NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie first experimented with her “table-top” putting stance at the CME Group Titleholders a year ago.
That’s what her putting stance has come to be called because she bends so severely at the waist that her back is as flat as a table top.
Wie, 24, has heard all the jokes, but she relishes how her putting has improved as she has slightly tweaked the stance over the last year.
With a 6-under-par 66 Saturday at Tiburon, Wie is in position to make a run at her third LPGA title, her first since winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open three years ago. She begins Sunday three shots off the lead.
“I definitely want to finish strong,” Wie said. “I want to go out there and give it all I have. I'm just really grateful for the opportunity that I have a chance to win tomorrow. So, I'm just going to go out there and have fun and give it 110 percent.”
Wie was 119th in putts per greens in regulation a year ago. She’s 26th this year. Wie said the confidence that has come watching putts drop is filtering into her entire game.
“I started feeling a lot more confident with my putting this year,” Wie said. “It definitely goes into your long game. You don't feel like you have to hit it in to 2 feet to make birdies every hole. You get to 15 feet, and you go up and think, `Oh, I can make that.’ So definitely it runs through the entire game. It makes golf a lot more fun when you're making putts.”
Why did Wie go to such an extreme putting stance?
“I just feel more comfortable over it,” she said. “I can't really explain the physics of it, or, like the reason why it works, but it works for me. I see the line a lot more. I feel lower, obviously, to the ground, but I think I'm like at 80 degrees now, not like 90, which is a slight improvement.
“I feel like it's good, because I didn't change one thing to my putting all year. I just worked at the same exact thing, just worked on my speed and actually just worked on making putts rather than working on my technique. So that's what I'm really proud of this year, just that I haven't really tweaked around, messed around with my technique like I always used to. I just go out there on the putting green, and I actually practice making putts. So, I feel a lot more confident now.”