by Jeff Skinner
It’s not the kind of homecoming Michelle Wie had planned. With her classes at Stanford finished and the LPGA Tour returning to her childhood course the stage was set for a fantastic homecoming for Wie.
But with rounds of 78 and 76 Wie wasn’t able to make the cut at The Lotte Championship. She played the Ko Olina Golf Course like it was the first time she had seen it instead of the course where she spent years playing as a child prodigy.
It was her third straight missed cut this season and her frustration showed on the course. Wie had spent the last few weeks in Hawaii and was poised to jump start her 2012 season with a distinct home field advantage over the rest of the field. Her two shoddy rounds left her twelve stokes off the pace set by Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz.
Wie looked discouraged and seemed to be hitting the wrong club all day. She even stumbled to a quadruple bogey 9 on the par 5 first hole (her 10th) on a day that saw her driver, irons and putter fail her.
She has jettisoned the long putter and went back to her conventional one but it didn’t help. But all is not lost for Wie. Putting guru Dave Stockton has her on his wish list of players he’d like to work with. “I have my wish list. There are just certain people I look at and shake my head,” he said.
“I had a couple of days with (Lee) Westwood last year in Akron. He had just started working with (sports psychologist) Bob Rotella at the same time that week, and kind of went that direction. I look at Westwood, or Sergio, or Michelle Wie now, Ernie Els – people that I really respect and you would just love to have 10 or 15 minutes of their time because you know you can fix them.”
Michelle should use her free time this weekend to give Stockton a call. It couldn’t hurt.