LPGA Queen Michelle Wie

LPGA raising star Michelle Wie in action swing

Monday, June 12, 2006

Michelle Wie in Curtis Cup

Michelle Wie tees off during the 33rd Curtis Cup Match in Merseyside, England in 2004

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Interview with Michelle Wie at Sony Open 2006!

Interview with Teen Golf Champ Michelle Wie after the second round of 2006 Sony Open in Hawaii.

Q: Thank you, Michelle, for joining us for a few minutes in the media centre at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Great round today, 68, matching your career best the PGA TOUR, and also a great round after yesterday's disappointing day. Why don't you talk about how well you bounced back.

Michelle Wie Well, obviously I was very crushed yesterday about how bad I played. But I woke up this morning and just I just tried to relax out there and just tried to have fun out there and was trying to make a lot of birdies. I think I achieved that. I had seven birdies today, I felt like I was really playing really good today. Although I made a couple stupid mistakes, I felt a lot better today.

Q: Did you feel less did you feel less pressure today than yesterday?

Michelle Wie Almost. I mean, since it was my second day out here, I had one round under my belt, I felt a lot better. If the tournament started from today, I think I would have done a lot better.

Just coming into the first day, the wind was howling, I just kind of just put myself in that situation, not really playing my best on the first couple of holes and that kind of caught up with me. Today, I feel a lot more relaxed.

Q: Did part of that have to do with really having nothing to lose?

Michelle Wie Well, almost. It was almost a long reach to make the cut and I tried to make as much birdies as I can and see where it takes me. I think that worked today.

Q: What did you hit on 14, and also, on 5, and did the guys who were yelling from the overpass distract you at all, did you hear it, on 5?

Michelle Wie Is that the one with the two ditches? Oh, okay. A little bit. I mean, I was kind of looking up there they were kind of stopped on the highway, I'm just like, okay. It wasn't just them. It was a stupid putt. I just didn't think about how fast it was. But the 14th hole, I hit I think I hit like a little soft 7.

Q: When you got to 7 over after your birdie on 12, did you kind of start feeling like you really have a shot at making the cut?

Michelle Wie Yeah, most definitely. I was like, 7 over, okay, I only need like four more birdies. I felt pretty good about my game. I just tried to crack that crack at it, but it wasn't enough. But I feel good.

Q: You were talking about lack of momentum yesterday and lack of tournament flow. That run around the turn, four birdies in five holes, talk about what that felt like.

Michelle Wie That felt awesome. I think kind of the round yesterday helped me a lot today, just being able to have four birdies in five holes on a PGA golf course when it was howling wind, it just feels like, wow, I actually accomplished something. It feels great. It feels awesome.

Q: What's your overall reaction to what's happened to you the last couple of days?

Michelle Wie It's kind of like I'm kind of sad on one part. I feel really good about today's round. I kind of felt like I want to do it all over again, but I don't want to do this round over again. It's kind of mixed feelings right now. I'm disappointed.

You know, I just have a lot more years to go. Hopefully I'll just keep on getting better and better.

Q: Where do you go next?

Michelle Wie I don't know. I think I play a tournament sometime soon.

Q: Like home or to the range?

Michelle Wie Oh to the range. I have to study now; what are you talking about. (Laughing).

Michelle Wie being interviewed at Sony Open 2006 second round

Q: How did you find the greens this week from what you usually encounter playing here for practice rounds?

Michelle Wie The greens were a lot faster, just they were a lot faster than what I played practicing here. So it was a little bit different yesterday. When I go out there, first instinct is to bring back memories of putts that you hit a long time ago. They were a lot faster, so I hit a lot of putts long. But they were in great shape.

Q: Was that the one thing that kept from you really having a shot was the putting this week?

Michelle Wie Yeah, most definitely. Just every putt that I hit yesterday, which is like four feet long, five feet long, three feet long and it just drains you when you're not playing great. Today I think I judged my speed a lot better and that's the difference I think.

Q: How do you measure your progress?

Michelle Wie I think that score is one part of it. Another part is how you feel on the golf course. I felt like today I think I felt a lot better than when I shot a 68 two years ago. I just felt a lot more comfortable today.

You know, I think I'm getting better. Yesterday I didn't show it at all. Even though I played bad yesterday, I still think I had something in it and it showed today so I'm glad.

Q: Will you consider another men's tournament before the Casio or whether it be all women?

Michelle Wie I'm not really sure. I haven't found my schedule, but I would love to play in a couple men's events. That would be great.

Q: This year?

Michelle Wie Yes.

Q: How do you figure your schedule? As a professional now, do you have a lot of input into what your schedule is going to be?

Michelle Wie It's still the same from me and my parents, oh, this tournament looks good, this tournament looks good. I would love to play in a lot more tournaments.

I think the most influence most influence to my schedule is my school since I'm only allowed two weeks a semester. That seriously affects my schedule a lot. Just makes my schedule not really busy in February, March, but once I get to the assumer it's just all straight. I think that affects it a lot.

Q: You talked about playing alongside Justin and Sean during the practice rounds, things that you learned, what did you learn in these two days playing with Chris and Camilo and just being around these players?

Michelle Wie Well, they are awesome today. Camilo was playing awesome. And one thing I learned from him is that just when you look at him, it doesn't look like he's playing 6 under, but when you look at he looks at ease and it seems like the game was really easy. I hope when I get out there and he wasn't hitting every single fairway. He was like in the trees and the bunkers a lot, and he just kind of saved all around. And that's what I have to learn is even you can make birdies from the rough and from the trees and I think that's what I learned.

Q: School has come up a lot more than usual for you. I know that you have exams and stuff, while you were playing the last few days, did school ever pop in your mind or were you able to completely focus on golf?

Michelle Wie No. When I'm out of school, I don't really think about school really. (Laughter).

Now that I have the weekend open, I'm kind of thinking about it. And things that I haven't really studied for and I have a paper to write. So I'm going to have a busy weekend.

Q: When is your driver's test?

Michelle Wie On Tuesday.

Q: Are you ready?

Michelle Wie I think so.

Q: What would make you more nervous, the driver's test or playing out here today?

Michelle Wie Kind of driver's test. I'm kind of nervous for that. I mean, going into that parallel parking, I don't know if I can do it. I just have to wing it.

Q: Get a small car.

Michelle Wie Yeah, our car is not that small.

Q: What math class are you in ?

Michelle Wie I'm in advance pre calc.

Q: What's the upper limit to the number of tournaments you would play while you were in school during the school year?

Michelle Wie I think that the maximum is probably around 12 or 13, which is not that much.

Q: I meant how many could you conceivably play while school was in session.

Michelle Wie About four or five.

Q: Did you see Camilo do that thing where he reads the green?

Michelle Wie Wow, he can actually read the green pretty well like that, but you won't see me doing that, not with my skirt. (Laughter).

Q: Do you either read or listen to or watch when people say: What is she doing out here, what's she trying to prove, why doesn't she go to the LPGA and win first before she comes out? And what are your thoughts?

Michelle Wie I don't really look for those kind of articles, but they kind of pass by me sometimes. I respect what they say. I mean it kind of makes sense in a way.

But, you know, this is what I want to do and I think that what I want to do is most important and. I feel like, you know, my goal is definitely to win in the LPGA, win a major. My goal is definitely to make the cut and to compete out here. I don't think that there's actually real like there's no actually real strict guidelines how to do it, and I think that what I'm doing might be right, might be wrong, but it's what I want to do right now and it makes me happy, so I intend to keep on doing it.

Q: Have you sensed a difference in how you're accepted out here by the guys from when you were 14, 15 and now 16?

Michelle Wie They have been awesome from the start. People like Jerry Kelly, Ernie Els, a lot of the players, every one of them have been so welcoming. Even at the John Deere, even at the Casio, they were so awesome, they were so nice to me and they were like, "Oh, play well this week." So that makes me feel really good.

Q: Can you talk about the galleries and the hometown support you shot 9 over yesterday and your gallery probably doubled or tripled in size today?

Michelle Wie I was off the first tee and I was like, wow, there's a lot of people out here today. It was awesome when people are supporting you like that, rooting for you, hoping that you make it. I mean, it's really touching, you know, when they are really supporting you like that. It's like, wow, it makes me feel very special.

Q: Do you have the same expectations when you tee it up in a men's event as you do when you tee it up on the LPGA Tour?

Michelle Wie Not really, in a way. The course to me feels a lot tougher out here. When I'm on the LPGA, it's a lot shorter. I'm not really I guess I'm going for like the same feeling just to relax, have fun, try my hardest.

But when I'm out there, it's a little different from the LPGA and the PGA. On the PGA I'm trying to make pars, make a couple birdies, not too many stupid mistakes. It's the same on the LPGA but I want to make more birdies out there.

Q: Do you think when you tee it up here that you think about trying to make the cut and not that you're actually trying to win an event?

Michelle Wie I guess in a way that's true. When I'm out here I'm not really actually trying my best to win, although I am underneath. It's a little bit different I guess.

Q: What's your favourite memory of the week besides coming in here?

Michelle Wie Darn, that was my first. I think that playing probably the practice round with Sean O'Hair and Justin Rose was awesome. Playing with them, playing a practice round with them, I learned a lot. And I think that just being on the green with them, playing on the same practice range and when the players come up to me and they are like, "oh, good luck" and stuff like that. It just makes me feel really good and when the fans cheer for me. Also, when I make a birdie, it's great, too.

Q: You've played here three years in a row now, you've played in other men's events, you talk about wanting to compete out here, you've experienced it enough now. Do you believe that you could actually win out here if you continue to get better and better, or is it one of those things where you think you can make the cut and finish somewhere in the top 40 or 50?

Michelle Wie Well, I think that that I have a lot more to improve on. I definitely I think could I win out here one of these years.

I'm just trying to get stronger. I mean, as you can see, I think that I have a lot to improve on in that sense. I have a lot to improve on a lot of my game. When I can actually feel like I can control my game and feel like I can really improve a lot, I think once I can do that, I think I can easily win out here.

Q: Have you committed to the Casio? Somebody mentioned it earlier.

Michelle Wie I'm not really sure yet. It's not really finalised yet.

Q: Where are you going to be Sunday night?

Michelle Wie Sunday night? I don't know.

Q: There's a Casio press conference, that's why I'm asking. I'm assuming you'll be there.

Michelle Wie My twin might be there. (Laughter).

Q: Thank you, Michelle, for joining us.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Michelle Wie Biography

Michelle Wie was born on October 11, 1989, in Honolulu , Hawaii. By the age of four, the young girl of Korean descent had taken up the game of golf. In 2000, Wie became the youngest player ever to qualify for the USGA championship at just ten years old! Two years later, she was a semifinalist in the same event, once again, the youngest player ever to do so.

In 2002 Michelle Wie became the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event, the Takefuji Classic. In 2003 she scored a 66 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship which tied the record for a women’s major championship. In 2003 she won the Women’s Amateur Public Links in 2003 becoming the, you guessed it, the youngest player ever to win a USGA event for adults.

In 2004 Wie entered the Men’s field, the PGA tour, becoming just the fourth woman (and…youngest ever) to accomplish such a feat. She shot rounds of 72 and 68 at the Sony Open at the Waialee Country Club, making par and missing the cut by just one stroke.

Michelle Wie’s golf accomplishments continue until this day, including receiving a special exemption to the US Women’s Open based on her theoretical position on the money list, being named to the Curtis Cup (the Women’s version of the Ryder Cup), and more. Although being an amateur meant that Wie was unable to earn any money for playing, if she had been pro she would have earned over a quarter million dollars.

Michelle Wie Started 2005 with the best performance of her young career: finishing second at SBS Open at Turtle Bay . In June of the same year, Wie finished second at the LPGA Champion to the then current number one of Women’s golf, Annika Sorenstam. Just a few days later she became the younger player ever to qualify for the USGA national men’s tournament after tying for first place in a 36 qualifying event for the U.S. Amateur Public Links.

A week after the U.S. Women’s Open Michelle Wie attempted for the third time to make the cut at a PGA tour event, the John Deere Classic. Unfortunately she missed the cut by two strokes after consecutive holes of bogey and double bogey but that didn’t stop the tournament’s gross earnings from jumping 40% to 2.8 million and TV viewership jumping a staggering 54% from the year before.

Already, the 6’1 golfstriss can hit the ball over 300 yards with her best drive being 391 yards. In 2005 she announced she would turn pro on October 11 th: her 16 th birthday. The announcement earned Michelle Wie an estimated $10 million in endorsements largely from Nike and Sony making her the high paid woman’s golfer and next to her is Annika Sorenstam who earns about $8 million a year.

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