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March 29, 2011

Michelle Wie


THE MODERATOR: We're here with Michelle Wie, who's had two top 10s already this season. She's a senior at Stanford University so pulling double duty. Best finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship was a tie for third in 2006. Can you talk a little bit, you played in the pro-am today, a little bit how the course is playing and how you feel about your game this week?
MICHELLE WIE: I feel great. I think that I'm so excited to be back here. A couple of people already asked me how was it when you were 13 playing here, and it's so long ago. It's crazy thinking about it. But so many good memories here, and it's always a pleasure to come back. The conditions are great. And it's nice and warm, which is good. I'm really excited for this week.
THE MODERATOR: How do you feel like your game matches up to this golf course?
MICHELLE WIE: It's a tough golf course. You know, there's really narrow fairways, and the rough is pretty thick, as well, so you've just got to be on your top game here this week.

Q. Karrie Webb and Yani Tseng were in here talking about what this tournament means just when they drive in, when they show up. Your history is kind of different than everybody else's because you did start so young. Is it exciting? Do you think back to a lifetime ago?
MICHELLE WIE: It's as exciting this year as it was when I was 13. I think that it's just an awesome golf course and golf tournament. It has so many like famous winners, so many traditions, and it's just one of those tournaments where you want to win. You know, it would mean the world to me if I could do that this week.

Q. Obviously the first year you played here you played in the final group Sunday. You were third in 2006. Is it a golf course you feel like just suits what your game is right now?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think it's a tough golf course, like I said. So I've got to play well for sure.

Q. Can you update us on school? You're done with finals, and is there a little break? I've read that you will be going back to school right away, not taking a spring break?
MICHELLE WIE: Finals were miserable. They went horribly. They seem to go more horribly every year, as well as my grades. But it was good. I'm glad that was over. Spring break was last week. I'm actually missing the first week of school right now. I'm going back after this week, which should be good. I should be done by next March if I pass all my classes.

Q. (No microphone.)
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I thought that it was a good time to do it because I wanted to be done next March, and then I'd be done for good, I didn't have to come back for another fall quarter. And plus it's spring quarter at Stanford, which is a lot of fun, too, so I'm really excited to experience my first spring quarter where Stanford will actually be warm and sunny, and it'll be good. So I'm excited to go back.

Q. Do you remember watching this tournament when you were -- well, you're still young, but when you were a child?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I did. Obviously it's one of those tournaments where you watch it on TV, and the tradition -- I knew long before I came here that jumping in the pond is what you want to do, and I think it's one of those really tournaments where it's just, you see the plaque on 18 about the past winners, and it's pretty cool, the traditions and the history here.

Q. Any reason why you performed better here the younger you were? The last years haven't been as successful.
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I think that it's just a couple weeks could be bad. It depends on what my game is coming into that week. I'm just trying hard every year, and hopefully I can break through this year.

Q. Other than being warmer here than last week, could you talk about last week and how you feel your game is coming in this week?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think it was a good golf course last week. I think it was a tricky golf course, which prepared us well for this week. It was quite a narrow one. But obviously the conditions are very different, you know; it's cold and wet last week and the fairways were soft, greens were soft. This week everything is hard, and it's a lot warmer, so I think it's good.

Q. You got to practice this week on the tournament course?

Q. What's the rough like?
MICHELLE WIE: It's thick. It's very healthy. But I think it's always that way. You know, I think every year I come back, I think the conditions are even better than the last year. You know, it's good. It's very green.

Q. Do you prefer to play in the heat like this?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'd rather play in the heat than the cold.

Q. Do you feel like it's an advantage to you?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I think everyone prefers that, really. I think that it's nice playing in shorts and tee shirts after the winter.

Q. What do you make of Yani Tseng and what she's been able to do the last couple years?
MICHELLE WIE: I think it's great. She's a really wonderful player. I think she's really improved over the last couple years, and she's a good player. I mean, really doing really well this year. Obviously I saw her play in Thailand, and it's pretty amazing that she won the first couple of tournaments in a row, which is pretty good. So I think she's a really good player and someone to look at this year.

Q. When did you actually become a senior? Was that in the fall?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, it's my fourth year so technically I'm a senior because I am in the graduating class of 2011. But I'll stay for an extra two quarters, so I'll be a super senior next year.

Q. Having to juggle professional golf and college, it would seem like it would be so much stress, but it seems the opposite for you. It seems in some ways it keeps -- you're fresh on both sides. How has it rounded you out as a person?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, sometimes it's so stressful that I want to pull out my hair, but other times it's just -- it is really nice because when I get stressed out from golf, I go back to school and I have something else to stress out about. When I have something like studying for a test, golf becomes so easy compared to studying for an exam or something. It's been really good for me.
It's one of the smartest decisions I made, going to college, because it made me grow up in ways that I could not do if I didn't go, like living on my own, learning to do stuff, and I think also juggling time because nobody is really telling you to go to class, no one is telling you to practice. It's really self-motivated stuff. So it made me grow up a lot. And I think it made me a lot more of a -- just more of a well-rounded person, I think.

Q. A lot of players when they start their careers kind of feel like they've got to learn how to compete and then maybe win a regular tournament or two regular tournaments and then worry about majors. You've had so many high finishes in majors already in your career. Do you feel like a major is just like a natural step for you at this point?
MICHELLE WIE: I wouldn't call it a natural step. I think it's kind of one of those things where you kind of dream about, work towards, and definitely over the past off-season that's really what I've been working on, win tournaments, win majors, and that's kind of like the motivation for me to go out there and practice. It's because I want to win the Kraft, I want to win the U.S. Open, so I'm out there, and that's the motivation for practicing.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Michelle. Play well this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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