Which is better? Breaking a four-year winless streak with a victory on your home course? Or being invited to show off your hula skills? Or hosting a charity ping pong tourney to benefit your home state’s junior golf association? Or having a charity golf tournament named in your honor? Or rocketing up the Rolex Rankings after being in a freefall for a couple of years? What if all that happened in a four-day period, start to finish? How good is that? Ask Michelle Wie.
Wie’s fairytale week began with her victory at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf Saturday afternoon. The hometown girl came from behind and played with a gritty determination to claim the win before a gallery that gave her a standing ovation even before the last putt was rolled. Then, with a megawatt smile, Wie joined in the traditional hula and showed that she’s equally skilled at golf and executing the traditional Hawaiian dance. The charity ping pong tourney was just icing on her cake.
A Boost Up in the Rankings
Wie’s runner-up finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship last week bumped her from 38th in the Rolex Rankings to 23rd and her victory at the LOTTE Championship is going to give her another boost up the world rankings, probably sending her past Angela Stanford and Lizette Salas and into the upper ranks of American golfers.
In addition to a very nice pay day, Wie also collected 500 Race to the CME Globe points with her LOTTE win and stands in second place now with 1,270 points, just 106 points shy of Karrie Webb’s lead.
What’s next for Michelle Wie? The once teen phenom who’s struggled to stake out an adult space in an adult world seems set to take off and fly. She’s the top money winner on the Tour at this point in the season and her game stats are strong: #1 in greens in regulation (81%); #1 in scoring average (69.57); #1 in rounds under par (25); #3 in Rolex Player of the Year points.
Wie’s finally knocking on the front door. How far will she go? Let’s watch her at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and find out!