Wie Lopez Playing in Portland

RSS

Safeway Classic Logo 2007PORTLAND, Oregon -- Michelle Wie is all about the drama.
 
No, not when it comes to golf. She's looking forward to her first year at Stanford and getting assigned recently to the freshman dorm.
 
'I think I would be missing out on college life if I didn't stay in the freshman dorm,' she said. 'I think that's where all the drama happens, everything happens.'
 
Before she gets too excited about the college experience, Wie will play this weekend in the Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
 
Wie, who has struggled with a left wrist injury this season, is playing on a sponsor's exemption, as is veteran Nancy Lopez.
 
The field also includes top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, who won the Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton, Alberta, last week. It was her second straight victory and fifth of the season; her previous victory at the Women's British Open was her first major title.
 
Pat Hurst is the defending champion on the Par-72, 6,377-yard course near the Portland airport.
 
Wie was making her fourth straight tour start. She missed the cut last week in Edmonton, shooting 75-74.
 
With her hair in ponytails and her nails polished in black, the 17-year-old reflected on her season, which has been a struggle.
 
'It was kind of a fine balance between trying to play through it and trying to rehab ... I felt like I learned a lot from each of the tournaments and I've gained a lot of experience, and that's what I'm out here for, I want to gain experience, I want to learn from my mistakes.
 
'So I felt like I learned a lot this year and you know, that first win, it could happen this week. You never know.'
 
The last time Wie played in Portland she was a 13-year-old phenom with 300-yard drives who had just burst on to the scene. Now she's an incoming college freshman who just got assigned to the student dorm.
 
'It's kind of mind boggling seeing that, you know, it's been four years already,' she said. 'The time has gone by so fast. I've been through a lot and a lot of changes have been made.'
 
Wie reports to Stanford in a few weeks. Already a professional, she cannot play for the school's golf team.
 
While she's looking forward to the drama at college, Wie is trying to block it out on the golf course.
 
The teenager, who has also played on the PGA Tour, has missed the cut in three LPGA events and withdrawn from two others this season
 
'Everyone is going to have an opinion of me, but it doesn't really affect how I feel about myself and my confidence about myself and my game,' she said.
 
While Wie is waiting for her career to take off, Lopez is on the other end of the spectrum. The 50-year-old Hall of Famer has played four tournaments in a comeback bid, but has yet to make a cut.
 
Lopez has won three times in Portland over her career. She has 48 tour victories.
 
'The desire to play better is there, the desire to work on my game is there, and the desire to compete has kind of come back,' she said. 'And, you know, I'm getting in more physically fit condition than I have been in a long time and I feel real good.
 
'So it makes it more fun to be out on the golf course and competing again, even though I've been pretty humiliated by my golf game the last four tournaments.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Safeway Classic