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U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


June 20, 2014


Michelle Wie


PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA

MIKE TROSTEL: Welcome back to the 2014 U.S. Women's Open Championship here at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. A second consecutive 2-under at 67 for Michelle Wie today, 36 hole total of 4-under, 136. Michelle Wie was in second place in the midway point as an amateur in 2005 and few years ago at Black Wolf Run and seems to be poised or at the top of the leaderboard this year. Go through your card a little bit. Started at 10. 8 consecutive pars to start.

MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I had 8 pars, and I felt in some other golf courses I would be mad at that point. I was very happy that I had 8 pars. Pars are great on this golf course. I'll take a par any day on this golf course.

MIKE TROSTEL: Then you make a birdie on 18, consecutive day there.

MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, like I said, I'll take a birdie, as well, too. Birdies are fantastic, pars are great out here. But that was a great momentum boosting hole.

MIKE TROSTEL: Talk about your birdies. Do you know what you had into 18?

MICHELLE WIE: I hit my drive on the left side of the fairway, and I was in someone's divot. I punched a gap wedge, rolled out nicely to pin-high, about 12, 15 feet. And then, what did I birdie next, 8?

MIKE TROSTEL: Well, you went to the first hole and made bogey there.

MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah, so I hit hybrid, I hit it kind of right into the native. I tried to hit a cut shot, but my club got stuck in the bush and it squirted out right. I tried to hit a flop shot and it rolled back and two-putt from there.

MIKE TROSTEL: You went to 8, and made a birdie there, take us through that.

MICHELLE WIE: I actually thought I was going to have a panic attack on that hole. I hit my 3-wood there, and then I had a 6-iron into the hole. And I didn't think I could get it to the hole. I was just trying to play it a little bit short, a little bit right. I pulled a little bit off that hill and just left is no good there. I was like thinking that could either be great or it could be disastrous. So both me and my caddie were having a little bit of a heart attack on that shot. It turned out great. I had 12 feet behind the hole. On 9, I hit a cut pitching wedge about 15 feet short of the hole.

MIKE TROSTEL: And made putt for birdie there. Another 2-under 68. If you could please raise your hand we'll have a mic come over to you.

Q. I'm noticing that you're hitting that stinger 3-wood again, you kept up with Catriona's drive. Is that something you mapped out ahead of time and you're sticking to that plan or did the conditions and your position on the leaderboard make you wing it?
MICHELLE WIE: No, those holes I would normally have hit driver. It was downwind and the tees were up. There was a couple of run through areas, where if I hit driver it goes straight through. But, yeah, it just depends on the conditions, if it's firming up, if it's downwind and into the wind, it just depends.

Q. Is this a golf course where it's better to be further back and into the fairway rather than bombing a driver up and having a wedge in your hand?
MICHELLE WIE: A wedge is easier than say 5-iron into these greens. I think being aggressive on the tees is important. But sometimes you can't hit a driver, because they're going to run through. I'm going to keep as aggressive as I can this weekend off the tee, because I think wedge in the native is better than having a 5-iron in the fairway.

Q. Any par saves, or was it relatively stress free?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I had a couple of good par saves out there, I think on 12 -- no, that's wrong -- 2 -- oh, yeah, 2 was good. I hit it long left and I thought I hit a great chip shot and almost rolled off the green, but luckily stayed on and I had a 15 foot putt for par. 6, I hit it short right and I thought it was a little bit uphill and I kind of bombed my putt and I thought it went over the green, but thankfully it stayed on the green, about 24 feet. So I had a couple of those today, which was really nice.

Q. What were you most pleased with in your game today?
MICHELLE WIE: I think it's course management. I think my caddie and I did a great job today. Even if I left myself 50 foot putts for birdie. We just played it safe on a lot of holes, where you just can't really go for the pins. I think we did a good job of being aggressive and playing it safe. Course management was definitely working today.

Q. You talked about staying aggressive, but I'm wondering if in general, not just this week, but where you are now as a golfer, are you a lot better at not getting too aggressive at times when it can hurt you, do you feel like you can gauge that better?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think so. I think I went through a phase where I was too aggressive. I think I went through a phase where I was maybe not aggressive enough. And I think I've learned from both situations. I think, hopefully, being a little bit older, I'm a little bit wiser, probably not the case, but hopefully that's the case. I think I'm just learning with situations, the risk/reward, just kind of thinking it through. I think my caddie is doing a really good job of kind of talking me through it, walking me through, as well, too. And I think we're both learning.

Q. I can't think of a better way to ask this, but in your own mind, at what point did you being in contention stop being front page news over the last year and a half or so?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know. I never really -- I mean, I never really thought of it that way, I guess. Just -- I'm kind of not really thinking about the score. I think this year I just tried to think about every shot, every hole. And I've talked a lot about this with other players, the older players and some of the guys, as well. I think I used to be too worried about the final score and where I was standing. I was kind of too concerned about what place I was in, instead of just trying to play the best I could every hole. And that's kind of what I'm trying to do now. I'm trying not to focus on if I'm leading or not, if I'm second or third, how many back I am, but what I can shoot the next day, what I can shoot today, so, yeah.

Q. Is there ever a point where if you started poorly, 2-over through 4 or something like that, you wouldn't panic, but you would start thinking about the cut or how far you are and is that part of the process, I guess, is just --
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. I think like I said before, I think if I was 2-over for 4 I would kind of worry about I've dropped this many places or whatnot. But now I'm trying to think about, oh, that already happened. I'm just trying to think about what I can do from here on out. I'm really just trying to -- it sounds really cliché, but really just trying to stay in the present. Working hard to forget about the past, not just trying to hold on and worry about the future or whatnot. But I feel like if I do the best I can right now and I hit shots I'm supposed to hit, then everything will work out. Just try not to worry about it so much.

Q. How many times did you hit driver today?
MICHELLE WIE: No clue.

Q. Talking about your course management, on No. 3, you could go for it, was there a time not too long ago that you would have gone for that?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean I tried it in the practice round. I tried it a couple of times, and it's just -- it was really nowhere for me to hit it. It was right in between clubs. If I hit driver I couldn't get past the pin, then I would have. But 4-iron is too short, two hybrids over the green, it was an awkward shot for me. I have a better opportunity hitting a full hybrid to the left and having a straight shot up the green.

Q. What changes did you make to your putter specifically this week and why?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I was talking with Nike last week about this and David has been talking to me about this for a month. And I usually listen to him probably about a month after he tells me something to do. So we met up this week and they kind of flattend my putter four and a half degrees. So it makes sense. I mean, I kind of -- I'm using the same putter since I was 16, 17, before I started bending over. So I just -- I guess it makes sense.

Q. And David who?
MICHELLE WIE: David Leadbetter.

Q. How big was the hole looking for you today?
MICHELLE WIE: Same size.

Q. Just beyond the mechanics of your putting stroke, how has your confidence or attitude changed getting over a putt?
MICHELLE WIE: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

Q. Beyond just the mechanics of your putting stroke, how has your confidence or attitude changed when you get over a putt?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm just the same with my everything game. If it goes in, great. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I'm just going to try to hit the best putt I can. I was talking a lot with Meg, with Beth Daniel a lot, and a couple of the guys, just really looking at the difference between -- I've kind of asked a lot of people what's the difference between a good putter and a great putter. Beth has told me, Meg has told me, great putters, they make it, they make it. And if not, then not. Sometimes I worry about it too much. And I want to make it too much. To think about it. I'm going out, if I hit it the right speed, if I hit it the right line, chances are, hopefully, it will go in. That's kind of the mentality I had. I think it's been working a little bit.

Q. Do you have a renewed drive in the game right now that you may have lost at some point? If that's the case, when did you lose it and when did you regain that?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I never lost it. I think that it's a lot more fun when you work hard. The results show. But I've been very patient, even when I didn't play well. I worked hard. I knew I could get better. I knew I could improve. But that's the game of golf. I think that's what's so fun about it. You work hard, you work hard, it's a challenging game. You can never quite perfect it. I love working on my game. I love working on different shots. Just trying to get better every day. I never really lost a sense of determination or drive. It just -- it is -- it is a lot more fun when you work hard and the results show. It kind of motivates you to work even harder, I think.

Q. This is a slightly off beat, but does the tape really make your leg feel better?
MICHELLE WIE: I think so.

Q. Is it a cooling thing or it stretches it out?
MICHELLE WIE: No, it just helps to keep the swelling down, just kind of keep my knee in place. I just think it looks cool, too. Makes me look really hard.

Q. What kind of shots do you think you've played, in the last two days, around the greens? Have you been primarily putting, chipping, throwing it up in the air, a mixture?
MICHELLE WIE: I mixture. A couple of bump and runs. It's different. There's some places where it's green and some places where it's brown, some places it's into the grain. There is not a shot that works for every situation here.

Q. Did you play it all three?
MICHELLE WIE: Uh-huh.

Q. About to get your reaction to yesterday's round to Lucy Li shooting 78?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, I saw her interview on SportsCenter this morning when I was in the trailer and loved her outfit. She looked great. I just ran into her a couple of times this week. 78 is a great score for her, for an 11 year old. I think I would have been happy with it. But, yeah, I hope she's having fun. I hope she's having a blast out here. She definitely looks great. That was cute, she was eating ice cream in her press conference. Maybe I should do that. But I hope she's having fun.

Q. I know you hate looking back and looking ahead, but would you take 4-under Sunday afternoon?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'll take it. I'll take it.

Q. I'm curious what the difference was -- were you tied with Lexi at Kraft going into the last day?
MICHELLE WIE: I think so, yeah.

Q. What was the difference playing in the last group tied or thereabouts with her, compared with some of the runs you had back when you were like 12?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I don't really think there was like that big of a difference. I think playing in the final group of a Major, you still get the same nerves, you still are very nervous. It's still very exciting. I still remember when I played with Patricia and Annika in the final group at Kraft when I was 13 or 14. And that was more of a wow factor for me. Oh, my God, like I was pinching myself to see if this was really happening. Not to say that I didn't feel that with Lexi. But I'm grateful for every time I'm in the final group, because it's just so much fun. I love feeling the nerves. I love feeling nervous. I love every part of it. So I'm just grateful for that.

Q. What do you appreciate the most about a historic course like Pinehurst No. 2?
MICHELLE WIE: It's just so cool that there's not that many people that have said, I played the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, especially in a year it was played the same year as the men. So I think it's just so cool when I go out there and -- even though the course is different from when Payne Stewart won, it's still really cool to see that you kind of play the golf course that he played and he won. But it's a really cool golf course and it's a really cool event this week, that we're making history. Just having a lot of fun.

Q. It seemed like you and Lexi have a really good friendship, for two people who are competing for the same thing. It just seems like you guys click and get along well. I just wondered if that's something, I know you get along well with a lot of people, but do the two of you kind of just click well and have good conversations when you're playing together?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I really enjoy her company. Yeah, I think she's a really good girl. Obviously, I've known her since she joined the Tour when she was real young. I've always tried to be a friend for her, kind of be there for her, because I know how hard it is to be out on Tour when you're that young. And try to make her feel comfortable out here. Obviously, she's really young. But, yeah, she's a great girl. I really get along with her caddie as well, too, I have a fun time playing with her.

Q. If you were at home watching both weeks on TV, just as a golf fan, would you be looking at comparisons, and what exactly would you be looking for?
MICHELLE WIE: I was actually thinking about it on the golf course, about what would fans look at. Honestly, I'm not really sure what they would look at, just because it's never been done before. I think I would look at the average score, just kind of as a point, just to compare. But I'm not really sure. I was kind of thinking about that on the course, today, too.

Q. What happened to staying in the present?
MICHELLE WIE: That was kind of in the present. I don't know. I'm hungry. I told you.

Q. You have a late tee time tomorrow. What are your plans until then? How will you kill time?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, I go to bed really early, so I don't really have that much daylight left in me, anyway. I'm probably going to eat lunch and then work out and just get physio and by the time that's done it's probably dinnertime, which is probably around 5 for me. I just recently got into Game of Thrones, so probably that will take me a couple good hours of watching that.

Q. So you go to bed like 9?
MICHELLE WIE: Like 8:30. I don't make it to 9.

Q. Do you dream about what it would be like to hoist a Major trophy, do you visualize that anymore, and if not now, did you at any point when you were a kid?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah. I definitely always thought about it, always dreamt of it. Every time I hold something people make fun of me, because I hold it like a trophy. But I just -- like I said, I'm going to stay in the present. It's a long way to Sunday. Definitely it's always been a big dream of mine.

Q. What's an object that you hold like a trophy? Give us an example?
MICHELLE WIE: What's a good one? Well, I mean, we were -- we got these salad bowls when I was playing with Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel, and everybody got salad bowls. And everybody kind of held it up normally, and I was holding up here. I was the only one in the picture holding it like that. But just other things, too. I don't know, just everything.

MIKE TROSTEL: We'll let Michelle Wie get some lunch. 68, 68, 4-under 136 for two rounds.

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