Wie, Sandler form unlikely pair
HONOLULU -- What do you get for the 15-year-old girl who has everything*?
(*Everything, of course, includes a golf swing that produces 300-yard drives, a face recognized around the world, and a future worth millions of dollars.)
How about a playdate with one of the most successful actor/comedians of this generation?
Michelle Wie, meet Adam Sandler.
The teen phenom and the clown prince of cinema were paired together on Tuesday as part of a six-hole junior pro-am at Waialae Country Club, site of this week's Sony Open.
It was a welcome respite of fun for Wie, who is facing the media spotlight of playing in a men's PGA Tour event for the second straight year.
"It's going to be so fun," Wie said before teeing it up with Sandler, who took the "pro" role in the pro-am. "My goal is to try not to laugh while I'm over the ball."
Right from the start, that was tough for the Honolulu teen. Sandler eschewed his "Happy Gilmore" approach to hitting the ball on the first tee, opting for a more conventional swing, then let go of the club upon impact, sending it flying some 50 yards into the gallery.
Asked if he had given any advice for his partner, Sandler was no laughs and all business.
"No, absolutely nothing," he said while walking down the fairway on the event's third hole. "Just trying to stay the hell out of her way.
"The last thing I want is to try to tell her something and then she's thinking of me the next four days."
Sandler's hardly new to the game of golf. His 1996 movie "Happy Gilmore" followed the fictional story of an unsuccessful hockey player who could hit a golf ball 400 yards and became the talk of the PGA Tour. Unrealistic? Perhaps, but Michelle Wie is a little unrealistic herself.
A year ago, in a script that Hollywood would have deemed too far-fetched, then-14-year-old Wie shot a second-round 68 to miss the cut by a single stroke.
"Last year was so fun," Wie said. "It was my first time at it and I didn't really know what to expect, and it turned out to be great. And hopefully I can do a lot better this time."
Wie has told her father, B.J., that making the cut is merely part of her goal; she wants a top-20 finish. And she knows all eyes are on her.
"People always expect that if you're so close actually then you definitely should make the cut this year," Wie said. "But it has a lot to do with the luck and the way you're playing that day, and hopefully I'll catch a good day."
Perhaps she will catch two of them. Or maybe four. And then Michelle -- like her playing partner on Tuesday -- will be Happy, too.
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com
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