Ricoh Women’s Open 2014 Royal Birkdale Southport Michelle Wie interview (VIDEO)
Michelle Wie (born October 11, 1989) is an American professional golfer on the LPGA Tour. Since an early age Michelle has commanded international attention for her prodigious golfing ability and her charisma, making her one of the most influential athletes in women’s sports. Michelle graduated from Stanford University in March 2012 with a degree in Communications. She has won three events on the LPGA tour, has had ten top-ten finishes in Major competition, as well as having shot the lowest round ever recorded by a woman golfer in a men’s PGA tour event.
FAMILY + EARLY LIFE
Michelle was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA on October 11, 1989 to Byung-Wook “B.J.” Wie and Bo Wie, both of whom had immigrated to the USA from South Korea (Republic of Korea). B.J. had been a professor of transportation management at the University of Hawaii and coached the young Michelle, often serving as her caddy. Michelle began playing golf at four years of age and was soon able to drive the ball 100 yards. By the time she reached age 12 Michelle could power the ball more than 300 yards. B.J. explained to Golf World, “Michelle has always liked to hit the ball hard. Sometimes it would go right, sometimes left, but it didn’t matter. She just wanted to hit it hard.” Michelle grew up in Honolulu and graduated from Punahou School. She decided to attend Stanford University where her grandfather, Dr. Sang Kyu Wie had been a visiting professor. Also, Michelle’s uncle earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford and her aunt earned a Masters in Industrial Engineering at Stanford.
AMATEUR GOLF CAREER
In 2000, at the age of 10, Michelle became the youngest qualifier ever at the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. The milestones began to pile up quickly. Michelle won the Honolulu Mayor’s Open and was low amateur in the Hawaii State Women’s Open. Over the next three years she electrified Hawaiian golf with victories and shattered records for youngest ever in virtually every category.
By the age of 13, Michelle took her prowess to a whole new level by becoming the youngest golfer ever to make the cut at an LPGA tour event, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a major no less, where she finished in the top 10. PGA golf champion Fred Couples witnessed the 13-year old Michelle’s swing first-hand and was amazed, exclaiming, “When you see her hit a golf ball, there’s nothing that prepares you for it. It’s just the scariest thing you’ve ever seen.”
At age 14, Michelle finished in the top 20 in six of the seven LPGA events she entered that year including a 4th place at the Kraft Nabisco. In early 2004, Michelle competed in the men’s PGA Sony
Open at Waialae. She shot 72/68, missing the cut by just one shot, yet finishing ahead of future US Open winner Lucas Glover, PGA Champion Shaun Micheel, and future Sony Open winner Ryan Palmer.
At only 14 years of age, she became the first woman to shoot a sub-par round in a sanctioned Men’s PGA event.
The next year, 2005, saw Michelle finish second in three of seven LPGA events including the LPGA Championship, to go with a 3rd place in the British Open. Michelle turned professional later that year just before her 16th birthday.
PROFESSIONAL GOLF CAREER
The Rolex World Rankings were formulated in February 2006 and ranked Michelle time golfers Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer. As the LPGA Tour minimum age requirement is 18 years old, Michelle was able to compete in only a limited number of events through the next three years until becoming eligible to earn her Tour Card.
She spent this period focusing on school life, friends, art, music and working on her game while playing seven LPGA events each season and various other forays into women’s and men’s golf around the globe. In December 2008 Michelle earned her Tour Card for 2009 at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While continuing her education at Stanford in 2009, Michelle entered 19 LPGA tournaments making 17 cuts, eight top-ten’s, two third’s, two second’s and her first career LPGA victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by Banamex and Corona Light, finishing the year with $918,659 in prize money. Michelle also played on the 2009 Solheim Cup USA Team, which defeated the European Team
16 to 12 with Michelle, and her playing partners earning 3.5 of 4 possible points.
The 2010 season again saw 17 cuts made in 19 events, five top-tens, a third, a second and her second LPGA career victory at the CN Women’s Canadian Open, finishing the year in ninth position with $888,017 in prize money.
The 2011 season saw seven top-10 finishes including: second at the Honda LPGA Thailand; tied for second at the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
During the 2012 season she made 13 of 23 cuts, with one top-10 finish at the Safeway Classic.
The 2013 season saw her make 19 of 23 cuts, with four top-10 finishes including a season best T3 at the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship. She competed on her third Solheim Cup USA Team an posted a 2-2-0 record.
Please see the TOUR section for detailed history and accomplishments.
Michelle is sponsored by and promotes: Nike, Omega Watches, Kia Motors, McDonalds, and Sime Darby.
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