Struggling Wie optimistic in advance of U.S. Open

By Randall MellJuly 5, 2016, 9:17 pm

SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Two years ago, Michelle Wie reached the zenith of her career to date.

She towered at the top of her sport winning at Pinehurst No. 2.

It seems a long time ago now with Wie looking to stop her free fall in the world rankings and rebuild her confidence.

While the test the U.S. Women’s Open will offer at CordeValle Golf Club this week will challenge that work, Wie is relishing what this event means to her and what the West Coast represents to her. A Stanford graduate who went back to visit her alma mater Sunday, Wie feels like this area is her second home.

“I've come across a lot of highs,” Wie said Tuesday. “I've come across a lot of lows. I've also gone through it, and I've overcome a lot of stuff. And I think that I know that I can overcome this, as well. I'm confident about that. I enjoy the game. I love the game. I love the challenges, and I'm working through it.”

Wie soared to No. 6 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings after her victory at Pinehurst. She toppled out of the top 100 this week, falling three spots to No. 102. In the 50 LPGA events Wie has played since her U.S. Women’s Open victory, she has recorded just one top-10 finish, and that was the week after the victory. She has missed the cut or withdrawn in seven of her last nine starts.

U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, photos and videos

“It's definitely been a struggle this year,” Wie said. “Not the year that I had planned, but I still have half the year left. It's very early in July, and I've been working on my game. I've just been trying to build confidence. I'm still having fun out there. That's the most important thing, just keep grinding, keep believing in myself. And I know I'm going to turn it around.”

There have been a series of well documented injuries since her U.S. Women’s Open victory, but they don’t fully explain where she’s at today. While she struggled through a stress fracture in her index finger shortly after winning at Pinehurst, then battled hip, knee and ankle injuries most of last year, and then neck spasms this spring, she says she’s healthy now.

Wie’s tinkering with her swing is well documented, too. Since her U.S. Women’s Open victory, she has altered her swing countless times. So much so, that swing coach David Leadbetter urged her at year’s start to commit to sticking with a more flowing, natural swing with a fuller turn.

Today, Leadbetter said Wie’s challenge is more mental than physical, as much about confidence as technique.

“Just looking back at 2014 swings, and figuring out how I can get back to that swing, how I can get back to that comfortable feeling, has been my No. 1 priority,” Wie said. “Also, just making sure that I'm pain free this week. I feel pretty good. And definitely health is the most important thing for me, and, mentally, as well. I know that I can actually produce that same swing, finally, without any pain. So hopefully that will get me going, as well.”

Statistically, Wie is struggling in every aspect of her game. She’s 138th in greens in regulation (61 percent), down to 26th in driving distance (262.9 yards per drive), 156th in driving accuracy (52 percent of fairways hit), 123rd in putts per greens in regulation and 137th in scoring (73.43).

“I've been slowly building my confidence back,” Wie said. “Even though the results haven't been showing it, I do feel I'm making a lot of forward progress. Like I said earlier, with my body, as well, just really getting to the point where I can enter the week pain free. That was the most important thing for me.”

Though she limped through last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club with knee, hip and ankle pain, Wie put together an admirable effort. She finished 11th. She’ll be looking for that kind of resolve again this week, something she can build upon.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm