The Next Chapter Wie Welcomes a New Year

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 24, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's note: After a tumultuous and injury prone 2007 season, Michelle Wie recently sat down with Golf Central to discuss a wide variety of topics including the past year, her nagging injuries, her experiences at Stanford University and what the upcoming year might bring. This exclusive interview will air during the Sony Open in Hawaii, the second week of January.

On Her Experience at Stanford Her First Semester:
Its great. I mean I love Stanford, it was everything that I thought of and more. You know, staying at the freshman dorms youll learn more out of the classroom, but I just got done with finals and got my grades and Im really excited about it. Its sad that the quarter was that fast, so next quarter Im really excited about it and taking some cool classes and its a lot of fun but a lot of hard work as well.

Michelle WieHer Toughest Class Her First Semester:
It probably was Calculus its my hardest one It was really hard.

Her Social Life at Stanford:
Well staying at the freshman dorms, theres a lot of activities going on I mean theres 84 people in the dorms so all of them wont be busy at the same time. So it was a lot of fun just hanging out and making a lot of new friends and I felt like we bonded pretty closely at the dorm and just the whole freshman class you know it was just a lot of fun and lots of things to do.

On Her Celebrity Status on Campus:
I dont really think Im a celebrity on campus, its just like 'Oh, theres that person on campus.' I mean, theres a lot of other special people on campus so I dont really think I stood out but you know its really interesting. Theres a lot of rumors about me going on around campus. I think the funniest rumor is that there is a rumor that I actually go to Stanford and that I actually dont go to Stanford is only a rumor. So thats pretty funny and theres also another rumor that Ive moved out of the dorms, so I just play along with itits kind of funnybut I dont get any special treatmentI dont stand out. Its just a really unique campus.

On Balancing, School, Social Life and Golf:
Well it wasnt easy the first couple weeks because I wasnt sure what I was doing and not staying at home was also a big step for me and so it took a lot of getting used to but it was a lot of fun and I feel like Im taking a lot more responsibility and my schedule and workouts and practice. I actually have to go there by myself, drive there to the golf course and it takes more responsibility and I feel like Im growing up a little bit -- being more responsible about how Im going to practice and how to balance anything and just focusing on time management. Ive learned how to study very quickly and practice very efficiently and its a fun time to be social, so its a really big balancing act.

Her Relationship with the Stanford Golf Teams:
Yeah, theres actually a girl on the golf team thats in my dorm and its really cool. Ive met the golf team Im pretty close with them and theyre really cool people and its a lot of fun to be getting to Stanford athletics just the football, the basketball, the volleyball, everything. Its just really exciting to see.

Her Playing Plans for 2008:
I just want to be healthy in 2008. I feel like I was pretty sick in 2007 and last part of 2006, but you know moving on forward to 2008 I just want to be a healthy person, play stress free, live stress free, and hopefully that will turn into good golf and I want to really able to play really well and just be on the top of my game again.

On How Healthy Her Wrist Is:
Its getting there. I mean, its definitely a lot better than it has been and definitely getting to be pain free and just have to get it stronger again and getting use to hitting a lot of balls and just getting it better.

Looking Back at the 2007 Season:
2007 was an interesting year. I try to forget it, because there was nothing I can do to stop it because it was kind of part of my young self where I felt like at any moment it can turn around and if I can grind through it I can do it. But looking back at it now, there was no way I could have played well. I mean, I broke three bones in my wrist and trying to play out there, trying to be competitive on tour is just not gonna happen. I just had to set aside myself and not play but I think that was what 2007 was and 2008 Im going to make a lot more smart decisions and hopefully be a more responsible person and just be on top of my game again.

Any Regrets on Playing Hurt in 2007:
Its just sad to see that I tried so hard to play with a not functional body, so this year I just really want to be smart about my body and just really kind of put myself out of my body and look at myself and say if Im ready to play and dont play until Im ready.

On Not Playing in the Sony Open in 2008:
Its kind of sad that I'm not home right now in general. You know, its been a long time since I have not been home, you know, going away to college and all that, but its OK, life goes on and unfortunately Im not going to play in the Sony Open. Like I said, Im not going to play until Im 100 percent ready, but you know hopefully Im going to be able to play there again sometime soon.

What Her Goals Are - On and Off the Course - in 2008:
I want 2008 to be a simple year. I want it to be a stress free year and a fun year for me. I want to be able to play well again I want to be able to keep my grades up at Stanford. I want to be able to have a nice balanced life and I just want to be able to have a nice smooth easy year. Just a stress free year a simple year and play well and have fun.

On Learning About Herself from Last Year:
I think that I learned how to grind out there. Ive never grinded so much in my entire life and I think that motivated me to get a lot better and Ive never practiced harder ever since and it put a whole new mentality on me that I really have to practice and really work on my game and I ate some humble pie and just moving forward.
Related Links:
  • Michelle Wie's Bio and 2007 Record
  • Michelle Wie Photo Gallery
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.