Barring a setback in her preparation, Michelle Wie appears poised to make her return to golf at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., this week.
Wie, who has been out for two months healing from multiple ailments in her right hand, is in Minnesota getting ready for Thursday’s start of the third women’s major championship of the year.
“She’s planning to play,” David Leadbetter, her swing coach, told GolfChannel.com. “She’s starting to feel quite a bit better, but she fatigues quickly. She tells me she’s being pretty sensible in how she’s approaching things. She really needs to pace herself.”
Wie, 29, is trying to make her way back after undergoing surgery last October to repair an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment in her right hand. She made her return from surgery at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, tying for 23rd. A week later, she withdrew in the first round of her title defense at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, saying “nerve entrapment” was still an issue. After taking five weeks off, she missed the cut at the ANA Inspiration and two weeks later missed the cut at the Lotte Championship, after which she announced she would be taking time off to more fully heal.
“She only started chipping and putting a couple weeks ago or so, then slowly made her way to hitting balls,” Leadbetter said. “She is obviously going to be rusty, from a tournament situation, and fatigue’s a factor.
“I’m sure she will be restricting her practice this week. It’s just nice to see her back. She still has that desire to compete.”
Wie is scheduled to come in to the Women’s PGA Media Center for an interview at noon ET on Tuesday. She is grouped with Lydia Ko and Minjee Lee in the first two rounds, slated to go off at 10:19 a.m. on Thursday and 3:44 p.m. on Friday.
Leadbetter is helping Wie with a swing that will put less pressure on her wrists.
“It’s a more body-oriented swing, with the arms, wrists and hands playing less a role,” Leadbetter said. “It’s more about rotation, than sliding.”