Wie Wishing for a Mulligan to This Season

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PALM DESERT, Calif. -- Michelle Wie is playing her final LPGA Tour event of the year.
She wishes it were her first.
After a disastrous season filled with wrist injuries, a feud with Annika Sorenstam and only one round under par, Wie said Tuesday her biggest mistake was not taking the year off to get healthy.
'The only thing that I would do differently (is) I wouldn't have played this year. It's as simple as that,' she said at the Samsung World Championship. 'The only thing that I did wrong this year is that I did not take my injuries as seriously as I should have.'
One thing she is taking seriously is her role as a student, though not necessarily by choice.
Wie started her freshman year at Stanford last month, taking courses such as humanities, Japanese and calculus.
'The lectures ... are amazing,' she said. 'I write pages and pages of notes. I never really experienced that before. It's a lot of fun. When you're in high school, you are usually the outstanding student. But when you go into Stanford, you're like, 'Am I the mistake exception?' Everyone is so smart. Everyone is so outstanding in whatever they do.'
She has access to Stanford's golf course, although she can't practice or play with the team as a professional. But she said she has learned to balance the books with practice, and she said this is the best her wrists have felt all year.
'I just feel like a cleaner, healthier person,' she said.
Wie received a sponsor's exemption in March to play the Samsung World Championship, a 20-player field that carries a mixed bag of memories for Wie, who turns 18 on Thursday.
It was at Bighorn where she made her professional debut in 2005. Wie played well enough to finish fourth until she was disqualified for what was deemed an improper drop in the third round, an infraction that a magazine writer did not bring up until the next day.
A year ago, Wie hit the ball all over the desert, and played one shot off the cement cart path on her way to a quadruple-bogey 8 on the shortest hole at Bighorn. That knocked her off the leaderboard, and she hasn't been back since.
Wie showed up at the Sony Open on the PGA TOUR in January with a tender wrist, which was attributed to that shot off the cart path. She broke the other wrist a few weeks later when she fell while jogging in a park.
And that was the start of her free fall.
Wie has played seven times on the LPGA Tour, completing only two tournaments. She made the cut on the number at the LPGA Championship and made the cut at the Evian Masters. Both tournaments, she failed to break 80 in the third round.
But the scores were only part of the problem.
She returned at the Ginn Tribute, hosted by Sorenstam, and was 14 over par through 16 holes when she suddenly withdrew. Two bogeys would have disqualified her from the LPGA Tour for a year, and some thought she was evading the tour's 'Rule 88.' Worse yet, she was seen at the LPGA Championship hitting balls two days later, drawing an angry response from Sorenstam.
'I just feel that there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to leave a tournament like that and then come out and practice,' Sorenstam said.
Wie didn't apologize that week, and she made a weak attempt at one Tuesday when asked if she would have apologized to Sorenstam if she could start the year over.
'I never really said that,' Wie said. 'I still don't feel like I did something wrong. But if I felt if Annika or anyone felt like I disrespected them, of if I'd done anything wrong to them, I do apologize for that. But I don't really feel like I've done anything wrong as with myself.'
Because she is not a member, Wie is allowed six sponsor exemptions on the LPGA Tour, not including the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open. The Samsung World Championship, which starts Thursday, is her final exemption.
In the meantime, she appears to love life as a college student.
Wie said she thought about going to LPGA Tour qualifying school now that she is old enough to become a member, but it was the same time as orientation at Stanford.
'I really didn't want to miss that,' she said.
All freshmen must live in the dorm at Stanford, and Wie said she gets along well with her roommate. She even celebrated Stanford's stunning upset over Southern California last week.
'Do you really want to get me started on that?' she said. 'I was so happy that we won. No. 48, he lives in my dorm.'
That would be Owen Marecic, a freshman fullback.
Wie did not say if she would play again the rest of the year. Wie has played only once against the men, missing the cut badly at the Sony Open. The last two years, she has played the Casio World Open in Japan. For now, her focus is on her final LPGA event of the year.
'I think that it's time for a new beginning,' she said. 'I'm really looking forward to it.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''

    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    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: