Michelle Wie is looking to rebound from injury and get her season back on track with a return to action at the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea.
Wie, who turned 25 on Saturday, is committed to playing in her first event since withdrawing from the Evian Championship last month after re-injuring the index finger of her right hand. She boarded a flight for Incheon Friday.
“She tells me the finger is a lot better than it was when she went to Evian,” said David Leadbetter, her swing coach. “She’ll be a little rusty. She’s not 100 percent, but she’s working back into it.”
Wie hasn’t been able to build on her brilliant resurgence this year. Since winning the Lotte Championship in April and the U.S. Women’s Open in June, she has endured a pair of missed cuts and a pair of withdrawals over her last four starts. She believes she originally hurt her finger hitting out of a divot at the Marathon Classic in late July. In her very next start, she withdrew from the Meijer Classic after nine holes. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with a “stress reaction” of the finger. Leadbetter described the injury as similar to a deep bone bruise.
After a month off, Wie tried to tee it up at the Evian Championship on Sept. 11, but she hurt the finger again and withdrew after 13 holes. She hasn’t played an event since.
“It’s just a shame this had to happen,” Leadbetter said. “She was obviously in very good form. It’s not what you want to happen when you’re on an upward spiral like that, but she’s in very good spirits mentally and is very hungry to get back to playing.”
Wie is among LPGA leaders in a number of statistical categories this year. She’s first in greens in regulation (77.3 percent), second in scoring (69.70), fifth in putts per greens in regulation (1.77) and third on the official money list ($1,627,653).
There’s still a lot to play for this year with Wie fourth in the Race to the CME Globe point standings. The top nine going to the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship will have a shot at the $1 million Race to the CME Globe jackpot. The top three in points are guaranteed winning the jackpot if they win the Tour Championship.