Wie Healthier Happier and Stronger

By Associated PressFebruary 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Fields OpenKAPOLEI, Hawaii -- Michelle Wie is healthier, stronger and determined to succeed but concedes her injured wrists will never be the same.
 
'I just accepted the fact that it's never going to be 100 percent ever again. After a major injury last year, it's never going to be the way it was before,' she said Tuesday as she prepared for the LPGA Tour's Fields Open, which begins Thursday.
 
The 18-year-old Wie said she's accepted that her wrists are as good as they can be. She's hoping to get her career back on track after a troublesome season of injuries, missed cuts and withdrawals.
 
'Obviously, it's not 110 percent, but I feel pretty healthy,' she said. 'I feel a lot stronger. I feel like I can be a lot more aggressive with the ball. I feel more like an athlete right now.'
 
Wie is starting the season on her home island of Oahu for the fifth straight year on a sponsor's exemption. This time, she's playing against women.
 
She injured both wrists last year but kept playing, and struggling. She made only three cuts. In nine starts, she withdrew twice and only broke par twice in 19 rounds against women.
 
Wie didn't want to talk too much about 2007.
 
'Last year already happened. Talking about last year is not going to change anything,' she said. 'Obviously, if somebody invented a time machine, I would go back and try to change a couple of things. But talking about it changes nothing. My goal this year is to stay in the present ... and just enjoy life.'
 
Wie spent most of Tuesday at Ko Olina, where she finished third in 2006, working with swing coach David Leadbetter.
 
Leadbetter said his young student is swinging much better and noticeably stronger. Her short game is solid but she's still a little uncertain with the driver, hitting an occasional wild shot.
 
'Her swing is starting to come back and she's not complaining too much about the wrists,' he said. 'There's still a few little creaks there, but overall she's been on this rehab program which is helping her tremendously.'
 
Wie is enjoying life at Stanford where she is a freshman and wrapping up her winter quarter. She lives in a dorm, eats chicken and tofu in the cafeteria and takes early morning or night classes so she can practice during the day. Her courses include Japanese, humanities and a hip-hop dance class.
 
She shared some of her Japanese abilities for the Japanese media, but refused to demonstrate any dance moves.
 
'Don't ask me to show you anything,' said Wie, who plans to take the spring quarter off to play golf.
 
Wie hasn't been back in Hawaii since leaving last May. One of the first things she did when she returned was to visit Punahou School, which also boasts Barack Obama as one of its alumni.
 
'The moment I landed here, all of the reasons why I love home came back,' she said.
 
She had started her season at the PGA TOUR's Sony Open the previous four years and nearly made the cut as a 14-year-old when she shot a 68. But she has yet to make a cut in seven tries on the PGA Tour, and didn't play at Waialae this year.
 
Wie hasn't completed her schedule yet and wouldn't rule out playing against the men.
 
'I'll have to see how it goes,' she said. 'It depends how I play. I'm not going to say I'm not going to play. I'm going to have to see. I'm not really sure what's going to happen this year.'
 
Not many people are.
 
This is her first start since the Samsung World Championship in October, where she finished 19th in a 20-player field.
 
Wie said her goals this year is to be in contention again, feel the adrenaline rush and maybe even win a couple of tournaments.
 
'That would be awesome,' said Wie, who is allowed six exemptions on the LPGA Tour, and could try to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open and Women's British Open.
 
Wie has a lot to prove, especially after her highly publicized troubles last year where she even criticized by Annika Sorenstam, who was angered by Wie pulling out of the Swede's tournament, only to be seen hitting balls on the range at the next tourney.
 
Sorenstam also is entered in the Fields Open and has successfully returned from injuries last year. She is seeking a Hawaiian sweep after winning the season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay for her 70th LPGA Tour title and first since September 2006.
 
Wie repeatedly said she's put 2007 behind her, emphasizing that she's just thinking about the present.
 
'I just want to prove to myself that I can do this. That I really can bounce back,' she said. 'I want to prove to myself a lot of things, but I really don't feel like I have to prove myself to other people. I doing this for myself.'
 
Leadbetter said he's not surprised that so many people have written off Wie, calling it 'human nature,' when someone is built up so high then falls off the perch for whatever reason.
 
'Everybody thinks, 'Well, Michelle is finished.' But you don't become a bad player overnight,' he said. 'Things happen and you learn from things. The fact is when you have an injury, learn to accept the fact, heal and get back to competitive play.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Fields Open in Hawaii
  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''