of putting your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington, think again. Creamer, in the space of 11 months, has become a dollar millionaire, just like that, and, as the Carpenters would say, she's only just begun.

Creamer is younger than the other teenagers who have been competing here, Aree Song, Bo Bae Song and Brittany Lincicome, but is some way down life's fairway compared to both Ciganda and Wie.

Wie, from Hawaii, is being globally marketed in the women's game as a cub version of Tiger Woods. Like Tiger she drives the ball miles and this, almost more than anything else, appeals to the ad men, the spectators, television and anything else you can think of. Her short game, however, is vulnerable, particularly her putting. At six feet and in a black Nike top she looks every inch the part. Can she play? Oh yes.

She was second to Creamer in the Evian and runner-up to Sorenstam in the LPGA Championship although on neither occasion was she breathing down their necks. She led after three rounds of the US Women's Open but disappeared from the leaderboard with an 82, providing further ammunition for her detractors.

Creamer has got to the top by graduating through college where she won a heap of events in the American Junior Golf Association. On the other hand does Wie know what it is like to experience the tickle-under-the-arm feeling of actually lifting a trophy? Not yet but the people who run the dream factory say it is only a matter of time.

Because of the empty cupboard, the poor girl has been hit by a bandwagon, steered by Woods and Sorenstam, that has so many passengers there is no room on top. Woods and Sorenstam, who have been known to practise together, say that Wie would be better off competing against girls of her own age.

Wie will not play ball: "I want to make a statement to all women that there are no limitations. If I can drive the ball 300 yards, if I can compete against the men, if I can make it to the Masters, then maybe I can inspire them to break free in their own lives."

Louise Stahle, a young Swede who, like so many other talented players, has honed her golf at Arizona State University while fading or drawing past the cacti, shot 65 in the second round here at Royal Birkdale and will turn professional tomorrow when she returns to her home country. She will not be in Sweden for long.

America beckons, and her fellow Swede Sorenstam has pointed the way by amassing more than $17m (£9.7m) during the course of an extraordinary career. Stahle, asked what degree she was studying for, replied: "I wasn't really... I was playing golf."

Wie, officially at least, has no earnings. After Birkdale, where her father B J Wie has been carrying her bag, she returns to school, not the qualifying school but the sort of establishment where children learn a basic education.

"Hi Michelle, what have you been up to?" "Well, I've been travelling the world and if I'd been a pro I'd have picked up pocket money of half-a-million. I've just come from a place called Birkdale where the weather was dreadful. I've played in the wind before, I've played in the rain and I've played in the cold but never all together. I'm glad I missed the hurricane season."

For Wie, a suffragette in waiting, the die appears to be cast. On 11 October, when she is sweet 16, her postman will ring twice. This is when she is expected to turn professional and she will receive as many contracts as cards, not to mention invitation to men's events on the PGA Tour as well as competing against the best of her sex on the LPGA.

The hype has the sponsors queuing up and not many 16-year-olds get to cut a tape which is worth $20m.

Where there's a will there's a Wie. She says she wants to study business and follow in the footsteps of Tiger by attending Stanford University. For a role model she only has to look in the mirror. Business and golf go hand in glove.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil