Michelle Wie - Interview Transcript

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
Michelle Wie - Interview Transcript
Samsung World Championship
October 11, 2005

Q. You played in this tournament last year as an amateur, and as everyone knows, you will be making your professional debut this week. Could you talk about if there have been any difference so far between the two weeks and then we will take some questions.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, you know, I was really excited coming this week playing my first tournament as a professional. Just the other day I got my first tax form. So I was excited about that. It's not something you should be excited about, but it's pretty cool for me.
Q. Michelle, first of all, I would like to know, I would like to know when you made the decision to become a pro, did you make the decision talking to your parents or you just said I want to be a pro now?
MICHELLE WIE: Of course, I mean it took a lot of planning. It took a lot of discussion, talking about, you know, what are the cons and what are the pros of turning pro, and all of a sudden I said, I think I'm ready for it, I really want to do it, and I think I made a pretty good decision.
Q. Happy birthday.
MICHELLE WIE: Thank you.
Q. Can you tell me who your role model was?
MICHELLE WIE: My role model definitely is Ernie Els. I love looking at him, swinging. He is such a nice person. I talked to him, and he is like, you're ready to turn pro. It made me feel a lot better. I'm really glad.
Q. When was the first time you picked up a golf club?
MICHELLE WIE: I was 4 years old.
Q. When we last spoke to you Michelle you were rushing off to a class of Japanese or drawing, you weren't sure, which one was it?
MICHELLE WIE: There was a lot of things going on that day, and I think the press conference took a lot of energy off of me that way. So I just took the day off. Sorry to say that.
Q. You didn't go back to school at all?
MICHELLE WIE: No. They all bought me leis that day. We were going to have a big party but I was too tired. They called me, why aren't you coming to school? I'm sorry, I'm just a little tired. I went to school the next day though.
Q. What's been the reaction from the other pros on the Tour? I know you have played in other tournaments. What have they said to you?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, they are all saying congratulations and stuff like that. It makes me feel really good.
Q. Michelle, I think we all probably know the pros of turning pro, but can you articulate what some of the cons were that you were thinking about?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I think some of the cons are, that I think about is maybe I was too young, would my life be a lot different? But as I turned pro, I mean nothing is changing, I just found that out. I'm still going to go to school. Nothing is going to change. All of the cons turned to pros.
Q. Is there a sense in your mind that things are maybe going to change now that you are playing for money? Is there just a different way you might go about the golf course, the way you might attack things?
MICHELLE WIE: I was practicing really hard playing for $5.00 incentives, you know. My dad would give me $5.00 if I make a birdie and stuff like that. But my stakes are going to be a lot higher right now, so I'm practicing really hard. I don't really see it as pressure, I see it as incentive to practice harder.
Q. Michelle, have you treated yourself to anything yet? And what did you get for your birthday?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, for my birthday I got a lot of new gadgets from Sony. That was really excited for me, getting a lot of new phones and Walkman's. I felt like a little girl on Christmas day. It was awesome.
Q. Well, Asia is crazy about you because you speak Japanese and Korean, you were born in this country, so it's so to speak yours, I would like to know about European tournaments, such as the British Open, both of them, how did you want to participate and want to win both of them?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, the women's British Open was extra fun this year. It was really cool. I never really played in that kind of condition before. The links golf course are super nice, and I would just love to play in both of the British Opens. I think that would be really awesome.
Q. Michelle, some people have said it's a little different when you are no longer playing with a little A next to your name, the amateur sign, what do you see as being any different about playing Thursday as a pro than when you last played at when you last played, wherever that was, the British Women's Open?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't think there is going to be that much difference. I was so excited when I got my name on my bag. Usually when you are an amateur, you can't have your name on your bag, and then my Sony bag came in an it had my name on it. I was so excited.
Q. Did they spell it right?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, they spelled it right.
Q. Michelle, can you talk about what it's like traveling on the road with your parents? Do have you your own room like do you at home? How much independence do you have out here?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, we travel a lot together and I have my own room most of the time. You know, we are pretty much staying on the golf course the whole day. I have my own independence and stuff like that. I can't wait to go to college and everything like that, it's going to be awesome. It's lot of fun travelling with my parents. It's a lot more fun that traveling alone. They are like my friends and companions. I mean it's great. It's really fun.
Q. Michelle, could you talk about how you were different or better as a golfer today than you were a year ago when you came to this tournament?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I think that I'm a lot more mature than last year. I have grown up a lot since last year. My game hopefully is more consistent than last year. I just have been working really hard over the past year so hopefully it's gotten a lot better.
Q. Michelle, can you kind of update us on your thought about playing on the PGA Tour, goals of playing, having a car on the Tour, playing in the Masters? I know your dad has backed off a little bit on saying that those were your dreams of a young girl. I mean where are your thoughts now about playing with the men on any kind of a regular basis? And also playing next year, do you expect to get a full contingent of exemptions.
MICHELLE WIE: I mean I just love playing the PGA Tour events. They are so much fun. But I realize I have to gain a little more distance. I'm still going to play a couple each year. It's still going to be my goal to be able to make the cut, to be able to compete in the PGA events and to one day play in the Masters. That is my goal.
But I have other goals. I think I'm going to focus on winning more tournaments. I think that's going to be my major focus over the next couple of years. I'm not going to not focus on the PGA Tour events. Those are still my goal, my dreams. But I have a lot of different focuses.
Q. Just to follow up on that, do you know how many PGA Tour events you're going to try to play next year?
Q. Would you play the full contingent if you got offers for exemptions?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, concerning my school schedule I'm not sure how many tournaments I can play. I can't really play a full schedule. But I'm not really sure. I haven't really planned on my schedules for next year.
Q. Michelle, do you think there are so women out there that do resent you for what you have in just a short period of time? If so, what would you say to them?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I know that there are going to be some people against me. There's not going to be everyone that's going to go for me and there are going to be people that have different opinions about me. But you know I'm really thankful for my sponsors for trusting me and giving me lots of opportunities. I'm really thankful for that.
Q. Michelle, back to the question of your school friends, obviously, they'll be envying you at the moment, is there anything about their lives that you envy? Do you envy them in any way?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I go to school full time, so I had to spend a lot of time with them. They are asking me to buy lunch a lot more often now. But there are certain things that I envy about them. But, you know, looking at my life and their life, I'd rather live my own because I love traveling. I love to do what I do. It's my dream job. I love this. I mean I love to hang out with my friends a lot more often. But I do get to hang out with them a lot when I go back home. It's really good because I get two sides of never mind. I get all of the good stuff.
Q. What questions do they ask you, your school friends?
MICHELLE WIE: Can you get me a car? That's what they ask me. Well, we don't really talk about that at school. They goof around a lot around me just joking about how much money I should make, just drop out of school and not go to school. But, you know, it's really cool to have a group of friends you know before you turn pro so they know you for what you really are. So it's really nice.
Q. Two questions. Give us an update on the driving. How soon do you get your license now that you are of age? And plans for a car?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I get my license next week, so I'm kind of nervous and excited about that. And hopefully I I'll get a car. Hint. Maybe, hopefully.
Q. Secondly, there has been over the last three or four months some comments from Morgan Pressel about turning pro. How well do you know Morgan? Can you describe the relationship you had with her?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I mean I don't really know her that often. I respect her opinion. Everyone has different opinions. They have the right to say their opinions. You know, I'm not really going to comment on that. I respect her opinions and she has got to say what she wants to say.
Q. Michelle, you are represented by William Morris, the famous Hollywood agency. I would like to know who, in your opinion is the coolest guy; Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp?
MICHELLE WIE: Now that's a hard one. I don't know. I don't know on that one. They are even.
Q. What do you want to accomplish this week?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, obviously, I want to win. I have been really working hard on that. I just want to have fun. It's my first tournament as a pro, I think. I'm going to cherish all of the parts of this tournament and try to play as hard as I can. Hopefully, I'll play good.
Q. Is there every a point when you are just sitting there, you are 16, you are thinking, obviously you're great, but the pressure, does it ever get to you, like whoa? I saw you looking at a magazine with you on the cover of it, do you ever say whose life is it? What's going on? Is there any feelings like that?
MICHELLE WIE: No, not really, I don't feel any pressure at all. I see it as incentive. I'm just loving every moment of this life, you know. It's great. I'm loving it. I'm not feeling really any pressure. It's great. That's all I can say.
Q. Michelle, could you tell us what is the most interesting tournament that you have ever played as an amateur?
MICHELLE WIE: I think the most impressive was the funnest was the public links I played in this past year, the men's public links. I think it was the greatest. It was so much fun playing Match Play against them. They are such great players. It was a whole new experience for me. It was awesome. I don't know. All of the tournaments that I played in were really good. I can't really choose one. But that's the one that I remember right now.
Q. Michelle, this is a question we'll be asking of all of the players, what do you think of the greens, they have had a bit of trouble with them?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I think that they're not as bad as I thought they are going to be. They are rolling nicely. When I first looked at them, I'm like, okay, it's not the greatest but doable. After putting on them, they are getting better every day. They are actually not wiggling that much. I think they are going to be really good by Thursday. And at home the greens are aerified, so I think I've been playing on those kind of greens for quite a while.
Q. Michelle, you say the pressure, is the pressure off you now that you have made your decision to turn pro and it can just be about the golf now. Is there a sense in your mind what's ahead for you?
MICHELLE WIE: There is a little sense of relief knowing that going to a press conference someone asked me, when are you going to turn pro? They are not going to ask me that anymore. So it's little bit of relief. I like pressure. It's fun. When there is no pressure, it's not as fun.
Q. Michelle, when do you think you will start traveling more on your own? And what are your thoughts about that. You obviously come from a very successful background. Those of us who have watched you, you have a model relationship with your parents in a way, that there are circumstances where it can be anything other than model, how long do you think that will last? And when do you think you will start moving out on your own?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I love traveling with them. But I guess over time maybe I don't know, how long it will take. I don't even know how to book a plane ticket. I can't even leave the islands by myself.
So I think over time I think I will be able to travel alone. Right now I don't think I can handle it by myself. I love having my parents with me. I think I will be kind of lonely by myself. It's really fun having my parents around.
Q. This may be early to ask this question, but after the $500,000 donation toward Katrina relief, have you given any thought to long term plans on what you want to do charity wise?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I mean I've been thinking about a lot of stuff. There is so many things you can do. So many possibilities. I would just like to help people like giving travel fund to golfers that can't get their way into tournaments. And just helping kids. Getting them on the right track. I mean there is thousands, thousands of possibilities. Hopefully I will be able to help as many as I can.
Q. Michelle when Tiger turned pro he hooked up with Mark O'Meara as sort of a mentor. Is there any one? Have you even thought about doing something like that? If there is, is there any one off the top of your head that you think you can really learn from?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, over the last couple over the last two years, and this year and going forward, I've been I really look up to Ernie Els. And I want to play with him. He's awesome. Any advice I get I'm open to.
Q. These because he is six, three?
MICHELLE WIE: Not really.
Q. To kind of follow up on that Michelle, how close to when you decide to turn pro did you talk to Ernie? Did you actually say Ernie, what do you think about me turning pro?
MICHELLE WIE: Not really. He actually brought up the conversation first. I mean he is like, girl, you are just ready to turn pro already. I was just like okay.
Q. When was that? When do you remember talking to him last about that?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't remember. It was August, as my dad said.
Q. As a follow up to that, do you see yourself ever trying Q School for the PGA Tour?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I'd love to one day. I'd like to any way get into PGA Tour. I'll try.
Q. But you can see yourself going first stage, all that stuff?
Q. Is it a realistic possibility in the next couple of years do you think?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes. I think if I try harder, if I practice really hard. I think anything is possible. I have to think that.
Q. Michelle, are you reading a book that has nothing to do with either golf or school at the moment? If so, what is it?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I don't know, this one book is pretty it's not really long, but a hard book. It's for school but it's keeping me occupied. It's the Scarlet Letter.
Q. Again, a non golf question about the fashion and fashion statements. Lipman decided what you are going to wear on the Letterman show. Your mom decided many times for you. But on and off the golf course, what you are going to wear, is it going to be dictated by the sponsors or maybe you?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I'm definitely going to have a lot of input on what clothes I want to where. I pick out my own clothes. I coordinate my own stuff. So I have a pretty big say in what I want to wear.
Q. I'm curious, what's the most nervous you have ever been on the golf course?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know.
Q. I didn't think it was that hard of a question.
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know actually. Well, I think from the most recent memory, the most nervous I've been was in the first match of the public links on the last hole. That putt was pretty nerve wracking.
Q. Do you think your feelings, your nerves, whatever will be any different to Thursday's tee just given the circumstances of it being your first pro tournament?
MICHELLE WIE: No, not really. I don't think I will be that nervous.
Q. Why not, Michelle, you like clothes a lot. Do you have any ideas about designing your own clothing line or working with Nike to do that?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I'd love to one day. That's every girl's dream to make their own clothes line. I'm just so grateful that I have the opportunity to. Hopefully I will be able to. I'm really looking forward to it.
Q. Do you have any plans to visit Korea?
MICHELLE WIE: Right now I don't have any plans. If there is a chance I would love to one day.
Q. Making the huge contract with Sony and Nike does it work as pressure to you, do you feel more pressure to live up to the expectations?
MICHELLE WIE: No, I'm not pressured at all. I just feel really thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully I can live up to that. I don't feel any pressure. I see it as incentive.
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

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    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

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    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”