michelle wie's costly mistake

More trouble on the course for Michelle Wie... On Sunday, the golfer was in second place at this weekend's Kia Classic, just four shots behind eventual winner Hee Kyung Seo. Doing pretty well... until the 11th hole, where it all fell apart for her: Michelle Wie's tiny little rules violation costs her $90,000. Oops:

Wie slapped at the ball, sending a spray of water everywhere, but the ball only about two feet. Frustrating as heck, absolutely, as anyone who's ever played golf knows. But then Wie, apparently without thinking, let her club drift to, and rest on, the ground. That, friends, is a rules violation, one that cost her two strokes and, in effect, an eventual $90,000 in prize money.

Wie, of course, is no stranger to rules violations. In 2005, she was disqualified from the Samsung World Championships after taking an improper drop. The next year at the Women's British Open, she incurred a two-stroke penalty for grounding her club in a bunker. (When asked if she planned to review the Rules of Golf a little closer, she replied, "Well, it is not actually great reading material.") And in 2008, she failed to sign her scorecard at the State Farm Classic and got herself bounced from the tournament.

After grounding the club on Sunday, Wie pleaded her case, trying to claim that she needed to stabilize herself to keep from falling. You can judge for yourself from the video, but it certainly looks more like she just let the club fall to the ground while thinking about her mess of a shot, not that she was about to pitch backward into the drink. (Which would have been a fine video all its own, but alas, it didn't happen.)
There's video of her gaffe here. That's a $90,000 mistake. Okay, maybe that's petty cash for a 20-year-old golf phenom who just signed an endorsement deal with McDonald's. But I don't care how you slice it -- that's a hell of a lot of prize money to lose for letting your club rest on the ground. Alas, rules are rules, and Michelle should probably know better.

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