Michelle Wie Interview - US Open Qualifying
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2006 US Open | General | 13 Jun 2006
Q: Michelle, starting off, if you would, satisfaction or disappointment?
Michelle Wie: You know, I think that, you know, I was — I mean, obviously, you know I’m disappointed I didn’t make it. But I’m just — I guess I’m satisfied with the way I tried. I mean, I just played my hardest out there. You know, I felt like I concentrated till the end.
You know, I just — I feel like I played my hardest and this is what happened.
Q: You seemed to have things going pretty well through the morning round and the first nine on the back. What happened on the last nine?
Michelle Wie: Well, I’m not really sure actually. You know, I felt like I was playing great. It’s not like I hit really bad shots. It’s not like I hit really bad putts. I just — it just didn’t work out. I hit good putts. The two short putts that I missed weren’t like — weren’t putts that I miss-hit. I hit them right where I wanted to, but they just didn’t fall in. You know, what can you do about that? I guess it wasn’t really meant to be.
Q: Your playing partners were very complementary towards you, your attitude and your game and all of that. I just wondered, how did you find playing with them? They seemed to chat with you sometimes and support you. Is that what you were hoping for, guys who were going to support your effort?
Michelle Wie: Well, yeah, definitely. I definitely don’t want to play with people that don’t like me. It was a lot of fun. David Gossett, I played with him like three years ago as a pro Junior in Hawaii, so it was really nice to see playing with him again today. Rick Hartmann was fabulous. They are both very good players, and I had a lot of fun playing with them. They are really nice guys, they are really good players and I learned a lot from them. You know, it was a really fun 36 holes.
Q: You hit the ball so well on your first 18 and didn’t get a lot out of it, at least until the chip-in on 18. Was there an element of frustration in not going better over the first round?
Michelle Wie: Yeah, definitely. I mean, you know, I had a lot of birdie opportunities. Like the par 3, I stuck it really close. You know, I just felt like I was playing very well, but my score didn’t show it as much as I wanted to. I was hitting my putts very solid. I was hitting my shots very solid. But, I don’t know, I guess the ball was afraid of heights or something because it didn’t want to go in the hole.
Q: You made a big par save on the back nine of the North Course, and that seemed to get you going for a little while. Did you feel that might be the impetus to make it at that point?
Michelle Wie: Definitely. I felt like when I made that par putt, I was like, you know, maybe I’m going to make some putts after all.
And, you know, the birdie on next hole was very nice. Just a couple of shots here and there didn’t go where I wanted them to, but I just played through. It was a long day today, and, you know, I just — I just played — I mean, I’m saying this a lot; but I just played my hardest out there.
Q: Could you take us through that final hole on the first 18 and that chip-in, and exactly what was going through your mind when you were sitting there waiting for that?
Michelle Wie: Well, I hit my shot right. I was hoping that it didn’t go in the water, because — I had a feeling it didn’t go in the water because I hit it so bad, but I was very lucky I was in the rough.
When I hit the shot, the rough was still pretty wet from the morning, and my club kind of turned over and I was stuck in the rough on the left where I knew it was going to be good, because you know, how that hole set up, when you’re on the left that ridge comes into play and there’s nowhere to land it really. Because if you land it a little bit short, it will just go right.
But, you know, I picked out the spot where I wanted to land it, and I was looking at my lie and there’s like mushrooms all around it. And you know you’re in deep trouble when there’s mushrooms around your ball. So I was hacking through the rough, I was like, oh, God, get your bogey and get out of here. I mean, this is like a really tough lie. You’re uphill. I had no idea where it land it. I picked my spot, I just focused on there and I actually did land on that spot where I wanted to, and very fortunately the ball went in the hole. Those kind of shots don’t really happen to me so I was very surprised and very happy.
Q: Was this the most pressure you’ve felt in a golf tournament, and if not, which tournament was?
Michelle Wie: I didn’t really feel any pressure today. You know, obviously there must have been some pressure to make it, but I didn’t really feel it. I was out there just trying to shoot a score that I wanted to hit. You know, I wasn’t really thinking about, you know, what happens if I make it and stuff like that.
You know, I was just playing today and I didn’t really feel any pressure.
Q: Your dad said a minute ago that he feels this proves that a woman can play her way into the U.S. Open. I wonder what your thoughts or on that. And you’ve had a couple of really close near misses, almost making the cut in your first Sony and almost making the cut at the John Deere, almost kicking the door down here, does that make you want it that much more? So, two questions.
Michelle Wie: Yeah, I think so. I think finally my dad said something right. (Laughter).
I think that, you know, definitely, hopefully this — I mean I’m not really here to show that — you know, prove something that, women can actually play. But, you know, hopefully this just shows or motivates people to do what they want to do and not really be I guess, you know, bended or just do what other people do, what the normal thing to do is. And I hope people can break out of — I mean, break out of this normal thing and just do what they want to do. And this is what I’m doing. You know, I think that it kind of shows. I mean, hopefully it motivates other people to do things that — I mean, I’m saying the same thing over and over again. Okay, second question. (Laughing).
Well, I think that making — almost making the cut at the John Deere, almost making it here, I feel like I’m a lot more motivated for the summer. I know what I have to work on for next week and for the following week. And you know, more specifically, obviously putting I have to work on and being a little bit more consistent with my shots. I just feel a lot more motivated after today.
Q: Wasn’t it physically difficult to play two rounds in a day?
Michelle Wie: Well, obviously it’s not the easiest thing in the world to play 36 holes. I mean, the South Course isn’t actually flat. But I feel like I maintained my energy level quite well. I mean, I don’t feel exhausted right now. I think that, you know, the last nine holes, the last 18 holes, I still felt like I had a lot of energy left in me.
Q: Do you intend to try for the Open next year or every year after that until you do make it?
Michelle Wie: Most definitely. I’m not going to quit after this year. I don’t see the point in doing that. I’m really excited for next year. Hopefully next year will be the year.
Q: I don’t think there was ever a qualifying tournament like this, thousands of people came just to see you. I just want to get some of your thoughts on what you think about how people feel about you.
Michelle Wie: Well, you know, laughing my way into the parking lot, I couldn’t believe that this many people was going to come for a qualifying round. And, you know, I mean in, Hawaii, the local qualifying, I had like about 30 people following me, and then, you know, it’s just a qualifying round.
I was very surprised that this many people came, but I’m also I guess very flattered by how many people came today, by how many people came to root for me. You know, I was very moved by the fan support. I think it was very awesome. I mean, you know, to have this many people be interested in the sectional qualifying, I mean, that’s awesome.
Q: When you saw some of the little girls out there with the Wie-Heart-Wie buttons and stuff like that, what do you think when you see little kids, girls or boys, following you?
Michelle Wie: It’s very weird. I mean, I can’t recall that they actually know who I am at that age. I was very flattered. I think they are very cute and, you know, the buttons were very cute. I mean, I was very moved and flattered by it. You know, I just hope that they can take something from my round today.
Q: You’ve got another big tournament this week, a couple days away. Will it be difficult to get up for that, are you able to put this behind you quickly to move on to that? Will this be good or bad for your preparation for that?
Michelle Wie: Well, I think that it’s very good playing today and then going to the tournament this week. You know, I think I’m just going to take the good things away from today, learn from the mistakes that I made today. And I think that playing on a really long course — on a longer course, I think that it will help me with the course next week. I mean, the greens are very tricky here, so, you know, hopefully I’ll get used to them for this week.
And playing 36 holes in one day, I mean, I think playing 18 holes this week is going to be a breeze.
Q: You mentioned something about a score to aim at. Did you have a target score that you were trying to hit that you thought you needed to get in?
Michelle Wie: Well, you know, I just thought that since the South Course seemed a little shorter, you know, I was thinking like, you know, 3- or 4-under.
Source – USGA
Photo – WireImage