Michelle Wie will continue playing her enterprising brand of golf at this week’s ANA Inspiration, a style she has learnt from practicing with male counterparts Rickie Fowler and Camillo Villegas.
Wie enters the year’s first major as the world number 13. Her form has been impressive in 2018. She has played in five events so far, winning one and finishing 11th in two.
The 28-year-old seems primed to add to her single major triumph which came at the US Women’s Open back in 2014. And if she is going to challenge this week at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, it’s going to be via a fearless modus operandi – an approach inspired by the likes of Fowler and Villegas who both reside close to Wie in Florida.
“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,” said Wie in the build-up to the ANA.
“I see them [Fowler and Villegas] 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 attacking the golf course and just play it more like a game.”
While Wie has learnt playing tips from Fowler and Villegas, she has drawn considerable inspiration from Tiger Woods’ comeback and will be looking to use that emotional energy to push her to new heights this weekend.
“Just seeing what he’s [Woods] gone through with his injuries,” Wie continued.
“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.”
Wie has performed well at the ANA in the past. She finished sixth last year with rounds of 68-69-71-69. She also finished second to Lexi Thompson in 2014 with scores of 67-71-68-71.
Wie and Thompson will play together during the opening two rounds of the tournament on Thursday and Friday.