Monday, October 15, 2007


Michelle Wie's manager, Greg Nared, resigned today after less than a year in the job.
A former Nike business manager, Nared was hired by the William Morris Agency to manage
the Hawaii teenager.
She finished 19th in a field of 20 players for the Samsung World Championship at the weekend.
“After careful consideration for my future, I have resigned effective immediately,” Nared said in a prepared statement. “I’m very grateful to the William Morris Agency for the opportunity to work with world-class athletes. It has been an invaluable experience and I’ll forever cherish it."
When contacted at his home in Oregon, Nared declined to elaborate.
Wie, a Stanford University, California first-year student, celebrated her 18th birthday last Thursday although she had precious little to celebrate except possibly the Nike and Sony long-term endorsement contracts that guarantee her several million dollars a year whether she wins, loses or draws.
"The Samsung" - or should it be "Swansong" - was Michelle's eighth and final LPGA event of 2008. She ended her season with a 76.7 scoring average. She beat par only twice, failed to record a single round in the 60s. She survived only three cuts. There was no cut in the Samsung World Championship for which Michelle earned $13,125 for an 18-over-par, 72-hole total of 306.
Hailed in her early teens as the most exciting prospect in golf, male or female, Michelle turned pro in October 2005 and was managed by Ross Berlin, a former US PGA Tour executive hired by the William Morris Agency.
Berlin did not get on well with Wie’s parents. They had several disputes over her playing schedule. That on-going difference of opinion came to a head towards the end of last year when Wie, at that time a senior-year student at Punahou High School, Honolulu, played in a European Tour men’s event in Switzerland, then the following week in a US PGA Tour event.
Ross Berlin obviously did not think that was a good move for her career at all. He was right. She finished last in both events.
Berlin resigned after the "Samsung" 12 months ago. He was replaced by Nared, who was well-liked by the teenager and her family. Nared was centre stage in her biggest controversy at the Ginn Tribute in South Carolina in the spring, interrupting her round to have an earnest conversation with her on the 16th tee. She did not hit another ball before notifying LPGA officials she was withdrawing from the tournament because of a sore wrist.
At the time, Wie was 14 over par for the round. The general opinion was that Nared told her to quit the round immediately and so dodge the LPGA’s “Rule 88,” in which non-members are ineligible to play in any competitions for one year if they shoot 88 or higher.
Wie then showed up at Bulle Rock two days later to practise for the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, and Annika Sorenstam harshly denounced the move as disrespectful.
Now Michelle has lost two managers within the space of 12 months.
The phrase which ends " ..... deserting a sinking ship" comes to mind.