by Jeff Skinner
From the Mags…
For years Michelle Wie was as difficult interview to land as anyone. She lived a very public life but a very insulated one. He team limited her time with any media but in the March issue of Golf Magazine, Wie is given an opportunity to speak her mind. To some extent she does but you can still see that “Team Wie Media Training” coming through. Connell Barrett does an admirable job in trying to draw Michelle out and at times she does share much of herself but for the most part she keeps he guard up.
Listening to Wie it sounds like she is a young woman that has started to find herself. It seems she has been around forever, but she is just a twenty year old college student. She is very determined to do well at Stanford and realizes she had a gifted life early on.
“I appreciate the ups more now. I was fortunate early on in my career. I had it easy. It was a dreamland. Everything turned out fine. Then it all came crashing down. The work to get back was not easy. It definitely makes me appreciate things more. Because I went through so much, it’s hard to get me down. I’m a lot stronger.”
Her dad, B.J. had ruled Michelle’s career with a tight fist and limited her exposure to the media. Michelle now feels more comfortable with her life but still chooses to avoid some of her more difficult memories. She says she really can’t remember much of 2007 when she had her toughest year. She broke her wrist and withdrew from tournaments for various reasons.
“There were times when it would have been fine if I didn’t play again. It hurt so much. [The wrist injury] was dragging on forever. I felt like I would never get better. I would feel that way, and the next day I would want to go at it again. There was no way I was ever going to give it up. I didn’t want to go down this way. It was not the way I wanted this to end. I had goals. I’m not a person who gives up. So I fought through it. The low points were low. My wrist was broken, but I was determined not to let it break me.”
Surprisingly she says her relationship with her parents is normal. They drive her up the wall and that sounds pretty normal to me, but she isn’t ready to go on tour alone yet.
“We’re very close, and I love having them around. They’re so supportive. My dad and I bicker. We’re too similar. We clash. Obviously, they drive me up the wall, like any parents would. There will come a day when it’s just me, my manager, and my caddie. But it’s not time for me right now to go out on my own. It’s a brutal, tough world, and I feel fortunate that I have two people who will love me no matter what. So I’ll keep them around for a while.”
Michelle Wie has come a long way, not only as a player but as a person. Her performance at the Solheim Cup acted as her true coming out party. She led the team and her teammates raved about her as a person. When she won in Mexico at the Loreno Ochoa, her first win anywhere since she was 13, Michelle described the feeling as “pure happiness.” It was a long time coming but it’s really just the beginning.