Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The maturation of Michelle Wie, major champion

By
June 25, 2014 |

PINEHURST, N.C. — Michelle Wie put her table-top putting stance to good use in the late hours after she became a U.S. Women’s Open champion.

In a photo she posted to Instagram, Wie is bent over so sharply that her back is parallel to the ground. Only instead of a hitting a putt — like the 25-footer for birdie on the 17th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 that clinched her first major — her head is buried in the Women’s Open trophy.

A text message to Meg Mallon would seem to confirm what she was doing.

“She said, ‘It takes 21 1/2 beers to fill up the U.S. Open trophy,” Mallon said Monday.

The maturation of the 24-year-old from Hawaii has been fascinating to watch.

She was a 12-year-old with chubby cheeks and braces who stood behind the 18th green at the Sony Open and talked about her dream of playing the Masters.

Wie played in the final group of an LPGA major when she was in the eighth grade. She had a chance to win three majors when she was 16. She shot a 68 on the PGA Tour to miss the cut by one shot at age 14, which inspired her to compete against the men and invited sharp criticism when she couldn’t even beat the women.

No one moved the needle like Wie in women’s golf.

And perhaps no other female athlete, especially one so young, endured so much condemnation. To her credit — and her parents deserve credit for this, too — she never lashed back at those who questioned the path she chose.

Wie reached the ultimate destination Sunday, even if she never could have imagined how she would get there. Stardom included a detour to two stages of Q-school, just so she could become a part-time player while attending — and eventually graduating — from Stanford.

“This is exactly where I wanted to be,” Wie said on the eve of the final round at Pinehurst. “When I was 15 and 16, I think the troubles that I came into when I was younger is that I tried to plan my life, and a lot of times things don’t happen the way they should — or the way they should in my mind.”

She had a road map at 15?

“Oh, yeah,” she replied, smiling at a room full of reporters. “Don’t you all?”

It would be easy to suggest that Wie arrived as the player everyone thought she could be when the final putt fell for a two-shot victory, just moment before the church bells began ringing at Pinehurst.

She arrived much earlier. She won in Hawaii earlier this year. She was in the last group at a major. She was a contender just about every week.

“This was just the exclamation point,” Mallon said.

Mallon won her fourth major 10 years ago at the U.S. Women’s Open, the same year she first got to know a 6-foot teen from Hawaii who could hit the ball a mile. She saw a prodigy. She also saw a girl.

“I adore the kid,” Mallon said. “We were paired in a pro-am when she was 14 and we had a blast. We were challenging each other with short-game shots and we made a bet. She said, ‘If I win, I get to put streaks in my hair.’ I went over to Bo (Wie’s mother) and asked if that was OK. She won and put streaks in her hair that afternoon.”

Wie’s game recently was questioned last August when she was a captain’s pick for the Solheim Cup — by Mallon — over a player who had won that year and was ahead of Wie in the standings. Mallon called it a “no-brainer” because she needed someone who could handle the big stage. Few knew it better.

“I was looking at picks about three weeks out and Michelle came up and said, ‘Gosh, Meg, I know I’m six months away from where I want to be. I am so close.’ And you kind of look now at where she is,” Mallon said.

Wie is leading the LPGA Tour money list, approaching $1.6 million. She had never earned over $1 million in a season. She is No. 7 in the women’s world ranking.

And she figured this out all on her own.

She always had the swing and the power to win a major. Her putting for years was the weakest part of her game. And yet she won the Open by going an entire week without a three-putt, by making a tricky 5-foot putt to salvage double bogey on the 16th hole and keep the lead, and by making one of the hardest putts at Pinehurst at the 17th. It was fast and broke in two directions, and this one slammed into the back of the cup nearly as hard as she slammed her fist when it fell.

Wie created this unique “table-top” style all by herself. She followed Mallon’s advice in the offseason by putting away the video and bringing more feel into her game.

There was no better feeling than holding the trophy — or drinking out of it.

She no longer tries to map out her life as much as she once did, though Wie allowed herself such a moment a week ago Sunday when she walked up the 18th fairway with Martin Kaymer when he won the men’s U.S. Open.

“I thought to myself, ‘I want to be here on Sunday. I want to feel this exact thing,’” she said. “It’s a dream come true that it actually happened.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Rio Vista woman died in Suisun City crash

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Red light camera fate now uncertain in state

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Obscure state agency creates big money problems

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
I like Liam, but I think he’s interested in another girl

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Horoscopes for July 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead dinner to make back-to-school smoother

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

You too can bake artisanal quality bread at home

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
A healthy afterschool snack that eats like a treat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Sports

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5