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ANA INSPIRATION


March 27, 2018


Michelle Wie


Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the media center. We're now here with World No. 13, Michelle Wie, who earlier this month won the HSBC World Championship. Michelle is also our 2014 U.S. Women's Open Champion.

Michelle, welcome back to Rancho Mirage. Your first five events of 2018, your worst finish is a tie for 32nd. I think that's pretty good. What has clicked in your game so far this season?

MICHELLE WIE: I had a great off-season. I felt really healthy, felt rejuvenated. I think the six weeks off last season kind of felt like the off-season wasn't really a season. I wasn't ready to truly let go. So I felt like I had a really productive off-season. I just feel energized for this season.

Q. I know you're working out with a new trainer. You're someone for whom physical fitness is always a big thing. But tell us about your new training regime that you go through?
MICHELLE WIE: Korda and I are basically on the same program. We call it the baby giraffe program. Also they call it the glass house program. Basically trying to not get injuries and just try to be stronger but just kind of work within myself.

Q. So you're here for your 14th ANA Inspiration. You've only missed the cut once. You have a great record here. You have five Top 10 finishes, and you finished sixth last year. So what is it about Mission Hills and this place that really seems to bring out such good things in you?
MICHELLE WIE: I have a lot of great memories for this place. Mission Hills is a truly special place in my heart. I still remember when I was first playing here and all the memories that I had from that. So I think I just draw upon that memory every time I come play here. It's a great place. Palm Springs is a great place.

Q. Have you been out on the golf course yet today?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes.

Q. What are your thoughts on the golf course? How does it look out there?
MICHELLE WIE: It's pretty windy out there today. Yesterday afternoon it was pretty windy as well. You never know what conditions you're going to get out here. We played it when it was dead calm, hot, cold, windy. So I have to be prepared for anything. But the course is in great shape.

Q. You've talked several times, I think, this season about the goal of staying healthy all year. Let's say you achieve that goal, what kind of expectations and hopes do you have in terms of your performance in relation to wins, in relation to majors, assuming you can stay healthy?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know. Let's just take it one step at a time. My main focus is staying healthy and we'll just take it on from there.

Q. Your injuries have certainly been chronicled throughout the years. How many times during those down periods when you couldn't play or when your game was really affected did you question whether you could actually persevere and get back to where you wanted to be?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, there was a lot of doubt always. Especially when you don't remember the last time you haven't felt pain. It's a hard road. Just having to change my swing so many times, working around my injuries. I thought a couple of them were going to be career-ending. But I had great people around me, a great support system, and we just took it slowly. Just got myself back healthy, and I was trying to stay healthy. That was definitely my number one goal.

Q. Right now you feel very good?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I'm not going to jinx myself. I've done that before. Let's just move away from that topic, knock on wood and everything.

Q. When you're in Florida, do you ever run into Tiger? Because if anyone can commiserate with not knowing what it's like not to feel pain, it would be him.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, every time we see each other we list off all the things. How's your ankle, how's your back, how's your everything? And then it's a 20-minute conversation, and then we can move on from there.

Q. Is there anything where you can draw any kind of strength or information from him and then what he's done just the last eight weeks?
MICHELLE WIE: It's so inspiring. Just seeing what he's gone through with his injuries, and then just seeing what his club-head speed is right now and everything, seeing how he's hitting the ball and how he was coming back, it's truly inspiring and motivating. It's really cool to watch.

Q. What is your earliest memory of this place?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, pretty early. I mean, definitely my first one, just being here and being in awe. I remember the tent with the milkshakes and everything, that's what I definitely remember most. Just hitting on the range with everyone, with all the legends and some people that I've watched on TV for so long. Just being here, being in awe. Being on the putting green and putting next to Grace Park, putting next to Meg Mallon and everyone and just being like, oh, my gosh, I'm here. Then getting paired and being in the final group, I was so nervous. I just didn't know what to do with myself.

Q. Is this Kolby Wayne that you're working with for fitness?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes.

Q. When did you start with him?
MICHELLE WIE: This year, January.

Q. Is it different playing this golf course with a fade? How is it different, I guess?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I think every golf course is a little bit easier playing a fade. I'm so used to it now. Definitely it's a change from when I hit a draw to hitting a fade. But I think I'm feeling pretty confident with it. The lines, a couple of lines, for sure, change but it's more or less the same.

Q. Coming in having won, you never played this tournament having already won earlier in the season, is it different?
MICHELLE WIE: Not really, no. I look forward to this event every year. It's one of my favorite events, but nothing really feels that different. I'm just excited for this week.

Q. Michelle, everybody has always talked about your length, and your putting statistics are pretty good. Are you excited about that? Do you watch them? Do you care?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't really look at my of any of my statistics at all, really. I don't know what ranking I am until you said it out loud. The only rankings I looked at was last year's Solheim Cup points, that was the only thing.

But, yeah, I've been working a lot on my putting with David, and working with Odyssey and Scott a lot. They've been kind of custom building my putters. It's been helping a lot. Definitely having trust in your putter definitely brings a lot of confidence to your game.

Q. Michelle, just playing off that, I was looking at the putting numbers. 43rd last season. That's a huge jump. We talk about your performances. What specifically do you think has changed? You put in a lot of time. I talked to you last year at this very tournament. You spent hours on the putting green, other than the change in Odyssey and some of those, technically, what have you and David changed?
MICHELLE WIE: Nothing much (laughing). I think the big change last year was the claw. I still -- I don't really use the claw, but who knows, Maybe by Thursday I might. But I still incorporate the feelings that I do with the claw, and really focusing on speed or trying to focus more on speed.

Really just spending a lot of time on the putting green. I just noticed for me just being able to see the ball go in over and over again on the putting green really helps for me and my confidence. I'm trying not to hit golf balls. Trying to keep on and stay healthy, and I love to grind, so I focus all of my energy on the putting green.

Q. How much does being healthy with the golf swing? Being healthy, how much does that allow you to practice your putting?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, for sure. When your back is hurting or neck is hurting, you can't really do much. It definitely helps to not have your hands hurt when you putt. So definitely being healthy and pain free definitely helps in all aspects of your game, even putting.

Q. Michelle, I wanted to ask you about the way you'll play this golf course. That year you were paired with Lexi you hit a lot of 3-woods, where she was hitting driver. You seem like you're in a lot more control of your driver now. How is that changing the way you'll play here?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think from that year I'll hit a lot more drivers. My caddie and I talk about it a lot. I kind of have more of a mentality that if I'm even in the rough, I'd rather be up there and kind of that freer, more play like a kid mindset. A lot of times we just go, like, okay, send it. Why not.

Q. How many drivers do you think you'll hit around here? Back when you when you were hitting more 3-woods, how many drivers were you hitting at that time?
MICHELLE WIE: I have no idea. The person to ask would be my dad. He keeps all the stats. Me, I have no idea. I think I hit a lot more drivers. I don't know numbers-wise. But I think I hit a lot more drivers. You never know with me. It will change maybe. I don't know.

Q. I know you play with LPGA friends when you're back at home. But do you ever tee it up with PGA TOUR players in Jupiter?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah.

Q. What do you glean from that?
MICHELLE WIE: I learn a lot from that. The way they attack the golf course. I think I've talked about this a little bit in the past. But I feel like sometimes you think a lot -- I think a lot on the golf course. I worry about the outcome.

The guys, they truly -- I mean, they care, obviously, but they are a lot more aggressive. I've talked to a couple of them and they said, If it goes in the hazard, it goes in the hazard. What are you going to do about it? So it's true.

I tried to adopt the mentality of being aggressive, smart aggressive. But going out there, I see them play the game, and they actually play the game. They hit a lot of different types of shots. Short game, I learn a lot from them. But just the mentality of it and trying to just be attacking the golf course and just play it more like a game.

Q. Could I ask who are some of the players you tee it up with most often?
MICHELLE WIE: I played with -- I haven't played with them a lot recently because our schedules have been all over the place. But I used to play with Ricky a lot, and Camilo a lot, but we have a lot of pros at various clubs. So I just see them a lot practicing and stuff too. But my favorite thing to do is grab one of them, ask them questions and harass them.

Q. I think the way you just described how they play is how you played here as a young teen. So how do you lose that? What happens to make you lose that just go-for-broke aggressiveness, have fun?
MICHELLE WIE: I think when you're a kid you kind of play fearlessly. Then as you get older you kind of -- I think that's a natural transition for any child that goes to an adult. We accumulate fear, we accumulate overthinking. Sometimes you have to knock it back down and just kind of be free and have fun.

Golf is a game, and that's kind of how I'm trying to approach it is to have fun out there. If all goes to -- that word -- it just happens. I think kind of struggling in the past, I know how to pull myself out. You're not really worrying about it so much and just having fun out there. That's going to be my main goal this week is just to have fun.

Q. Is there one thing you can pinpoint to what caused you to start overthinking and overanalyzing? To go from that, just a kid that took out a club, hit it, and found the ball and hit it again to being an overthinker?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know. It was kind of in my nature, I guess. I've always been an overthinker. I just masked it well and I just like came out. So I'm trying not to. I'm trying to be more aware of it and trying to hide it.

Q. Can you just explain to us your wrist? What you need to have done periodically for your wrist? Is it because of cartilage?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think the correct term, I could be way off, I think I have osteoarthritis in a couple spots in my wrist. So my doctors and I, we've been taking these collagen injections which is what helps to build the cartilage. It's a lot for like bone on bone for knees, and they started using it for shoulders and now they use it for wrists.

So it really helps. It just sucks that it's on both wrists. So kind of have to go in and out of the doctor's office quite often. But we're hoping that it lasts longer than three or four months, but as of now it's been every three or four months that I've been getting maintenance injections. But it's been really helping.

I'm trying to keep how much I've been hitting golf balls low as well. So just trying to do things. You know, try to keep it healthy.

Q. That means you're officially getting older?
MICHELLE WIE: Thank you, thank you.

Q. You mentioned your caddie a minute ago. How long have you and Matt been working together?
MICHELLE WIE: Matt and I have been working together just over a year now.

Q. So we had a teleconference call before this tournament and we got out here. And Jerry (Indiscernible) was asking about you and Matt working together. Because it seems like watching that it's a really good relationship, a good dynamic. And Jerry made a good point. He said I think that Matt really keeps Michelle just out there having fun, calm, and not thinking as much. You've mentioned that having fun. Talk about the relationship with Matt and how much he's helped you?
MICHELLE WIE: I think having a good caddie out there, someone that you trust is crucial. It's your one and only teammate out there. I feel like we work really well together. We have a lot of fun. I like how we both approach the game. Even if I miss a fairway or I'm behind a tree, he never really takes it too seriously, which I like. It's like, Oh, it's okay. We can get it out. And nothing really fazes him, so that helps me keep calm. Even when I go crazy, he's still pretty calm, so that helps.

Q. How much pressure does that take off of you?
MICHELLE WIE: It takes off all the pressure. When you don't feel comfortable with someone, when you don't have that right aura with someone, it definitely puts a stress on you. From the beginning you're stressed out, and that never helps anyone.

Q. I have a lot of fun following What Do We Eat on Instagram. So I saw there were the apple fritters and the fajita bowls yesterday. What is Palm Desert Food Finds for those of us that need a place to go to dinner?
MICHELLE WIE: Let's do plug What Do We Eat really quickly, a food blog of mine, Instagram, food Instagram. I don't really eat out too much in Palm Desert. A lot of things you see from me I cook at home because it's so nice to have a kitchen and to eat at home, that's so rare. I don't know. That's a good question.

Q. How about a favorite mid-day snack or your go-to when you're able to cook for yourself?
MICHELLE WIE: I'm obsessed with avocado toast. So when I'm home I eat that a lot, Acai bowls. My favorite here, you're going to see a lot of avocado toast. I love avocado toast.

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