Golf: Wie feels like she’s starting over
By Doug Ferguson
EDINA, Minn. ó Michelle Wie has seen her picture in Christmas catalogs for Sony. She has heard the shutter of cameras on the golf course on three continents, and felt the stare of thousands of people at an awards banquet in Paris.
So she was mildly concerned such celebrity treatment would follow her to Stanford as a freshman, but those worries didn’t last long. Two of her roommates didn’t even know who she was.
“They said, ‘We hear your name is Michelle Wie,”‘ she said. “They didn’t know what I did.”
There was a time when the 6-foot teenager from Hawaii would walk onto the putting green at the U.S. Women’s Open and players far more accomplished would stop to watch. A dozen or so photographers would camp to the side of the green, watching her every move.
But she was just one of the girls Tuesday afternoon at Interlachen, still taller than most, now older than some.
“It’s kind of weird being on the putting green and not being the youngest person,” she said with a laugh.
Indeed, she will play the first two days of the U.S. Women’s Open with Kimberly Kim, a 16-year-old from Hawaii.
Wie is an old 18.
She has been a fixture at the biggest event in women’s golf since she qualified in 2003 after finishing the eighth grade. She was tied for the 54-hole lead at Cherry Hills when she was 15, tied for the lead with six holes to play a year later at Newport.
That all seems like ancient history.
Wie showed up at Interlachen looking for a new start, hopeful she is on the road to recovery.
“I feel like I’m re-emerging as a new player, a new person,” she said Tuesday. “I feel like I’m never, ever going to think about last year again. I’m not ever going to think about before I broke my wrist. Thad was then and this is now. I feel like from now on, I’m only going to think about now.”
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