How quickly they forget

From ESPN:

Perhaps even more amazing was the sight of two teens in pink shirts and ponytails — 15-year-old Michelle Wie and 17-year-old Morgan Pressel — grabbing a three-way share of the lead and standing 18 holes away from a chance to become the youngest major champion in golf history.

I find it amusing that sportswriters, the very people you’d expect to know the most about sports, still get excited about teenage girls competing effectively against older women. They inevitably predict decades of dominance, which never happens because women peak athletically much more quickly than men.

I ran track in high school and college, and I can’t recall a single year that there wasn’t an eighth or ninth-grader turning in excellent times in the 100 or 200 meters. But in most cases, by the time they hit their junior or senior year, they were running slower than they had been before. The same process usually holds true in tennis, figure skating and gymnastics, where the female athlete still competing at a high level at 25 is the exception rather than the rule.

Now, it’s true that things may be different in golf, since golf isn’t a sport requiring athletic ability but is a game requiring precision and skill. So, perhaps Wie will become the Jack Nicklaus of women’s golf and dominate it for the next three decades. But I doubt it.