She’s one of the biggest names in women’s golf and was once seen as the female version of Tiger Woods. It’s been a rocky road though since Michelle Wie first burst onto the scene as a teenager many years ago.
In this article we not only take a look in the bag of Michelle Wie in 2012, but a little of her history on the women’s tour.
Michelle was born in Honalulu, Hawaii and was the only child to South Korean immigrants who had made a new home for themselves on the islands and she first picked up a golf club at the age of four and began to show a real talent at an early age.
By the age of 10, Michelle had become the youngest ever qualifier at the Women’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and a year later, she won the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play Championship and the Jennie K. Wilson Women’s Invitational.
In 2002, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA event and in 2003, she became the youngest player ever to make the cut in an LPGA event at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
In 2003, she won the women’s Amateur Public Links tournament and in doing so became the youngest ever male or female to win a USGA event for adults.
The same year, aged just 13, she became the youngest player ever to make the cut at the US Open. A record that still stands to this day.
Her prodigious talents were now coming to global attention and just short of her 16th birthday, Michelle announced she was turning professional, signing lucrative endorsements with Nike and Sony amongst several other companies.
Her young age meant that Wie was not eligible for LPGA Tour Membership and she decided against appealing that decision and instead relied on sponsors invites early in her career.
There were many forthcoming but Wie really made headlines when she decided to play against male golfers, becoming the second woman (after Se Ri Pak) to make the cut at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea.
Despite her prodigious talent as a youngster, Wie has struggled to convert that into wins on the professional tour. Injuries have played a significant part in that, robbing Wie of much valuable playing time over the years, especially between 2007 and 2008 when she dropped to 238 in the world rankings.
Wie has two wins on tour so far in her career, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in 2009, when she won by two strokes from Paula Creamer and the Canadian Women’s Open in 2012, when she won by three strokes from four other competitors.
Wie’s first challenge is to arrest her slump in form that has seen her drop from 10th in the world in 2010, to currently being 47th in the rankings.
Once she has achieved that however, her aim will be to turn many close 2nd and 3rd place finishes into more wins on the women’s tour as it is fair to say that commensurate to her talent, Wie has failed to achieve the success many expected when she first burst onto the scene as a youngster.
The incredible thing to remember though is that Wie does have time on her side. Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of all is that despite having a career that spans nearly a decade, Michelle Wie is still only 22 years of age.
In the Bag Michelle Wie 2012
Driver: Nike VR Tour 8.5
3-Wood: Nike VR Pro II 15
Hybrids: Nike VR Pro II Hybrids (replacing 2 & 4 Irons)
5-PW: Nike VR Pro II Blades
Wedges: Nike VR Pro II x3x Wedges (52, 56 and 60 degree lofts)
Putter: Nike Method Prototype Putter
Ball: Nike 20XI-X ball