Wie came, Wie saw, Wie impressed


Appeal Sports Writer

I may have been in the minority of people who wanted to see Michelle Wie make the cut this week at the 10th annual Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

It's easy to see that Wie has a tremendous game and unlimited potential. She has been unable, however, to stay away from big numbers at times during tournaments.

She's come under fire whenever she opts to take a sponsor's exemption and play in a PGA Tour event. People need to remember that Wie hasn't played in any big events. She's usually in a tournament in Hawaii or at a tournament that needs an attendance boost.

It was smart for Legends chairman Michael Stearns to bring her in. This is a tournament that, because it shares a date with the WGC Bridgestone Invitational which draws the top 50 players, needed a hook to attract more fans this year. You would be hard-pressed to find a bigger name than Wie.

And, judging by the galleries that she drew on Thursday and Friday, it was a great decision. She had the biggest galleries both days, and it wasn't even close.

People need to remember that she is only 18 years old, and she has 30 or so years of tournament golf ahead of her, and you know, barring injuries, she will continue to get better.

- While we're on the subject of golf, I wonder how a Champions Tour event would do in Reno or even South Lake Tahoe?

One reason why the crowds haven't been great at Montreux is name recognition. The true golf fan knows about a Parker McLachlin or a Nick Flanagan, but the casual fan probably doesn't identify with anybody outside the top 25 which might account for low gates at Montreux.

Bring in guys like Jack Nicklaus, Bernhard Langer, Tom Kite, Gary Player, Fuzzy Zoeller, Craig Stadler, Mark O'Meara and Corey Pavin, and I guarantee you would get some fans.

Where would you play? Well I doubt Montreux residents would agree to give their course up for a second week. I think Edgewood would be a good spot. Ditto for Old Greenwood.

Oh well, just a thought.

- We keep hearing that the Brett Favre saga is almost over. All I can say is, thank God.

The more this drags on, the more I lose respect for Favre. He reminds me of a teen-ager who can't make up his mind. I think the Packers forced him into making a quick decision on whether he was coming back, but not whether he was going to play. I do believe they were happy that he retired because they were looking long-range and obviously Favre isn't going to be around forever.

I know why Favre wants to be in the NFC North. He would know all or most of the defensive personnel on the other teams and would already know what kind of schemes they like to run. It would make for an easier adjustment on his part.

Favre has two years, tops, left in him. He probably doesn't want to start all over somewhere where not only he would have to learn a new offensive scheme, but opposing defenses as well.

C'mon Brett bow out gracefully. You had a great career. I know that interception in the NFC Championship wasn't the way you wanted to end your career, but get over it.

- Nevada begins its fall football camp this week with a huge question mark surrounding the defense.

A year ago, Nevada's defense returned seven or eight starters, yet the unit couldn't stop anybody on a consistent basis. Coach Chris Ault challenged his defense at the Western Athletic Conference Media Day in Salt Lake City.

Defense will be the key. The offense has rarely been shut down since Ault returned and the unit lost only three starters. The defense figures to be improved in the secondary with junior college transfers Antoine Thompson, Mo Harvey, Doyle Miller and Dayton Guillory.

Up front, Mundrae Clifton and Nate Agaiava need to control the line of scrimmage enough so that Josh Mauga and Jerome Johnson can clean up.

- It was reported that Nick Fazekas and the Los Angeles Clippers have parted ways despite Fazekas' strong showing in the Las Vegas Summer League.

If it was a joint decision, I would have to think that there must be a team or two interested in the ex-Wolf Pack star and former All-American. Fazekas played well at the tail end of last season for the Clippers and had a couple of double-doubles.

- Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281


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